Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Iraq on Fire as bombings rage through the country

Tuesday was a day of mourning for Iraq as a series of what appeared to be coordinated bombings raged through the country. There were bombings in more than 8 provinces including capital Baghdad, Kirkuk, Nineveh, Salahadin, Diyala, Anbar, Babil and Karbala. More than 150 people were either killed or injured in more 15 confirmed attacks.

The bombings come only 9 days ahead of the upcoming Arab League Summit scheduled to be held in Baghdad on March 29. Iraq has long been waiting for the Summit to be held in Baghdad seeing it as an important opportunity to regain it esteem among the Arab states.  

Iraqi officials said earlier this week that some 100,000 Iraqi troops will be on alert to keep security in Baghdad during the days of the Arab Summit.

The attacks seemed to be coordinated by the militants, most likely al-Qaeda in Iraq, who have carried out similar attacks on government institutions, security forces as well as civilians. The bombings today send a clear message to the Iraqi authorities that militants are still powerful and can attack whenever and wherever they want.

The majority of the attacks carried out today were carried out by suicide bombers riding booby-trapped cars. Of the 15 attacks, 11 were car bombs, 1 IED and 3 others were shooting attacks. There were also a few foiled attacks.

So far, the following attacks and casualties have been confirmed:

  • A car bomb in the northern Kirkuk city left over 30 casualties, most of them civilians. It was not clear how many people were killed and how many were injured.
  • One civilian was killed and 30 others were injured when a car bomb exploded in central Hilla city, Babail provincial capital.
  • A member of the Tuz Khurmatu district, I northern Salahaddin province, council was shot dead by militants.
  • 13 were killed and 42 others were injured in two separate car bomb attacks in Karbala. The bombings allegedly targeted Iranian visitors. One Iranian visitor is among the dead and one is among the wounded.
  • A car bomb went off in Baghdad's central Allawi area leaving an unknown number of people injured.
  • Five civilians were injured today in two car bomb attacks in Baiji and Samarra, Salahaddin province.
  • Four unidentified gunmen stormed a church in the Mansour district, western Baghdad, today killing three security guards. The church's fourth guard was able to escape the assault.
  • Iraqi police foiled a plot to detonate two car bombs in Baghdad. The car bombs were located in Khadra neighborhood, western Baghdad, and Latifiya district, south of the capital.
  • A second car bomb exploded today in Baghdad, Mahmoudieh district, killing and injuring a number of people.
  • Security forces managed to disarm a car bomb today in Karrada district's Abu Nawwas street, central Baghdad.
  • The governor of Anbar survived an assassination attempt today after a car bomb driven by a suicide bomber struck his motorcade in central Ramadi city. Two of Governor Qassim al-Fahdawi guards were killed in the attack and seven more injured, including 2 civilians.
  • Chairman of Baghdad's provincial capital, Kamil al-Zaidi, survived an assassination attempt today when a suicide bomber blew himself up. There were injuries among the official's guards.
  • An improvised explosive device struck a police patrol at the entrance of the district in al-Ba'aj, west of Mosul city, in Nineveh killing three policemen and injuring four others.
  • A car bomb in the city of Samarra, Salahaddin, went off leaving four people seriously injured.
  • Two civilians were killed and one more injured during clashes between gunmen and local police.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Remembering the Halabja chemical attack

Remembering the Halabja chemical attack

It was March 16, 1988, just five days before Nawroz festivities, when the Iraqi warplanes ordered by Ali Hassan Majeed (Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's cousin, who was dubbed Chemical Ali after the attack) flew over Halabja city and bombed it with different kinds of chemical weapons.

The smell of apple filled the city. But the smell was not from apples - it was from the chemical bombs. Saddam's army used the smell of apples for their weapons so that when they targeted people, the chemical would not smell like poison. The apple scent was designed to be inhaled. For five hours, Iraqi war planes in batches of eight kept dropping chemical bombs on Halabja.

As a result, more than 5,000 innocent people, including men, women, children and infants, died and thousands more were killed as a result of complications, diseases and birth defects in the following years. Around 10,000 people were injured, some of whom still suffer from the wounds caused by the chemicals.

The only crime of the people who were killed in the most brutal way was that they were Kurds. They dressed differently, spoke differently and wanted to live freely.

The Halabja chemical attack, which was and still remains the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history, was recognized by the Iraqi Supreme Criminal Court as an act of genocide which was welcomed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Chemical Ali was sentenced to death for orchestrating the 1988 massacre of Kurds. He was executed in January 2010.

