Sunday, September 30, 2012

Helping to look for English teachers for 5-7 year old class in Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan

Hello friends,
I am sending this to you in case you know of friends or friends of friends who might have interest in the opportunity below. The owner of the school is CPT Iraqi Kurdistan's landlord and friend.  They have had an English preschool and this year is the first year to go to the next higher grade. The credentials needed are teacher degree or English as a second language training. The rest is below. Even if the person you think of could not come for 1 October (things work differently here!) but have interest they should contact Sirwan to see if something could be worked out. And remember, there is a great community of Christian Peacemaker Teams here too.!!
Kathy Moorhead Thiessen
Dear Kathy,
Hello the following details for the teachers. Thanks indeed for your help, kindly send this detail to friend and good people you know
If you’ve ever dreamed of teaching English in a foreign country, here's your chance! Two English teachers are needed to teach young Kurdish students at a private Basic English School in Suleimani in the“Kurdistan Regional Government: Kurdish north of Iraq.
Room, board, Internet facility, cellular (prepaid card + mobile phone) and one meal (lunchtime) per day will be provided.

-Working hours from 8:30 am to 2:30pm. “The teacher will not teach all those hours it means that the teacher will be at the school but he/she teaches according to the schedule of the school”.
-Working days Sunday – Thursday.
-The age of the kids 5-7.
-We will provide a place of living.

-We will pay  one way of the teacher's airfare.
- We will provide one meal “lunch” (Optional) at the school.
- Your certificate and other documents are required.

Teachers are needed from October -2012 through June 31st, 2013
Salary: $1000 monthly.
Classes consist of a maximum of 25 students their ages 5 to 7.
Teachers should have a good sense of humor, be flexible, have a warm heart, and love for people.
If this is at all interesting to you and for further information, please contact us at .
Best Regards

Sirwan Saeed

Monday, September 24, 2012

Looking for the rage the media speaks of...

I am back in Sulaimani again. Before I flew I sat in the CPT Aboriginal Justice Team's house in Toronto and read of horrific things that were happening in the Middle East. I looked at maps that showed where these things were talking place and the blue dots that covered many, many places in the area where I was headed. I knew that my friends and extended family might be wondering why I was heading out on the plane into the area where this was taking place.

However, as I flew I knew that I was not worried. I spoke to an older French man on the bus shuttle. His last words to me were, "I hope you come back alive". But I was not worried. I saw no evidence in Istanbul of this rage despite it being the Turkish weekend day off and seeing the streets filled with Turkish people in conservative dress. 

On my first day here I asked our advisor and friend, Mohammed, what he had observed. He said that all had been quiet although he had heard of a small protest in capital city, Hawler/Erbil. I Facebook chatted with another friend of our team whose home is up north in Cholman . He is a journalist and I expected that he would have heard of demonstrations of rage. He said that all he knew of were  peaceful demonstrations in Hawler, up north and in Sulaimani.

Avaaz website posted an article talking of the media's hyperbole of the situation. It spoke of the tiny percentage of Muslims who were taking to the streets and the even tinier who were using violence. The vast majority, even if upset at the content of the youtube movie, were going about their daily lives.

This is what I see in Sulaimani. I have not received any more attention than usual due to my foreignness. However, I relished the attention I did get on Friday afternoon on my walk home from the bazaar.

First some background information:

Last year when I arrived the bathroom tap was dripping a lot. No one else seemed to mind enough to act, so I took it upon myself to give it a try. I fugured that all it needed was a couple of little rubber O rings. Well, first I had to get it apart which took about 7 trips to the nearby tiny hardware store to find the right size of wrench/spanner. Then, once it was apart I realized that it was a whole contraption inside that tap. So I took it over and tried to find the right size. (Of course with each trip I had to wait until all men were served, plus a few more that came after me. I learned to be a little more assertive!)

But alas- it still was leaking and so I remembered a special plumber white tape that can be used to wrap around pipes. I decided to try a new larger place. I wore my big shoulder bag plus a wool shawl. Amazingly , the proprieter was a woman, the first I had ever seen  serving in a shop.

And she had a tiny girl with her. After showing her some masking tape and a piece of pipe that I had brought for such purposes, she knew exactly what I needed. Then I went to pay and the minor catastrophe happened. The little girl had walked up to my legs and was hidden under my bag. I tripped over my shawl that hung low and stepped all over her with alot of my weight. Ah. I felt so horrible as she cried softly and her mother comforted her (and me). Fortunately, I knew the word- biburra, I'm sorry.

I met the family a couple more times when I purposefully went to their shop for hardware needs.

But let's fast track to this week. Team mate Rosemary and I had gone to the bazaar and I decided to take the way home that passed their shop. As I came up to the shop I saw the woman, Nazanin, and her 3 little girls: Sara, Sanaria and little Sima who would no longer fit under my shoulder bag.  They saw me coming and were very excited. As I approached them I could hear Sima saying, Katy, Katy. Nazanin asked us into the house and served a welcome cup of water. We laughed and laughed as I tried to remember Kurdish that I had not touched for 4 months. I felt so happy to be with them.