Nov 12, 2010

A glimpse of the Problems in Kirkuk

A glimpse of the Problems in Kirkuk

( from an activity with 5 students living in Kirkuk.)

About the problems in Kirkuk city, the government is responsible for the people's needs and wants. As we mentioned in our statement,we said that the problems are: lack of security, scarcity of water and electricity, freedom of speech, lack of proper education, libraries and the lack of cleanliness in the city. If there is a good plan to solve each of these problems, then they can be fixed.

Stormy Attributes


We know that rape has always robbed the rights of others. Everyone tries to save his family and honor from strangers and perpetrators of evil. However, how can a family protect their rights from those who should be protecting them, i.e. parents.

I will tell you a story which does not occur in every home. This happened to a family and caused a loss of dignity, morality and honor. Honor is the most precious loss.

The events of this story happened in a house with a lovely fragrance, a clean home. The characters are the members of a family, the father who seems to the viewer to be respectable, the mother who is pretty and kind but who is powerless, and three boys and five girls. On the faces of the boys and girls, the appearance is of a good life.

Nov 10, 2010

Laughter Returns To Sewajan's Teary Eyes

Laughter Returns To Sewajan's Teary Eyes
By Awezan Nuri

One day, suddenly, Sewajan came with a very cute baby and her poor parents. When I saw her teary eyes, I knew she was carrying a big problem on her shoulders. She didn't look like she had any happiness in her life. After greeting me, she didn't say anything. Her parents told me her story. "Sewajan is our daughter. She got married and she has only one child. Her in-laws mistreat her and her husband always listens to his parents as they encourage him against his wife. Therefore, he behaves very violently towards Sewajan. Even though each month has thirty days, he just stays five days with his wife and his child. He does not leave them any money. While at home, he spends all the time beating and threatening her.

Sewajan parents were not like other parents, they could not find a solution to their daughter's problems. Because of tradition, Sewajan accepted all the brutality that her in-laws and her husband inflicted upon her.

While listening to her parents, I glanced at Sewajan from time to time and she was weeping. As she listened to her parents, she cried, and her child, seeing her crying, wanted to touch his Mom's tears. Sewajan said, "Mom and Dad, may I speak with her alone?"

Then she told me, "Ms, my husband is not a bad man, but his parents make him crazy, because they are always telling him bad things about me. My in-laws live near me and they treat me like their servant. Purposely, they find some work for me to do because they don't want me to take care of my child and give him my love.

There are no regrets for what I have done, and what I will do for them. They are like my parents and it is my duty to respect them. I would be very happy if they could accept me as their daughter. When my husband comes back from work, they start gossiping. They have a thousand accusations about me. When he listens to them, he treats and my child as a stranger. When I ask him why he is listening to them he says 'They are my parents what can I do?'

Anyway it is not a big problem, I have another problem, my child and I need money. He leaves us for twenty days without money. We do not know what to eat and what to do. We like to buy food and clothes but we can't without money. My child has recently learned to speak and to eat different foods and I don't know how to satisfy him. Now I need a solution to my problem. I need someone to talk to my husband, giving him some advice. Ask him if we want to continue to be a family. If not, let us divorce."

Sewajan's talk upset me and her crying upset me even more. That is why I asked for her husband's phone number. I called him. I sat with her husband and we talked and I offered him many solutions. After he heard me, he said with a shaky voice, "That is right, I have made many mistakes, but I will try to correct my mistakes."

After two days, Sewajan called me and she was very happy and laughing. She said, "Thank you very very much, my husband changed so much for the better and he doesn't leave us alone for a very long time. When he leaves us, he leaves us enough money and says, 'Oh God, you were like a messenger and saved my life from separation and destruction. Thank you very much.'

Before she turned off the phone, I heard her husband say 'hi' to her and to his son, 'Dad's home, son, how are you doing.'

She said "good by darling" to me and thank you very much."

( This article was translated from Kurdish language from Pana for Peace.)

Nov 8, 2010

A Human Rights Statement from residents in Kirkuk to United Nation

a field in Kirkuk, Spring 2009
A Statement from residents in Kirkuk to United Nation
by a youth group in Kirkuk

Since the formation of the Iraqi state in 1920 up till now, the Iraqi people have become fuel for the political unrest because of many apparent and hidden reasons.

The most prominent reasons are the newspapers, sectarian, religious and national. which make internal wars more destructive than external wars, Since the regime of the monarchy, until the last dictator Saddam, all have adopted the policy of autocracy and violence against the Iraqi peoples. The violence practiced is especially denying the rights of minorities, and the use of genocide against them. Iraqi peoples were waiting for the end of Arab Baath Socialist Party regime. Analyzing its name is enough to know the target which works for it in this country. Now that seven and a half years have passed since the fall of this regime, many new parties and new forms of power have emerged, the most dangerous of them is the power of terror.

Humanitarian tragedies are repeated daily in Iraq, the cheapest thing to deal with politically is human blood . It makes civilians the victims of political problems. On the other hand the lack of security, causes people significant psychological crises.

