Friday, September 23, 2011

Heading back to Northern Iraq

What an amazing summer I have had in North America. Winnipeg has been hot, sunny, dry with no mosquitoes.  Some of those things are not necessarily good in the scheme of things, but they sure did make for a few months of great outside working and playing.

I had hoped that this would continue until I was able to have my fundraising supper in our back yard. BUT it did turn cool (although it did not rain) and people spent the evening wrapped in blankets and some even borrowed parkas.

To backtrack.
This summer I met some members of a Kurdish community here in Winnipeg. I hung out with several of the women a couple of times. The goal was to work on my language, but I found it quite confusing as they all came from different parts of Kurdistan so the way words are said or even sometimes the words  are different. They did help me with learning to say some sounds, but I have a long way to go.  It was really fun to meet with them.

So when I planned my fundraising supper I remembered that K had said that she made Kurdish bread. So I was presumptuous and phoned her to see if she would be willing to make bread with me before the supper. She was very willing, so I went over to her house one morning armed with much flour, yeast and salt. (She said we could use her water!)

Here are some photos from that morning:

Onto the round serving tray bread pan with holes dug with the fingertips to prevent air pockets.

Me, trying my hand at doing the same process. She kept encouraging me, but mine were not round and were lumpy!

Baking under the broiler in a normal oven

The end result- 19 wonderful round breads.

Then, came the evening of the Kurdish supper. My wonderful support community pitched in to help with prep work. Yvonne and I prepared: dolma (or as the Kurdish call it- yaprax), cucumber and tomatoe salad, Qaysi (apricot soup) with rice, BBQ chicken shish, with date Kullicha (date filled cookies) for dessert. There was plenty of food for everyone and at tea time we all crowded into our recently renovated kitchen and livingroom to warm up and hear about CPT's work in Kurdish Northern Iraq.

Lining up for the food.

Dolma (peppers and grape leaves), salad, chicken shish kabobs
Qaysi (this was a huge hit with the little people) and bread

Vic, hard at work at the BBQ
Everyone seated on our "lawn" (the dry summer has reduced it to brown grass, dandelions and thistles) in the backyard

The evening was a great success and brought in almost $1900 (Canadian dollars ) for CPT.

In case you were not able to come to the fundraiser and would like to donate to CPT, here is the information.

 If you like, you could put mention my name and it would go toward my work here in Kurdish Northern Iraq.

USA OFFICE: Box 6508 · Chicago, IL 60680-6508 · · E-mail:
CANADA OFFICE: 25 Cecil St, Unit 307 · Toronto ON M5T 1N1 · E-mail:
To donate via credit card go to  (I am not sure if you can designate via this route. You could send an email to CPT telling them how much you donated and to whom it is designated).

On Sunday 25 September Vic, Katrina and I will fly to Amsterdam to participate in Janelle and Lauren's wedding. Then on 13 October I fly on to Istanbul and then Sulemanyia.

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