Internationally, however, the massacre has not been recognized as such yet. The Parliament of Canada has only condemned the act as a crime against humanity while other countries have not bothered to do even that. But Kurdish efforts continue for greater recognition of the massacre as genocide by the international community.

On March 15, when the Iraqi parliament commemorated the massacre - the parliament has been commemorating the massace since 2010 when the supreme court labeled it genocide - the Kurdish Deputy Speaker Arif Tayfur told the parliament: "We remember this heinous crime at a time when there is still regional and international silence about it." Tayfur called on the international community to recognize the massacre as genocide.

Also on March 8, the Halabja genocide and the use of chemical weapons against Kurds were discussed in the European Parliament by politicians, academics and Kurdish organizations. The conference was opened by Jürgen Klute, German Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the European United Left/Nordic Green Left.

"The European Union has responsibility not only to contribute to the peace in the region by political and economical means, but also to end the weapons supply to countries in conflict," said the MEP, adding that "the poisonous gas used in the Halabja massacre originated from Germany and other European countries."

KRG Minister Sabah Ahmad Mohammad could not personally attend the conference and instead sent a video message. "Today these crimes are internally recognized by Iraq and the international community should also recognize them as genocides," he said.

Mohammad explained that the KRG is working on the establishment of lobbies, groups for support and advisory committees which will work in cooperation with the Kurdish ministries to achieve international recognition of the atrocities committed against Kurdish people.

Omari Khawar , pictured with the baby in his arms, has become the symbol of Kurdish plight since the chemical bombardment in 1988.

The chemical attack victims graveyard in Halabja

a short documentary film that reveal the chemical attack on The Kurdish city on Halabja in 88 and the role of the Western companies that sold ingredient to Saddam.
Famous Kurdish singer Adnan Karim sang this song for the Halabja tragedy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Issues related with religion pushed Kurdish student to shoot his American teacher, says father of the student

Father of a student of who shot his American teacher dead before putting a bullet in his head says that there were issues related with religion between his son and the teacher that led to the tragic incident.

In this interview with Rudaw Newspaper, the father of Bayar Sarwar who shot Jeremiah Small earlier this month says the American teacher was trying to "convert" his students and his son (and that he had actually succeeded just five days before Bayar shot him) that's why there was an issue between Bayar and Mr Small. He also says that Bayar's mother had visited the school several times to see Mr Small to talk to him about the issue but Mr Small "was never ready" to talk to her about it every time on a different excuse.

Following the incident, Kurdish officials rejected any religious motivation behind the shooting.

Read the article below as it is on Rudaw:

Exclusive Interview With Father of Student Who Shot His American Teacher
Sarwar Yahya Rasheed, known as Dr. Sardar, an alias from his days as a Peshmarga, is the father of Bayar, the 17-year-old student who shot his American teacher Jeremiah Small before turning the gun on himself on March 1 in Sulaimani.

Dr. Sarwar agreed to an interview with Rudaw to tell the story of his son and the English Christian school he attended before his death. Dr. Sarwar is married into the family of Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq, but in this interview he maintains that he has never exploited his connections with the president for personal advantage.

The Sarwars lived in Iran until 2003 when they moved to Australia and became naturalized citizens. Dr. Sarwar said that his son Bayar was born in Iran and finished elementary school in Australia.

Rudaw: At Jeremiah Small's funeral ceremony in Sulaimani, you said the problem (between Jeremiah and Bayar) had been there for quite a while. What did you mean by that?

Dr. Sarwar: At the funeral, I told everyone, including the Americans, that Jeremiah knew very well that there was an ongoing issue. Before the incident, Bayar's mother and some of my relatives told me that Jeremiah taught a class that was not necessary to teach. He was teaching evangelist classes.
We told the Americans that we knew the school was supported by a church. We were OK with that. And we told them that we did not mind our children studying Christianity. We agreed to our children studying Christian Science, but we did not agree to our children being brainwashed. We do worship God. We do not worship deities. We are from a religious family. Unfortunately, the school did not take our concerns seriously.

Bayar's mother went to see Jeremiah a few times (to discuss the issue), but she did not manage to meet him. Each time there was a different excuse. One time, she was told Jeremiah had a headache so she could not see him. The teacher was avoiding Bayar's mother.

Jeremiah used to take the kids to various places, to picnics, on hikes, visits, etc. Bayar once told me, "Dad, this teacher has converted many of the students to Christianity." I told him, "Son, do your studies and do not mind others' business." I told him, "Others are free to do what they wish. You have only one year left at this school. You will be done with this place soon."

