Inside Iraq Blog
12 March 2007

HalabjaAs part of 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. Here is her latest report:

March 21 is a national holiday in Kurdistan Region of Iraq called Nawroz, which means a new day.

On this day everyone celebrates with family and friends. We go out, open fire and dance our traditional dances. I am planning to go back to Halabja this Nawroz and celebrate with my family.

We are planning to visit our village, 16km south-east of Halabja. My family were expelled from my village in 1978, the year I was born.

I cannot remember, but my mother told me that the Ba'ath Party army forced us to leave our village and we were taken to Halabja.

I was only four months old then, when my family refused to leave our house.

The chief of the army told my Dad: "We are going to explode the house over your family."

But my father did not believe that human beings can be that cruel.

But unfortunately, the moment they started fixing explosives "TNT" on the corners of our house, my father realised that it was a serious issue.

The chief of the army gave only two minutes for my family to leave the house.

"The moment we stepped out of the door, our house, which was our dream, was in the sky," my father told me.

My parents covered my cradle by themselves to protect me from the rubble of our detonated house.

In 1996, my father rebuilt our house in the village a few years before he passed away.

He did enjoy his last moments in his original village.

He replanted several trees and believed that only if we believe in rebuilding our country we can do it.

It is true there are a lot of humanitarian agencies offering help.

But it is our decision whether to sustain or develop or not, whether to grow more trees or cut the existing ones now.

I have always kept those words in my mind.

That was the best philosophy for serving our country and making our country a better place to live at the same time.


Written by Eyewitness, 12 March 2007


SIR - I have been to Iraq only one week ago and can totally confirm the big difference between the Kurdish North and the parts of Iraq further south. Whereas the North seems to be relatively safe, even for foreigners, other cities including Mossul are rather dangerous. Already the checkpoints make it difficult to travel around in the region, with Iraqi police being rather hostile for foreigners. This is less the case at checkpoints run by Iraqi army or the Kurdish security services.

If this had been a blog criticising the USA and arguing for a false 'stability' in Iraq (ie leaving the murderous dictator in place) I bet there would have been over 100 posts here by now. Here is witness testimony to what we should all remember - Saddam did have and did use illegal weapons of mass destruction on his own people and it is irrelevant that he hid them well enough or most likely sent them to Syria or Iran for safe-keeping before he fell. He also practiced genocide on innocent Kurdish and marsh Arab civilians. The West slept on watch during the 1930s - at least we did something in Iraq and we can be proud of that - OK so far it has not turned out ideal, but these things take time and humans make mistakes, but the world and Iraqis are all the better off for what was done in 2003. The liars in this are those saying Iraq did not have WMDs and we should not have invaded - we should have done it sooner, but it was not possible while the shameful and complacent Clinton sat in the Oval Office enjoying his interns.

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