CPTnet

CPTnet is the news service of CPT, providing daily news updates, reports, reflections, prayer requests and action alerts.

 

IRAQI KURDISTAN NEWSLETTER: Spring 2017- Border Bombing, Oil Issues and more!!

 

Iraqi Kurdistan

 
We wish all of our Muslim teammates, CPTers, Supporters and friends a happy Ramadan. 
 
Border Bombing
After the peace agreement broke between the Turkish state and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in 2015, Turkey has regularly bombed villages in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Turkish state claims they are only targeting the PKK. However, Christian Peacemaker Teams-Iraqi Kurdistan (CPT-IK) has visited many of these villages and documented that Turkish warplanes have not just bombed PKK but have also bombed villages and surrounding areas, including burning many vineyards,orchards, and grazing lands. Furthermore, there have been civilian casualties and many villagers have lost their animals and sources of income. The bombings continue to this day and the CPT IK team continues to investigate and document Turkey's bombing violations. The team has written many stories about Kurdish civilians who have been heavily impacted by the bombardments, including a story in May of this year about Turkey's bombing near the village of Murkijea. 
Kak Bapir from Basta vilage hosted Christian Peacemaker Teams-Iraqi Kurdistan (CPT) at his home. 
Kak Bapir (right) talking with Michele Naar-Obed (left) and CPT member Latif Hars (center) about Turkish bombardments in the Basta region. Photo by: Gabe Soares
Christian Peacemaker Teams-Iraqi Kurdistan (CPT IK) team members with Michelle Naar Obed visited one of our partners, Kak Bapir from Basta village. Basta has long been impacted by the bombardment from both the Turkish and Iranian governments. Kak Bapir told CPTers that they are still being bombed by the Turkish government and expressed his wish that the bloody bombardments would stop. Kak Bapir told the story of the villagers from Basta and how their way of life is being disrupted by the ongoing bombardments. He asked that CPT help amplify their voices to make the international community aware of their plight and to accompany them to find new ways to ask the Turkish state to stop these bombardments so that villagers from Basta can live in peace. 

Prayers for peacemakers. 3 June 2017

Prayers for peacemakers. 3 June 2017 

"Ramadan Kareem" to our Muslim CPT members, partners and friends who together with the multitude of Muslim communities around the world join in celebration of the holy month of Ramadan. 

Those who observe Ramadan abstain from food, drink and other physical needs from dawn until sunset. However, the essence of Ramadan is much deeper than just fasting. It is a time to purify one's soul, refocus attention on God and practice self-discipline and sacrifice. 

Last weekend, two bombs exploded in Baghdad, Iraq, just at the time when families were breaking fast and beginning to eat. One of the bombs exploded at the bazaar, the central market of the city, nearby a retirement office, and the other one in an ice cream shop where mostly children and teenagers were celebrating life. Another explosion happened in Kabul, Afghanistan, in a diplomatic zone. These horrible attacks against our fellow and dear human beings target also the meaning of Ramadan.

Ramadan In Palestine

Today let us pray for all who observe Ramadan so that they can do so in peace, free of fear and risk of bombs, airstrikes, all kinds of violence and restrictive checkpoints. Let us pray for the family members and friends of the innocent victims. Let us pray for their souls so that they may find comfort and peace.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos May 23 - 29

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos May 23 - 29

 

Counter-Settler Tour

 
Pictured here: CPT monitored its first counter-settler tour created in partnership with a local tour guide.  The tour takes place at the same time as the weekly settler incursion in the Old City, offering a narrative of Palestinian history and culture in al-Khalil and explaining the impact of occupation on daily life, economy, and freedom.  Members of our CPT delegation were the main participants last week.  A future goal of the project is to draw more Palestinians into the space of the Old City to raise awareness about resistance to the occupation.  

(May 20, 2017)

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine May 2017 Newsletter--Old City Shop: Jewelry, Why do you keep going back? and more...

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine May 2017 Newsletter--Old City Shop: Jewelry, Why do you keep going back? and more..


Old City Shop: Jewelry

Mospah follows in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He has been making and selling jewelry in the same shop in the Old City souq for fifty years. 

Why does he do what he does, where he does? Because it’s a family tradition, part of his heritage. He has a strong sense of rootedness, from both his father, whom he reveres, and his grandfather. Mospah has ten children, seven daughters and three sons, and thirty-seven grandchildren. The entire family continues to live in Hebron.

A supplier brings him materials from Saudi Arabia: stones from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan plus materials sourced locally. Mospah then crafts these into a wide variety of jewelry: bracelets, necklaces, earrings, prayer beads. He also has a small line of low-cost costume jewelry responding to the demands of a range of customers.

Thirty years ago, business was thriving in the Old City souq. Not so today. Mospah often passes days at a time with no one buying. Business is difficult but a little better than after the second intifada. Read more...


IRAQI KURDISTAN: As adults, we are just afraid for our children; residents of Merkejia speak with CPT about the impacts of the Turkish bombings.

CPTnet

29 May 2017

IRAQI KURDISTAN: As adults, we are just afraid for our children; residents of Merkejia speak with CPT about the impacts of the Turkish bombings.

by: Julie Brown

The explosion was massive, even through the small video on Kak Najib’s phone we could see the devastation and huge plume of smoke that engulfed the whole side of a nearby mountain. This was just one of many bombs that fell on the area surrounding the village of Merkejia last fall.

Merkajia is an Assyrian village that lies within the northern mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. These mountains are a dividing point between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan as well as a battleground between the Turkish government and The Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK.  While media sometimes gives nod to this decades long conflict, the realities of life for those like the villagers of Merkejia, people whose communities are on the frontlines, are rarely told.

"Last November, the Turkish airplanes dropped a barrage of bombs on the area surrounding this small village", Kak Najib, the Mukhtar (village leader) of Merkejia, told CPT on 11 May 2017. The first bombs fell in the evening when Kak Najib and his family were in their house. He explained that at first they stayed inside their home and took shelter but as the bombs continued to fall they went outside afraid that one could hit the house and it could collapse on them. The women and children left the village and only the men stayed behind to protect their homes and property. “As Assyrians we believe that we will die one day and that we should not be afraid of death. I have seen many wars, Saddam forced me to go to Kuwait.  As adults, we are just afraid for our children,” he explained.

The bombs shattered all the windows in every home in Merkejia and cracked several walls. Kak Najib pointed to a large crack in his home just over a large portrait of Jesus hanging in his family room.  When CPT asked how people could show solidarity with the villagers of Merkejia he simply said, “Let people know that we are being bombed.” 

                                                          Wall inside Kak Najib´s house   

                                             Walls inside Kak Najib's house in Merkajia. Photo by: Julie Brow