It seems like Jeremiah had recently pressured Bayar to convert to Christianity. I say this based on some information I have received from his friends and relatives in the school. My son Bayar had also given up. He converted to Christianity on Feb. 25, without telling me. I found this out after his death.

Rudaw: So it is true that Bayar converted to Christianity just five days before the incident?

Dr. Sarwar: I was told he had converted to Christianity. But Bayar never told me anything like that. His teacher did not tell me anything about that either. My son was a kid. He was underage.

At the funeral, Jeremiah's father (Dan Small) said he had encouraged his son to do what he was doing. Jeremiah's father said, "A day before the incident, Jeremiah gave me good news about your son." That sentence was not translated to Kurdish at the ceremony. Jeremiah's mother also said, "My son came to this country to shout 'I am a follower of Jesus and I want others to follow me.'"

Rudaw: You said Bayar's mother visited the school several times. Does that mean you knew your son had problems at school?

Dr. Sarwar: We felt there was a problem. Often when he came back from school, he was worried and sad. He was doing well in his classes, except for Arabic where he still had a grade of 85. He was one of the best students in his class. The school failed to solve my son's problem with Jeremiah, who was also a victim. This was the problem.

Rudaw: Did the school know about the problem?

Dr. Sarwar: They certainly did. Parents of other students had informed the school about the issue. But I do not know why they could not or rather did not want to solve the issue. For the incident, I blame the school and myself. I should have responded to the situation a long time ago. But in no way did I expect anything like what happened to happen.

Rudaw: How did you hear about Bayar's conversion to Christianity?

Dr. Sarwar: All I have heard is from the diary book of one of Bayar's friends. On Feb. 25, in a hotel in Sulaimani, Bayar said, "I was the only one left. Now I, too, am converted to Christianity." That day, when the teacher left Bayar and his friends, Bayar told him, "I will find a solution for you." I asked his friends, why did you not tell me about that? They said they did not know Bayar meant killing the teacher. This subject is a very sensitive issue; please make sure your newspaper does not misuse the story for your own interests. However, through this newspaper I want to thank the people of Sulaimani. Bayar loved Sulaimani city, believe me. When I was in Australia, Bayar used to call me often just to keep me updated about all the developments in the city.
I apologize to the students in Bayar's school and their families. I know the incident has worried them and disrupted their studies. This is especially true of the female students.

One more thing, which is very important for me to say, is that we have no problems with Christianity. My ancestors in Kirkuk were the ones who gave their lands to Christians to build their church in the city. Kirkuk and Sulaimani churches said in a press release that this kind of conversion is not acceptable in their churches. They do not want to pray for the victims in their churches. But whatever happened is the past. There are no disputes between the Christians and us. I ask the Islamist political parties and Muslim preachers to avoid using the incident to encourage people in certain directions. If anyone does anything in that regard, we will consider it an act against us. Many people have converted to Christianity, there are thousands of Europeans in our country and there are many Christians serving this country. Let's deal with the issue carefully and not do something that could break their (Christians') hearts. The Christians are our brothers. I have often praised Kurdistan and Iraqi Christians. But Jeremiah's group is a splinter group group who is brainwashed. I would not say equally, but to a great degree I am saddened by Jeremiah's death as I am for my son. Jeremiah was also brainwashed.

Rudaw: You apologized to the students and their families, but did not apologize to Jeremiah's family and did not talk to them?

Dr. Sarwar: I did talk to Jeremiah's family, on the same day, in the hall. And I think I did apologize to Jeremiah's parents. Or I might have forgotten to apologize to them, due to the emotional and psychological conditions I was in that day. But, I think I did apologize. However, if I have not apologized, then I would like to take advantage of this opportunity and apologize to them through your newspaper. I ask God to help them overcome the sorrow. And I hope for the school to resume its classes as soon as possible.

Rudaw: When did you first meet Jeremiah's family? What did you tell them?

Dr. Sarwar: I met them at the burial ceremony. I told them what I said on the podium. I hugged his parents and told them both of our sons were victims.

Rudaw: In their investigations, what did the Americans tell you?

Dr. Sarwar: There have been no investigations by the Americans. Some of the Americans told me that they could ask for the expulsion of some of the teachers from the school. The Americans' reaction to the situation is to be praised. They came to Bayar's funeral procession to express their condolences.

Rudaw: Some Western media outlets said the killer of the American teacher was a member of the Iraqi president's family. What was Talabani's reaction to this situation?

