• Women at heart of Dahuk film festival / Joshua Levkowitz

    It should come as no surprise that this year’s Dahuk International Film Festival (DIFF) looks at women’s representation and contributions to Kurdish cinema, given that 2018 is a year of Kurdish women’s experiences being foregrounded on and off screen. The film “Girls of the Sun,” which competed for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, follows a battle-hardened Kurdish military unit in northern Syria comprised exclusively of women once held captive by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). Yazidi activist Nadia Murad received the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Her tale of persistence in the face of deep trauma is told through a new documentary released this month, “On Her Shoulders,” by Alexandria Bombach.



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  • Iraq’s opportunity to reconcile / Rose Youhana

    In late 2017, a mass grave was discovered in a formerly ISIL (Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant) controlled area near the banks of the Tigris River in northern Iraq containing the bodies of men and boys as young as 13, but this was not a grave for victims of ISIL, but rather for ISIL militants. These former combatants are believed to have been executed by Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

     

    08:22 AM
  • Iraq's major Dawa Party rethinks course after electoral fumble / Omar SattarIraq's major Dawa Party rethinks course after electoral fumble / Omar Sattar

    For the first time since 2005, the Islamic Dawa Party finds itself far removed from the head of Iraq’s federal government. The number of seats it holds in the new parliament dropped dramatically from those won in the previous elections in 2014, which saw a major split in the party.

    03:48 PM
  • India, Iran or Turkey: Iraqi students look abroad for post-grad studies / Sara al-Qaher

    There are no easy options for Iraqi graduates who want to continue their education with post-graduate studies. If they have good grades, they may try to obtain one of the few free spots at a public university in the country. If their grades are not good enough to take that path, they could try to find a private university in Iraq to attend or opt to study abroad, which could be cheaper. Given this situation, a growing number of post-graduate students are choosing to leave Iraq, bound for neighboring countries or India, where numerous post-graduate programs are taught in English.

    08:13 PM
  • Women at heart of Dahuk film festival / Joshua LevkowitzWomen at heart of Dahuk film festival / Joshua Levkowitz

    It should come as no surprise that this year’s Dahuk International Film Festival (DIFF) looks at women’s representation and contributions to Kurdish cinema, given that 2018 is a year of Kurdish women’s experiences being foregrounded on and off screen. The film “Girls of the Sun,” which competed for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, follows a battle-hardened Kurdish military unit in northern Syria comprised exclusively of women once held captive by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). Yazidi activist Nadia Murad received the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Her tale of persistence in the face of deep trauma is told through a new documentary released this month, “On Her Shoulders,” by Alexandria Bombach.

    07:39 PM
  • Will Nadia Murad’s Nobel Prize help Iraqi minorities? / Saad SalloumWill Nadia Murad’s Nobel Prize help Iraqi minorities? / Saad Salloum

    Nadia Murad, the Iraqi Yazidi, has been awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. This has raised the expectations and hopes of Iraqi minorities, especially Yazidis, since she is the first Iraqi to win the prize.

    03:16 PM
  • A strong Kurdistan region is good for US in Iraq / Seth J. FrantzmanA strong Kurdistan region is good for US in Iraq / Seth J. Frantzman

    Over 200 publishing companies from 35 countries converged on northern Iraq on Oct. 10 to showcase their work at the city’s 13th annual Erbil International Book Fair. Leading officials came to see the ribbon cutting to open the fair in the Kurdistan region’s capital. It was a symbol of the normality that has swept the region more than a year after ISIS was defeated in Mosul, an hour’s drive northwest of the city.

