Syrian refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan excluded from March celebrations

www.unicef.org.uk_PageFiles_376936_domiz-camp-aerial-2.jpg

13-03-2014

 

ARA News

Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan– Throughout the ages, most of the Kurdish uprisings, victories and defeats occurred in March. Like their peers in other parts of the world, Kurds in Syria do not miss any anniversary without celebration in their own way.    

Due to the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the war-torn Syria, thousands of families have been displaced, making this year’s March unlike its equivalents as many Syrian Kurds are experiencing their first winter outside their territories, basically in refugee camps in neighbouring countries.    

Domiz Camp for Syrian refugees is one of the main camps in Iraqi Kurdistan. tens of thousands of Syrians (mostly Kurds) received shelter in Domiz Camp over three years of war in Syria. 

Dijwar Ahmad, a young man from Syria’s Qamishli based in Domiz Camp and works in its restaurant, told ARA Newsthat he used to work in Syria’s Damascus before the war. “But I’ve never missed the Newroz celebration,” he said. Ahmad sadly added that he and his peers are unable to celebrate similar occasions in Iraqi Kurdistan.     

Ahmad also referred to the 10thanniversary of the “Kurdish uprising of 2004” in Syria, saying: “Nobody in Iraqi Kurdistan recalls the 12 of March uprising” (in reference to the events of March 2004 in Syria’s Kurdish areas where more than 40 youth were killed by Syrian security forces in mass demonstrations, and the Kurdish population used to commemorate the events).  

Fatma, a woman from the predominantly Kurdish city of Darbasiya and currently based in Domiz Camp, toldARA News: “We wish that the Simalka border crossing (at the Syrian borders with Iraqi Kurdistan) would have been open now, so that those who would like to enter Syria and celebrate Newroz in their hometowns would be able to do so.” 

Simalka border crossing is the only border port which the Kurdish refugees turn to in order to escape the difficult living and humanitarian conditions in the war-torn areas in Syria. However, forces of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) who control the border crossing prevent those who would like to take refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan from passing.    

Hozan Mohammed, another Syrian refugee in Domiz Camp, told ARA News that refugees organized last year Newroz celebration (March 21, the Kurdish new year or start of spring). 

“The situation is very difficult here (in the camp) and celebrating Newroz is incomparable to the celebration in Qamishli city (in Syria),” Mohammed said.” I hope we (Syrian refugees) will soon return to own areas.”  

Domiz Camp is located near the northern city of Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan and is considered the biggest of three refugee camps in Kurdistan Region. According to official reports, more than 230,000 Syrians received shelter in Iraqi Kurdistan Region.   

  

Reporting by: Ehmed Herbi

Source: ARA News

 

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