Dr. Sarwar: Talabani was on a trip abroad for health issues, but he asked for a meeting with Bayar's mother before his trip. Bayar's mother is his niece. My wife and daughter went to see him. I did not go with them. Talabani cried for Bayar. When Bayar was younger, Talabani used to see him often and he loved Bayar. However, Talabani did not say anything special to my wife and daughter. He just met them to express his condolences.

Rudaw: You said your family lived in Australia. Was Bayar mainly raised in a Western or Eastern culture?

Dr. Sarwar: The first five to six years, Bayar was brought up in Iran. That of course was an eastern Islamic culture/education. Then we lived for two and half years in Australia. We came back to Kurdistan because I wanted to raise my kids in Kurdistan and the Kurdish culture. Therefore, I can say Bayar and his sister have been fully brought up in a Kurdish culture.

Rudaw: It is said that Bayar claimed to be a member of the Anti-Terrorism Squad. One of his maternal uncles is the head of that organization. How were Bayar's relations with his uncle?

Dr. Sarwar: Bayar loved his maternal uncles. His uncles had very good relations with my family. His uncles were doing more for Bayar than I had done for him. We have good relations with Bayar's uncles and I consider them my brothers.

Rudaw: But it is said that Bayar had claimed to be a member of the Anti-Terrorism Squad.

Dr. Sarwar: What anti-terrorism? It is true his uncle is the head of that organization, but how could he be a member of that organization without my knowledge? First of all, Bayar was only 17 years old. How could his uncles accept him as a member? They had an uncle-nephew relationship. They did not have much of an age difference which is why they were good friends. After Bayar's death, his uncle has been hospitalized three times. He is very sad for Bayar.

Rudaw: You said you are a dentist and this is a civilian job. Where did Bayar get his pistol from? Where did he learn to shoot? Shooting and aiming with a pistol is not easy if one is not trained for it.

Dr. Sarwar: When we moved back to Kurdistan, we were told that we needed a gun if we wanted to live here. My wife is Talabani's niece. There are all kinds of things that we may face due to our relationship with Talabani. Many times, my children and their mother had been told in the market to go home immediately due to threats to their safety. Therefore, we had a weapon in our house. Bayar was 17 years old and this is not too young an age to figure out how to use a weapon. He knew all about weapons. He learned how to shoot when he was 15 years old. But we never thought he would take a pistol to school. If he had ever done so, he must have done it without our knowledge.

Rudaw: So the pistol he used was your pistol?

Dr. Sarwar: I think, yes, it was our pistol. I have not gone back home yet, so I am not sure. It has not been determined whose pistol it was. But it's no secret that I do have a pistol. I trusted my son. He was my backbone. I gave him permission to learn how to use a weapon. We all know that in our country there are people way younger than him who have guns in their possession. We never had any issues with guns until the time of the incident.

Rudaw: Did Bayar have a criminal record? Had he ever created problems in the past?

Dr. Sarwar: As for big problems, I have not heard of any. He has had quarrels with his friends, but he has always made up with them afterwards.

Rudaw: How do you assess the conclusions of the investigation?

Dr. Sarwar: We have not seen the conclusion of any investigation. I believe Bayar's mother and I know better than anyone else what happened. I thought Jeremiah was just a teacher, but only recently I found out that he was converting others to Christianity. He was a missionary.

Rudaw: Have you asked Ministry of Education to review their policies?

Dr. Sarwar: That is not something I alone can ask the Ministry of Education, but most people have that same demand. The ministry has to provide social workers for schools. Schools are supposed to educate our kids but sadly, in Kurdistan, that is not the case. Education is ignored in our schools. There must be social workers and the social workers must investigate problems and solve them when they occur. Last year, Jeremiah took our kids to Piramagrun Mountain (northwest of Sulaimani) for a picnic. They were supposed to come back at 2:00 p.m., but he had the kids with him until midnight, and we had no news of them until that time. Jeremiah later said they had lost their way back and only Jesus could show them the way home!

Now I doubt what happened that night was what Jeremiah told us. Jeremiah is now dead and I do not want to bring this subject up for discussion. But, again, I doubt what happened that night. He went to the mountain peak and shouted "only Jesus can show us the way home." I think he did that on purpose to leave an impact on the minds and psychology of the students.

Rudaw: Do you blame the school principal for what happened?

Dr. Sarwar: Yes, I do blame the school and our education system in general. The Ministry of Education should not be corrupted, even if other entities of the state are corrupt. If the principal of the school had not been aware of the issue, I would not blame him for what happened. But the principal knew about the problem.
Rudaw: You have seen Jeremiah. Did he ever visit your home?

