Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It is better that one sits in boredom..?

Today is the 16th day since we and many people in Azadi Square ran from live gunfire. The population of security forces has dwindled leaving the square to the bean and sunflower seed salesmen and the shoppers heading to the bazaar. Demonstrations have not been attempted since that day.

Security forces on the square the evening before  the demonstrations were "squashed". The soldier in the centre of the photo spied the team's little camera and headed toward them with baton raised. The team headed back out of the square.

However, it is possible that plans for other ways of expressing the discontent are underway. We do know that one of the leaders of the demonstrations has been sentenced to 30 days in prison. He refused the chance to pay a relatively small fine instead, in protest of the fact that none of the security forces who killed 10 protestors have been brought to justice. Interestingly enough, some unknown person paid the fine for him. Faruq did not want to leave the prison- he wanted to serve the sentence as a form of protest.

The last few days I have had Skype contact with Laurens, my son-in-law to be, who is with CPT in the West Bank. He has told me of his days and they certainly sound more exciting than mine. That team has a regular routine of going out on school patrol and evening patrol to observe the actions of soldiers and settlers. Daily, they seem to have some situation to document and photograph. I found myself somewhat wishing for some action. Maybe the day in the square made me long for an adrenaline rush and the feeling that I am doing something.

But, then again, it is much better for the people if they are not facing live gunfire and the possibility of injury and death. Our work here in Kurdish Northern Iraq is very different than what is done in Palestine. I am using this down time to work on learning some more Kurdish vocabulary, write up meeting notes and to talk with our translator, trying to make sense of the political situation here.

Here is a couple of photos of the CPT house. This is the kitchen with Michele from USA and Allan from Canada

Our office. Here is our translator and team friend, Mohammed along with his son.

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