Monday, March 21, 2011

Thoughts on being in Kurdish, Northern Iraq for two weeks

I had thought that I would want to blog a lot, but I have yet to really get into the groove. I also have to write a letter to my supporters letting them know that I have a blog. So lots of work to do.

Anyway, on that note of supposed apology...

The two weeks before I flew here my mind was in a bit of turmoil. The state of the situation here had changed and people were out on the square protesting the corruption of the government and lack of human rights. On two days there was retaliatory violence from security forces with 5 or 6 deaths and more wounded.

I had to take time to get my head around the fact that what I would be doing here would be very different than what I had discussed with the Iraq team project support co-ordinator. However, by the time I landed in Suli the situation had calmed down.

There were still thousands of protestors in the square but the security forces had decreased a lot and soon the government was making overtures of communicating with the organizers. Everyday we have gone down to the square and checked in with the organizers to see if there were any stories they wanted us to tell. They are very exhausted and are very aware that the calm may not last. They and the ones we talk to in the square state that they will not leave until something is actually done to meet their  demands.

It is really quite amazing to be here during this call for change. But we feel like we are in a bit of a bubble because the rest of the world does not know what is going on here. News stories of Libya and Japan are taking the headlines and any stories we (and other jounalists) send out are ignored. The Kurdish people feel that the world does not care about them. It seems that this is true unless (and may this not happen), many more people are killed.

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