Archive

February 16th, 2016

IRAQI KURDISTAN: "We're sleeping on oil, yet freezing to death"

CPTnet
16 February 2016
IRAQI KURDISTAN: "We're sleeping on oil, yet freezing to death"

Child places flowers in a lake in to remember the 65 people who  died in the Aegean Sea on Jan 22nd 2016
Child places flowers in a lake in to remember the 65 people who
 died in the Aegean Sea on Jan 22nd 2016

"We're sleeping on oil yet freezing to death" is how one Kurdish man summed up the political climate here in Iraqi Kurdistan. War, dropping oil prices, corruption and mismanagement of government funds have led to a financial crisis. As a result, government workers, making up over half of the population, have not been paid in six months. 

CPTer  Muhammad, a fifth grade teacher, had worked without pay for over five months.  For the past month, along with the other school teachers, he has been on strike.  Almost daily, instead of going to the school, Muhammad stops by the CPT house and gives  the latest news about the strikes.

February 14th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: January 2016 Newsletter

in:

CPT Iraqi Kurdistan Newsletter - January 2016

View this email in your browser
JANUARY 2016

Iraqi Kurdistan


Alternatives to Violence Project changed our lives.


CPT Iraqi Kurdistan engaged in joint project together with STEP (Seeking to Equip People) organisation, which works to support vulnerable children and youth, many of which have been displaced by war in Syria and Iraq. Together with eight staff members of STEP and two other NGO`s workers, we took part in the basic and advanced Alternatives to Violent Projects (AVP) training, which lasted 6 days. Three of the team members participated as trainees and two others as trainers. The workshop is designed to help people learn skills to be able to build better relationships, partnerships and improve them. The training was very interesting and helpful. We made some new friends from different cultures and backgrounds as well as gained a better understanding of violence. The diverse activities brought all of us together and gave us a wider perspective of how we can work together to transform violence and oppression in our everyday lives.

Finally, on 22th of January, after 3 additional days of a very hard and exciting work, we successfully accomplished an AVP training for the facilitators. Now, all of us are ready to facilitate AVP workshops, share the ideas of non-violence methods and spread peace around us.

February 13th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Poem: "The boats, the sea, the lives"

in:

CPTnet
13 February 2016
by Kathy Moorhead Thiessen

A poem: "The boats, the sea, the lives"


(from a blog post)

On the morning of February 4 the team in Iraqi Kurdistan joined together for our gathering/worship time. The electricity had turned on after the night and so people were taking a quick look at their Face Book and emails. My team mate Mohammed Salah showed me a photo of a teenage boy and a woman. I looked at him with a question on my face. He said, "He was my student". I said, "He drowned?" Mohammed's face told me that I was correct. Yad had been in his class two years ago. The impact of the deaths drew near to us.

Lukasz Firla immediately changed the topic for his gathering. We sat in silence and drew and wrote out our feelings. Last week 28 Iraqi Kurds died in the Aegean Sea. Yesterday Kurds from this region were among the 103 persons on the boat, including young Yad from Sulaimani. I wrote this poem as we sat together

"The boats, the sea, the lives"

Kurdistan, oh Kurdistan
How I hate to leave you
But how I long to leave you.
Political crisis, financial crisis
No electricity, no salaries, no school
There is no life, there is no hope
There is no future for my son.
We must leave

I heard about thousands drowning in the sea
Surely they were not prepared
Surely they paid the wrong smuggler
Surely they bought the fake life preservers
We will do better
We will stay in the boat and live

Today the son is a photo on Facebook
Yad- his fourteenth year was his last
There is no life, there is no hope
His body will return to Kurdistan

February 11th

Prayers for Peacemakers, February 11, 2016

Pray for Carlos Morales, CPT Colombia's partner and friend, who has been unjustly detained for over four months.  Yesterday the judge postponed his hearing on grounds of a medical procedure.  This has become a pattern among cases of human rights defenders and social movement leaders, as a systematic strategy to draw out their cases as a way to prolong their detainment.

February 11, 2016  First Sunday of Lent
Libertad para Carlos Morales
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-10: You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."
Because you have made the LORD your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.

Psalm 91:1-2, 9-10: You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."

Because you have made the LORD your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place,
no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.

 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

February 9th

PALESTINE: Newsletter: February 2016

 
Settlers Occupation of Palestinians' homes, the Aftermath and Netanyahu’s Announcement
 


Settlers Occupation of Palestinians' homes, the Aftermath and Netanyahu’s Announcement

 

At 2.30 on the 21st January our neighbour, Zleikha Muhtaseb, rushed into our CPT base to tell us that Israeli settlers were forcibly trying to break into two Palestinian homes near Abed’s shop just down from the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron. We grabbed our things and followed her. The mosque checkpoint was shut down so we had to detour through tunnels to Zleikha’s brother’s home which was situated right between the two houses under attack. On this journey we travelled through intense tear gas and struggled to open our steaming red eyes to see where we were going, but this was nothing compared to the situation in which we found the Muhtaseb family when we arrived at their home.

