What can we do? a) Surod has a list of children who need urgent surgery and medical treatments, which do not exist in Iraq at the moment. In order to save children’s lives, it would be necessary to bring them to another country, find doctors and perhaps institutions/clinics/universities to sponsor it. If you have the time/knowledge to support this area, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to get you in touch with Surod.
b) Surod and I spoke about the possibility of using new technologies to engage youth from Kirkurk in Education. For example, to learn English and, after that…the sky is the limit: they can have attend classes on the web, apply to western schools, participate in youth contests, learn about Science, IT, Business, Environment, Health, Social projects…if this idea interests you and you have some time/talent to spend on it, please send an email to email@example.com.
c) Letters have been sent to the President of the European Union, José Manuel Durão Barroso and to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres regarding the clinic. However, it is never too much to send awareness letters to our authorities. Write a letter to your Senator, Member of the European Parliament and, of course, to the UN. I will try to contact Mr. Guterres and ask him for a public statement regarding the course of the process within the UNHCR. If you need any help writing such a letter, please send us an email. We will provide you a simple model. Then just google the contact you want to address it to and…email it.
My personal impressions As I said, one of the things that impressed me the most about going to Iraq is how normal life can be, even during such a brutal war. Surod is a beautiful early 30’s woman, who speaks almost impeccable English. Regardless religion, ethnics or citizenship, what I saw was an example of struggle for development, democracy and a decent life for the less protected citizens. The clinic provides respectful treatment for women in a country where it’s hard for women to have a physical problem. I’ve met some of those women and children, who live in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Kirkurk. The hardest thing about war is that surviving it is just the beginning – after that, the most common things become impossible quests. It might be easier for some western citizens to go to the moon then to an Iraqi widow to provide income for her family. The second thing that impressed me the most about my venture is the amazing chain of errors that allow the cruelest things to happen. Apparently, strict control of the funds provided would be necessary, but the funding countries are too afraid to go to Iraq to control the results of the donations. And this, if true, is a major problem. Not only because the help is not reaching the people, but also because citizens tend to create disbelief about the West and will tend to hate the once considered friend and ally; There is the risk of those funds being used against the all the ones who, in Iraq, fight for freedom, democracy and development; in a country where people can disappear, die, be tortured and all this can go unpunished, the most dangerous thing we can do is to provide funds to sponsor serious crimes and human rights violations. Fight against corruption must be a nr.1 priority for all the countries involved in supporting Iraq. Confirming that “corruption” is a long lost battle is not acceptable and will prove our civilization to be, either too incompetent to fight it, or too corrupt to fight it. Either way, it does not make us look good.