Autumn colours in one of the few forests in Iraqi Kurdistan. During Saddam's regime were similar chemicals used as the United States had used in Vietnam. A reforestation was initiated by a South Korean aid organization in recent years.
In small Kurdish settlements is only a limited power supply available. Still some homes have a satellite dish and if there Is no electricity while a popular soap is running on TV all the electricity generators are employed and rattling in the whole village. Why the villagers not jointly invest in wind & solar energy but wasting their financial resources for petrol and diesel can only be explained as systemically politically desired...
The Kurdish rural population is not rich. Nevertheless, this woman wears a heavy gold bracelet. People invest in gold because the trust in monetary currencies has almost completely disappeared. It is the gold on what the death squads of the Wahhabi bandits are after. They know very well that in every village people have the gold. Previously, the Kurds were much richer but the traditional nomadic way of life became a victim of well known political decisions to create sedentary people so they pay the taxes... Nevertheless, all families I've met in the highlands maintain a pride which is almost gone in the so-called civilized world . A guest is literally pampered and their feta cheese was the best I have ever eaten.
Children grow very protected and favoured on. No Mc Donald Burger but tomatoes, peppers and feta cheese, self-supplied and organic, are still the real treat for the children in the Kurdish highlands. I found it interesting that each village had its own elementary school. But electricity and regular water supply are as yet rather an exception than the rule.
Which child in the so-called civilized world would do his homework in kerosene light? You would such states called "Stone Age". This boy was still learning the evening at 19: 00h. And he got in the room where all the other family members did something else. Computers and "smart" -phones I've never seen there, only old reliable G2 mobile phones had almost everyone.
The Kurdish rural population is not rich. Nevertheless, this grandfather is proud of his grandchildren. Previously, the Kurds were much richer but the traditional nomadic way of life became victim of political decisions to create sedentary society so people pay the taxes to be governed... All families in the highlands still have the nomads live in their veins and traditions are given to every next generation. There is a pride in independence, which has almost disappeared in the so-called civilized world. The grandparents also oversee the grandchildren when the learn their homework for school.
The Kurdish highlands in Iraq are pretty much karstified and water arm. Often is this the result of overgrazing by goats and sheep herds for centuries as well as Saddam's "deforestation" actions with chemicals to withdraw the Kurdish population its livelihoods. For the people there climatically changes have much more serious consequences than if there is for a few weeks no rain in the northern hemisphere. Often during the summer there is not a single day of rain in the highlands, therefore the consequences for agriculture / food production does not need to be further explained. And conclusively also no explanation is needed why people have to migrate from there, so it's not just war and violence. Because of this we should remember that with just bombing some Wahhabi lunatics from the air nothing substantial will be archived.
With my Peshmerga guard and a Kurdish professor of history at a 1000 year old cemetery in the Kurdish highlands. Here, already 1000 years ago, central Asian hordes were stopped . On each grave stone, the Kurdish history can be read. Perhaps this is the reason why the Arab-Sunni Wahhabi do not allow grave stones in their hard-core interpretation of the Koran, - they simply do not want to know historical facts.
Instead Of Letters, I'm Writing This Blog.
A picture may say more then thousand words,- language is still the tool of thoughts.
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