IRAQI KURDISTAN: We stand side-by-side; CPT speaks with the LGBTQ+ community

Iraq, including Iraqi Kurdistan is a violent and hostile environment for the LGBTQ+ community. This oppressive reality is documented by IraQueer in its 2017 report “Fighting for the right to live: the state of LGBTQ  human rights in Iraq,” IraQueer, a registered human rights organization focusing on the LGBTQ+ community in Iraq/Kurdistan region, estimated that over 220 members of the community were killed in 2017.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: ”We are always aware they may bomb us"-- Turkish bombs destroy Assyrian village life in Kurdistan

The farming communities of Nahla Valley exist in an idyllic setting. A gorgeous mountain river runs through the valley, winding through rice paddies, orchards and sesame fields. As autumn unfolds you see families in the field harvesting crops daily, using combine harvesters, tractors, and animals. Scarecrows dot the landscape and dogs wander up the dirt roads. Homes are bustling with activity and guests are served fresh yogurt and bread, homemade butter and fig jam with tea. Generations of farming families have lived peacefully on this land. 

IRAQI KURDISTAN: CPT member Julie Brown reflects on experiencing a Turkish military bombing

What was it like? After 4 years working on the Iraqi Kurdistan team, it seems that all curiosity has been focused on the final week of my time on the team. The weekend that the CPT team was in a small Assyrian Christian village as the Turkish government targeted the area with missiles from F16 fighter planes and drones in it’s war against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Zewka villagers forced to choose between bombing or flooding.

“If we go back, we will be bombed; if we stay here, we will be flooded,” Pur Aish [Auntie]  told members of the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan. “What kind of choice is that? What did we do?” she asked. She was speaking about her village, Zewka, near the Iranian border, after the whole village was displaced by Turkish bombing.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: "Just imagine what it is like for us”| Hezanke citizens speak about living under Turkish military bombings

The Turkish military dropped five bombs near the village of Hezanke, in the Nahla Valley of Iraqi Kurdistan, on Friday 4 October. Two days later Turkey dropped six more bombs near Hezanke.  The planes regularly conduct airstrikes in the area but this attack was the closest that bombs had ever come to the villagers’ homes.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Who is my neighbor?

In the Bible, when a lawyer asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29), he tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus teaches us to be like the Samaritan and treat all those we see in need and distress as our neighbors.  Kak Hassan told us the same thing, “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from; in this world God only cares that you know Him and that you care for humanity.” 
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