IRAQI KURDISTAN: Gish’s *Walking Through Fire* describes history of CPT’s work in Kurdistan

CPTnet
24 August 2014
IRAQI KURDISTAN: Gish’s Walking Through Fire describes history of CPT’s work in Kurdistan
 

As the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State terrorizes, kills and forces minority ethnic groups out of their villages in northern Iraq, countries of the world have begun deploying a new round of military strikes and supplying weapons to the Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi government forces. In the midst of this violence, Peggy Gish has been working with the Christian Peacemaker Teams on the ground in the Kurdish region of Iraq. With local individuals and groups, the Iraqi Kurdistan team has been able to listen to, share the stories of, and advocate for the needs of the people whose lives have been under threat.

In her book, Walking Through Fire: Iraqis’ Struggle for Justice and Reconciliation (Cascade Books, 2013) Gish calls on us not only to open our hearts to victims the violence, but also to understand these events in light of the past decades of war, occupation, and internal strife.  

 We are invited to step into the streets of war-torn Iraq with her and meet those who live every day with the consequences of military “solutions.” Through Iraqis’ eyes—through their stories—Walking Through Fire “tells the truth” about what war and the U.S. government’s antiterrorism policies have really meant. Iraqis recount the abuses they experienced in detention systems, the excessive violence of the U.S.-led occupying forces as well as tensions between Kurds and Arab Iraqis—tensions rooted in Saddam Hussein’s genocide against the Kurds.

Also highlighted are the efforts of courageous and creative Iraqis speaking out against injustices and building movements of nonviolence and reconciliation. We get a glimpse of how the author, a peace-worker, immersed in the chaos of war, dealt with the suffering of those around her, as well as her own personal losses and kidnapping ordeal. Her experiences strengthened her belief that the power of nonviolent suffering love is stronger than that of violence and force, and can break down barriers and be transformative in threatening situations. She counters the myths of the superiority of violent force to root out evil in places such as Iraq, and challenges us to do all we can to prevent the tragedy of future war.    

Gish's book is available for purchase from Wipf & Stock Publishers.