Eyewitness
Inside Iraq Blog
11 March 2007

BlogdaliaqkaikhasrawAs part of the Sky News' week Inside Iraq, we have invited Kurdish university worker Dalia Kaikhasraw to blog for us.

Dalia, 29, survived Saddam Hussein's gas attack on the town of Halabja in 1988, which killed 5,000 people.

My name is Dalia Q Kaikhasraw.

I am a Kurdish woman from Halabja, a town of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Currently, I am living in Erbil (Hawler) and working at the University of Kurdistan, Hawler, as a Managing Director of Administration and Finance.

Today, March 11, 2007 is a holiday, but I attend office because I want this institution to succeed since it creates opportunity for a better life for the people of my nation and my country.

As I sat down in front of my computer today and started to think. It is March again, the month of good and bad memories.

It was only 19 years ago; I believed that my friends, who were taken away by the chemical bombardment of my hometown Halabja, were luckier than me. At least they passed away before watching our school destroyed, our friends die, and our town turned into a mass grave.

At least they were not an uprooted homeless refugee like me, waiting in the line for more than 12 hours for a piece of bread and going back hungry to the cold tent at the end of the day in one of the refugee camps at Iran.

Today, I feel sorry for my friends who did not have chance to live the type of life I have.

Tasting freedom, enjoying liberty and celebrating life is what I have and wanted my friends to have it too. It is a pity they did not witness the amount of cultural freedom and identity respect we have today. What we enjoy today was a dream for us. It is collecting the fruit of decades of struggle for getting freedom. Finally, we are free, our flag waving and we have an independent free university called Kurdistan.

Every morning I wake up at 7:30 and get ready for going to the University in which I see the happy faces of the students who are enjoying their opportunity for a better future. On my way, everyday I see changes towards the better.

The roads improve, buildings raise, new supermarkets and stores and streets are getting cleaner. I talk to my mother who is living in another city daily through the Kurdish locally provided cellular phone and make sure that everyone in the family is doing well.

Things have never been as safe, as pleasant and as sufficient culturally, politically and economically here.

Written by Eyewitness, 11 March 2007

Comments

Dear Dalia,
Your story is an excellent "picture" of the past nightmares, and our hopes for a better future, the one which your committed UKH staff is building on.
Congratulations and best wishes for a prosperous and successful "nation-building"-project.


Well done Sky for breaking the consensus that the only news out of Iraq worth publishing has to be bad news. This Iraqi Kurdish lady says life is getting better - for the first time ever the Kurds have a degree of autonomy to build their own region and future, the same applies to the Shiites down south who were the victims of genocide too. It is only around the capital in the Sunni part, where the losers of the fall of Saddam's Baath Party are, that there is trouble, as was to be expected, unfortunately the Americans naively expected everyone to get on and rebuild constructively like the Kurds are doing. We should support them, not run and hide, and be proud of what we have achieved instead of swallowing the pacifist pro-Saddam propaganda without hearing from the people on the ground


Dalia,

You have made my day. Yours is the only positive article I have read, coming out of Iraq, for as long as I can remember over the past four years. May God protect you and your students, and may you be rewarded with the better life you seem to have found - with an even better future for everyone. I just wish the rest of Iraq could say the same.


It's something normal for me to hear that you have been working even on holidays, you never get tired from work, honest, simple ,optimistic and never give up; all these things gave you strength to go for word and leaving the horrible past behind. I think all those girls who had the same hard experience, should look at you as their Ideal. When ever you leave a place you leave some thing good behind; not every body can do that, because it's just you.


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