Nov 7, 2010

Girls life

Girls life
by Lavin

GIRL: the word itself is already a problem for girls because a girl in the Bedouin, Arab and Conservative Religious Community is believed to be a problem.

For a girl herself, even her presence becomes a problem, while at the same time the girl is a problem within the family in the Arab community with its religious and traditional traditions.

Today I'll write a basis for this and with each point, there is either a negative or a positive principle. There is a rule that states that a girl's problem starts when the Almighty Allah gives the spirit to the baby inside the mother's abdomen. The first parent to learn the gender of the baby, by ultra sonar, is the mother. Families usually prefer male children. There are thousands of reasons, for this, according to the girls themselves, their ideas and their culture.

This preference is also due to the environment and society. If the mother already knows that the child will be a girl, here begins the sign of sorrow at femininity. If you have knowledge of a girl child before birth, and maybe the father and the mother and all family prefer a male child, here begins the problem. Medical experiments indicate that sadness around the baby's mother and the father affects the morale of girl babies. This has been proven scientifically. Because of this, generally girl babies are more negative having been affected in the womb. Girl babies after birth at home may be meeting a cold mother, the baby is a sad thing to be met, called not by the given name but by nicknames.

( This article was translated in English from Turkmen language. It was one article from Pana for Peace October. )

Nov 3, 2010


Photo: Leland Grammer
Delegation to Northern Iraq
Final reflection, October 27

Can your ears reach our land?
is your attention here anymore?
Have you stepped out to relieve yourself?
Do you hear our shed blood?
Can you taste the tears of our mothers?
Are you a father to every child?

Bring your good times
to our shanty
Love breath us into
Teach us to dance
through the pain
Your daughters are snapped like twigs
...where was I...
Your children are tended like cattle
...where was I...
Your sons invent new ways to die
...where am I...
I rail at the sky and step on your echo
I call for conveyor belts to drop from the heavens
and miss you in the face of an illiterate refugee boy
and in the friendship of a fisherman's son

Leland Grammer
Nevada City, California, USA
October 27, 2010

Maybe God Waits for us to Open Our Hands

Delegation to Northern Iraq
October 21-23, trip to Choman district, KRG
Photo: Matt Andrews

As our van rumbled over the gravel road winding steadily up the side of the mountain, we saw the sun setting against the backdrop of a solitary house and the moon reflecting its light across the opposing side of the sky. The road on which we travelled was safely situated between fields of landmines, with little skull-and-crossbone signs keeping us moving forward. Our driver parked the car outside a makeshift fence that surrounded the house, and a family of three with smiling faces met us with a warm Kurdish greeting.

We had arrived at the home of Mahmud and his family. Mahmud lost his right leg below the knee after a landmine explosion on his property many years ago. The family still lives here, perils and all. It is how they make a living. They still grow some crops in areas not overtaken by explosives. They raise turkeys and other animals (although sometimes the livestock wander into a nearby landmine field and don't make it back). They have to travel back and forth between this remote homestead and the city, because their son is still in school and they want him to finish his education. No school is located in any neighbouring village. Sometimes they travel back and forth and stay in one place for months at a time; sometimes they travel back just for a quick weekend to tend to the animals and make sure they haven't wandered away.

Peacemaking an Anti-venom

Library, Sulaimani, Iraq/ Matt Andrews
Delegation to Northern Iraq
October 14-19, 2010

After three flights, hours of layovers, and the struggles of adjusting to changing time zones, our delegation arrived in Suleimaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan early on the morning of Sunday, October 17th. Our delegation - consisting of four Americans and one Iranian Kurd - was planning to spend ten days assisting the full-time team members in their efforts to build a more peaceful future in Kurdistan.

In our first couple days in the country, our schedule has been focused on learning about the Kurdish culture and about the history of the Kurds in light of their interactions with their neighbours, most notably the Iraqi Arabs, Turks, and Iranians. Unfortunately, a lot of this history is violent.

On Sunday we visited Amna Suraka, a prison where Saddam Hussein kept Kurdish dissidents and political prisoners. We walked through the facility and listened to our guide tell us stories of merciless torture, overcrowded cells, and unsanitary conditions for men, women, and children. We also sat down afterwards and listened to Hussein, another visitor that we met while on the tour, tell of his uncle's captivity in the prison and the armed fight to liberate the prisoners in 1991. In addition, Mohammed, our translator, told us of his experiences as a child who was present in the vicinity of the prison's liberation and was close enough to hear the shooting throughout the day.

On Monday we travelled southeast to the village of Halabjah, where the Iraqi government used chemical weapons to murder more than 5,000 Kurdish civilians, almost two-thirds of which were women and children, in March of 1988. We were treated to images and video of innocent civilians with burned and peeling asking and frozen looks of horror. The only crime they had committed was being Kurdish. We were told of how the bombing of Halabjah was just one of several hundred villages that were bombed in an orchestrated genocidal plan.