Kurdistan

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Yazidi renewal in Iraqi Kurdistan

After our visit to Lalish, the Yazidis’ holiest place, we spent Monday learning about community efforts to support the Yazidis after their displacement and trauma at the hands of ISIS. 

“Goodness brings goodness.”  - Nayf Sabry, Sunrise

Our first stop was Sharya Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp outside Dohuk. Sharya hosts 17,000 internally displaced people, most of whom left their homes as ISIS advanced on their homes in Sinjar.  ISIS notoriously killed thousands of Yazidi men and boys and captured and enslaved thousands of women. Others fled to the mountains where they stayed for seven to ten days before coming to Dohuk. 

Nayf, 20, and his friends, were struck by the unfair burden placed on Yazidi children. Growing up in a camp with their parents preoccupied by their own trauma and securing basic needs, the children had opportunities for play. 

In response, Nayf and some of his friends temporarily dropped out of high school and started Sunrise, a non-politically affiliated NGO. Members from Sunrise visited every family in the camp and invited their children to attend extra-curricular events including movies, games and a field trip to the mall.

Sunrise functions as a community center in a tent in the middle of camp.  Nayf and his friends are eager to raise money to provide more infrastructure and entertainment opportunities for the children of the camp. 

They want to protect the right to childhood – a right he himself was denied. 

“If we don’t help each other, who would come?” he said.

IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION: Racism based on my name

 

At the Hawler Checkpoint October 2014

Two of my Kurdish friends were deported from a Russian airport because of their names and assumed religion.

But I have experienced racism also in my region. 

Last Thursday, together with my team mate and my youngest son, I drove the CPT car on our way to Hawler (also known as Erbil, in Arabic), the capital of Kurdistan Region of Iraq, to renew our NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) registration for CPT. After waiting for about fifteen minutes in lines of cars to pass the security checkpoint at the entrance of the city, an Asaish (security officer) asked for our IDs.  When he looked at mine, he asked me if I was Kurdish.  In a moment, I was thinking, “Do I have to swear that I am a Kurd?”  So, I said, “Yes, but why?”  He answered that my name looks like an Arab name. 

IRAQI KURDISTAN: April 2016 Newsletter--Trainings, Visits to villages affected by Turkish bombings and IDP camps

Graduates of 2016 CPT Training in Iraqi Kurdistan

A special 250 Hours Changing Lives

 

Congratulations to the graduates!

From the end of January to the beginning of April, nine trainees from Colombia, Poland, Syria and Iraqi-Kurdistan, completed and  graduated from an intensive training in peace and active nonviolence. This was the second training led by the CPT-IK team in Sulaimani,  giving a chance to those people who want to work as a peacemakers—serving people in crisis and conflict settings around the world.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: "Go now and drive as fast as you can"--CPTers visit Kurdish village caught in Turkish bombing

The Qandil Mountains hide a valley in the Pishdar District famous for its fertile land, green pastures, breath-taking beauty, and terrible problem— Turkish bombing. A long-term friend and partner of CPT Mukhtar Khidr* invited Christian Peacemaker Teams for lunch on 15 April and a meeting with other village leaders at his house. The team has not come here since the peace process between the Turkish state and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) began in 2013. Much has changed since the war broke out again in July of 2015. 

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Origami at Arbat IDP Camp


Children far from home in a desolate environment.  Caring volunteers who want to make their lives a little brighter and more colorful.

On 26 April, CPTers Marcus Armstrong, Chihchun Yuan and some of the youth of Arbat camp spent one and half hours doing Origami in an activity organized by the workers of STEP.

Some young people, mostly boys, had hands that had done hard labour, and initially the delicacy needed for Origami was a challenge. They learned quickly and soon everyone had made a beautiful crane and had written his name on it. Each was a unique work!

Prayers for Peacemakers April 21, 2016 Iraqi Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers April 21, 2016    Iraqi Kurdistan

Pray for the villagers in the Dohuk governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan made homeless by Turkish cross border bombing raids in the past few weeks.  Pray for Christian Peacemaker Teams – Iraqi Kurdistan’s efforts to reach out to these villagers as they return to the area and reconnect with old friends.

*Epixel for Peacemakers April 24, 2016  Fourth Sunday of Easter
Kurdish villagers  in Zharawa camp displaced by Turkish bombing in 2012
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "See, the home of God is among
 mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and
God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death
will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things
 have passed away." Revelation 213-4
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming
 Sunday's 
Revised Common Lectionary readings.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: March 2016 Newsletter now available!


Newroz - Celebrating the new year of 2716 !

The participants on the 45th CPT training joined other friends to celebrate the 2716 New Kurdish Year (Nawroz) by visiting the Kurdish mountains. Nawroz represents freedom, renewed hope and Kurdish dreams.
 

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Oil companies continue to steal and destroy land


On 29 February 2016 two CPT-Iraqi Kurdistan team members went to the community of Hajji Ahmed to meet with Kak Miro, the village leader. Villagers have been struggling to maintain their land rights and have also been trying to gain adequate compensation for lands already confiscated by Exxon Mobil. CPT has been helping to amplify the voices of villagers since August 2013.

Exxon Mobil has finished one oil well and capped it for later use in a nearby field. During this process, the company, with the assistance of the Kurdistan Regional Government, appropriated land from local farmers. The construction and drilling polluted some of the land, causing plants, trees and vines to suffer or die. Kak Miro has heard that digging for a second well is to start soon.

Kak Miro asked the team to help him write a letter to the Committee of Human Rights and Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Parliament about not receiving any compensation for his lost and damaged land. He was waiting for a phone call from a committee member to set an appointment to deliver the letter.

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 17, 2016

We give thanks for the peacemakers-in-training in Iraqi Kurdistan, who recently passed the halfway mark of their training. We ask for endurance and fortitude for all involved in this training, as the group shares skills, learns history, and experiments with peacemaking and justice-seeking in this specific context.

*Epixil for Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016 Sixth Sunday in Lent
Trainees in Kurdistan experiment with a "hassle line"
Trainees in Kurdistan experiment with a "hassle line"
Isaiah 43:19
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
Isaiah 50:6-8

*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 10, 2016

We give thanks for the peacemakers-in-training in Iraqi Kurdistan, who recently passed the halfway mark of their training. We ask for endurance and fortitude for all involved in this training, as the group shares skills, learns history, and experiments with peacemaking and justice-seeking in this specific context.

*Epixil for March 13, 2016 Fifth Sunday in Lent
Trainees in Kurdistan experiment with a "hassle line"
Trainees in Kurdistan experiment with a "hassle line"
Isaiah 43:19
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19

*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.