    08:18 AM
  • Ankara pins electoral hopes on ignoring economic realities / Mustafa SonmezAnkara pins electoral hopes on ignoring economic realities / Mustafa Sonmez

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has quickly returned to anti-American ranting after conciliatory messages to Washington and Berlin two weeks ago that seemed to herald a bid to mend fences with the West. In an Oct. 6 speech heavily peppered with anti-American rhetoric, Erdogan nixed a consultancy deal with the US company McKinsey that Finance Minister Berat Albayrak had recently announced as part of efforts to fix the ailing economy. Turkey can manage it by itself, Erdogan asserted, only days after Albayrak, who happens to be his son-in-law, said that those opposed to collaboration with McKinsey were “either ignorant or traitors.”

    03:31 PM
  • Iraq against the Kurds, from genocide to ‘linguicide’ / Sardar SattarIraq against the Kurds, from genocide to ‘linguicide’ / Sardar Sattar

    Language is not just a means to communicate ideas between people, but is also part of the identity of individuals and communities. Nations and ethnic groups are recognised by the language they use. American poet Sabine Ulibarrí described the importance of language by saying: “The language, the word, carries within it the history, the culture, the traditions, the very life of a people, the flesh. Language is the people.”

    11:40 AM
  • The US never supported Kurdish secession, either in Syria or Iraq / Paul IddonThe US never supported Kurdish secession, either in Syria or Iraq / Paul Iddon

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently accused the United States of plotting to establish a Kurdish entity in north-eastern Syria. 

    08:11 AM
  • Outgoing Abadi signs blow to Turkish exports / Fehim TastekinOutgoing Abadi signs blow to Turkish exports / Fehim Tastekin

    While Turkey was eagerly anticipating a new government in Baghdad to sort out many problems with Iraq, a last minute decision by the outgoing prime minister has added a fresh item to the list of ongoing disagreements between the two countries.

    03:20 PM
  • Power struggle deepens in Iraqi Kurdistan after elections / Stephen QuillenPower struggle deepens in Iraqi Kurdistan after elections / Stephen Quillen

    Both of Kurdistan’s major political parties scored electoral victories recently but remain deeply divided as Iraq’s new government and Kurdistan’s regional parliament take shape.

    03:43 PM
  • Can Iraq's new prime minister solve its old problems? / Ibrahim Al-Marashi Can Iraq's new prime minister solve its old problems? / Ibrahim Al-Marashi

    Adel Abdul Mahdi, Iraq's new prime minister, has embarked on the difficult task of negotiating a new government. After months of post-election deliberations and delays due to intra-Kurdish tensions, he was named premier by the newly elected Iraqi president Barham Salih.

    08:29 AM
  • Diyarbakir book fair returns after 4-year hiatus / Mahmut BozarslanDiyarbakir book fair returns after 4-year hiatus / Mahmut Bozarslan

    Over the weekend, Elazig Street, which leads to the Diyarbakir Fair and Congress Center, was filled with cars and pedestrians — possibly reminding an onlooker of the happier times for the region more than a decade ago, when large crowds gathered on this road to celebrate Nowruz, the Kurdish New Year. But, this time, the crowds — families, young people and children — are not heading for dancing and singing but to a book fair.

    03:54 PM
  • Syrian Kurds: Back to square one? / Sirwan KajjoSyrian Kurds: Back to square one? / Sirwan Kajjo

    As the fight against Islamic State winds down and Syrian President Bashar Assad looks like he will come out on top of the bitter seven-year civil war, Syria’s Kurds must navigate a delicate diplomatic path if they are not to lose the gains they have made.

    09:19 PM
  • Iraq's new president taps Adel Abdul Mahdi to form government / Fazel HawramyIraq's new president taps Adel Abdul Mahdi to form government / Fazel Hawramy

    The battle inside and outside the Iraqi parliament was fierce and bitter, but by the evening of Oct. 2, Barham Salih had managed to pull off one of the biggest electoral feats in recent Iraqi history by putting his faith in Iraqi parliamentarians to elect a new president. That night, the overwhelming majority of parliament members, 219 out of 329 total, voted to install Salih, a Kurd who believes in the territorial integrity of Iraq and who has vowed to work for all Iraqis.

    11:04 AM
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