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08/11/2011

Microcosm of Iraq : Kirkuk

We would like to introduce Kirkuk, which is one of the places JEN is working.

Kirkuk is located at 230 km to the north of Baghdad, three hours by car.  The population is about 600,000.  Various ethnic groups, Arab, Kurdish, Turkmen, Assyrian, etc. (Christians) are living. Also, it has been known as the location of the largest oil fields in Iraq. The political struggle is not extinct due to the entanglement of ethnic  complexity and oil interests.

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Also here in Kirkuk, JEN has conducted projects to repair schools and sanitary workshops for infectious disease prophylaxis which will provide hygienic toilets and water to the children.

Mr. Kokayan Nadun, who is a principal of Ibn Gevaert elementary school which JEN finished the repair, told that “We are very excited that the toilets and water at school have been repaired and now clean. Kirkuk is composed of various ethnic Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmen. And if the support focused on one nation, there is a risk of conflict. Therefore, I appreciate that JEN has supported us regardless of ethnicity.  And I’m dearly waiting for the day when our children can study side by side in one classroom”.

In Kirkuk, each ethnic group, Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen, has done the education in their own language (Arabic, Kurdish, Turkmen). That is why children are currently studying divided into ethnic groups.

Kirkuk is referred to as "a microcosm of Iraq" because of the complex ethnic composition and religious circumstances. We just hope that children can study together, regardless of the ethnic groups, in the near future.



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Children of Kirkuk: practicing of tooth brushing at school

August 11, 2011 in Iraq |