The women and children in the home took us to the upper floor window to look out on to the street. There were about 80 Israeli settlers milling around, going in and out of the houses on either side of us. They were moving in with large pieces of luggage, domestic equipment, grocery supplies and even huge packs of toilet paper. Standing around with guns and protecting them were nearly as many Israeli soldiers and Border Police. Armoured personnel carriers and police jeeps served as further protection. Did they think that the family in the Muhtaseb home in the middle of these homes were going to resist and attack them with wooden spoons - all 3 women and 5 small children? There were no other Palestinians in the immediate area as checkpoints had been shut down all around the homes.

The only Palestinians in the vicinity were on the roofs of other homes about 200 metres behind the homes that were being forcibly occupied. Their defence of these two Palestinian homes was to throw stones, a crime that can result in 20 years of imprisonment, and to wave a Palestinian flag which is also illegal in the old city of Hebron. The Israeli response was to tear gas them and to aim loaded guns at them.



Read the full article here.

PALESTINE: A Week in Photos: February 1-7

  


ID check


Pictured here: Regular ID check for a young Palestinian man; here at the military checkpoint set up in front of the house taken over by settlers two weeks ago. Palestinians are asked to stay at a distance and to throw their ID cards on the ground for inspection. 

(29/01/2016)

Getting school supplies through

Pictured here: School books need to pass through the checkpoint in order to get to the Ibrahimi school. Team effort between CPT and one teacher holding the barbwire.

(01/02/2016)
  
 

February 2nd

Prayers for Peacemakers, February 3 2016

Pray for those offering education and challenge in the face of racism and slander in the media. Particularly uphold the work of Thohahente (Mohawk) and the Coalition against Racism in Mainstream Media in tracking the comments sections of online news sources, which can be offensive, toxic, and spiritually harmful. Pray for their health and wellbeing as they challenge the myths and structural oppressions perpetuated in and through many online media sources.

*Epixel for Transfiguration Sunday, February 7, 2015
Thohahente explains treaties for the billionth time

Thohahente Kim Weaver endures vitriol and ignorance to challenge assimilationist and racist myths, and to educate.

2 Corinthians 4:1 - 
Therefore, since it is by Creator's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. 

*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  Revised Common Lectionary

February 1st

1 Corinthians 13 for CPTers

 

CPTnet
2 February 2016
CPT INTERNATIONAL: I Corinthians 13 for CPTers

by Peter Haresnape

1 Corinthians 13 for CPTers

If I speak about courage and justice, and siding with the oppressed, and speaking truth to power no matter the cost, but do not speak about love... I am just a loudmouth orator, a white saviour, a shameless self-promoter.

If I am excellent at nonviolent communication, and I take great pictures, and I know all the latest anti-oppressive lingo, and I can analyse racist systems so as to dismantle them entirely, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I fully embrace the work of prophet and activist and martyr, and get dragged away by the riot police or bombed by the military of my own country, but have not love, that is no use to anyone.

Love is patient. Love survives evil, war, oppression. It remains when the teargas clears and the children go back to school. It is still there when the water is protected. Love is kind, not arrogant, not insisting on its own way, but making space for joy and truth even in the hardest circumstance.

Whether it is love between two people, or love of a person for their community, or love of a community for its land, or love of justice and peace and equity, love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Clever words will be forgotten. The most interesting facts are subject to revision. The best sermon you've ever heard – you will forget. Right now, everything we do is flawed and inaccurate. But. One day we'll experience Truth with a Capital T. And then all this will be unnecessary.

Before I was mature, I was immature. In becoming mature, I left behind ways of speaking, thinking and reasoning that were immature.

Right now we're hearing murmurs, reading translations, seeing shadows on the wall, but one day we'll see face-to-face.

Right now, half of the time I'm guessing, but one day I will know beyond all doubt – and I will be fully known.

What remains when it is all stripped away is three things:
Faith that the flawed world as we see it is not all that there is;
Hope that the next generation will live in a better world;
and Love to give us the strength and motivation to build it.

The greatest of these is Love.

 Peter Haresnape

Want to feel the love, show the love, be the love for CPTers struggling find the best way to personify love in their own work?http://www.cpt.org/participate/donate

IRAQI KURDISTAN: "My tent is beautiful"—a Sunni Arab refugee’s story

A drawing by a boy from Salahadeen depicting life in his home on the farm and life in the camp.

Ahmed* watched his brother disappear in the smoke. “The bomb hit and I couldn't even see him to save him. I haven't seen him since. Then we had to quickly run away.” As the Iraqi militias faced the ISIS invaders, Ahmed fled with his wife, three small children, and eight members of his extended family. He left his farm with its fertile fields, vineyards and orchards to live in a tent camp just outside Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan. He says, “We have not slept one night in a house since we left Salahadeen eighteen months ago. It is so cold here. I had never seen snow before.”

 The world media report about ISIS and the Syrian refugees that fled to nearby countries. They have also told of Ezidis (Yazidis) and Christians of Iraq who left everything behind to live as internally displaced persons (IDP) in another region of Iraq. However, the media have largely neglected the story of the Sunni Iraqi Arabs of the province of Salahadeen.

January 28th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos, 19-25 January 2016

Snow and cold

A light snow blankets the Old City of Hebron, shutting down the town. Pictured here is the storied Ibrahimi Mosque, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, sprinkled with a dusting of snow.