Dr. Sarwar: No, he never visited us at home. I had seen him only once. I shook his hand and nothing more. But I was told Bayar and other students had gone to his house.

Rudaw: What is the latest update on the issue?

Dr. Sarwar:  Nothing really. We are finding more and more about how determined this teacher was in converting the students. That is something that was not necessary. We did not know about it.

Rudaw: What do you tell parents who send their kids to the same school?

Dr. Sarwar: Parents should not ignore their kids. More precisely, they should not ignore the religious aspect. Christians are our brothers, but the Christians I have known are very different from those who work at that school. The latter bring danger. They are more dangerous than al-Qaida. Therefore, I warn the parents, if the school system remains as it was, they should not send their kids to that school.

Rudaw: When the story broke, what came to your mind about the disputes between your son and his teacher?

Dr. Sarwar: At the time, I was shopping for my clinic. First, the story was that my son shot Jeremiah. I was not told he had committed suicide. But yes, when I heard the story, the dispute played in my mind like a video on a tape.

To read the original article on Rudaw click the link below:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Emo killings: Reality or fabrication?

 ERBIL - Media reports of Shiite militia gangs in Baghdad killing young teenagers described as “emos” have been much debated by the Iraqi authorities and rights activists over the past couple of weeks. The Iraqi authorities continue to reject any killings in Baghdad on “emo” grounds while security and medical sources claim dozens have been killed, tortured, or attacked as a way of warning them.

Emo, in the West, refers to youths who listen to rock music and wear distinctive clothing. Fans are known for their distinctive dress, often including tight jeans, T-shirts with logos and distinctive long or spiky haircuts.

There are rumors about emos that make them easy targets for conservative and extremist gangs, like sucking each other’s blood or worshiping the devil. Being still largely a conservative society, such rumors have contributed to the gangs’ motivation for killing them.

Reports of emo killings emerged especially after the Iraqi Interior Minister drew attention to the subculture last month when he labeled it as “Satanism” and ordered a community police force to stamp it out.

Anonymous *Reuters* medical sources claim that at least 14 bodies have been brought to three hospitals in Baghdad with signs of having been beaten to death with rocks or bricks. Nine bodies were brought to hospitals in Sadr City, a Shi’ite neighborhood, three were
brought to East Baghdad’s main al-Kindi hospital and two were brought to the central morgue.

“First they throw concrete blocks at the boy's arms, then at his legs, then the final blow is to his head, and if he is not dead then, they start all over again,” one person who managed to escape told Egypt’s Al-Akhbar newspaper.
Iraqi activists said this picture belongs to a teenager who was brutally killed by religious police for having an “emo” hairstyle. (Courtesy of Al Tahreer News)
"Last week I signed the death certificates of three of those young people, and the reason for death I wrote in my own hand was severe skull fractures," a doctor at al-Kindi hospital told Reuters. "A very powerful blow to the head caused these fractures which totally smashed the skull of the victim."

There were reports that several others had been beaten and tortured as a way of warning them to abandon their emo ways or they would face the same destiny.

Militants groups have circulated two leaflets containing names of 24 and 20 emos respectively. They have been warned in one leaflet, which contains 24 names, to “leave this filthy work within four days or the punishment of God will descend upon you at the hand of the Mujahideen."

Another leaflet in Sadr City circulated in the name of the Brigades of Anger warns emos to “get back to sanity and the right path” or they “will be killed”. The list bears 20 names.
In this photo the two lists appear. The list on the left contains 24 names, the one one the right contains 20 names (courtesy of AL SUMARIA TV)
Following the reports of the killings, Iraq's Interior Ministry said no cases related to emo killings had been recorded. It said killings might be motivated by “revenge, social and common criminal reasons”.

Baghdad’s security committee also rejected the reports on Monday saying it was an “al-Qaeda propaganda” to spread fear ahead of the upcoming Arab League summit in the capital that is expected to be held on March 29.

Abdulkarim al-Tharb, head of the security committee, told AKnews that “After its failure to destabilize security, al-Qaeda is looking for alternatives [to do so] through spreading fear and goal is to affect the holding of the Arab summit in Baghdad."

The alleged killings have set off criticism from the Iraqi people and top Shiite religious leaders - who still disapprove of the emo subculture.

Abdul-Raheem al-Rikabi, Baghdad representative for Ali al-Sistani, the most influential Shiite cleric in Iraq, called the killings "terrorist attacks".

Moqtada al-Sadr, Iraq’s firebrand Shiite cleric, described "emo" youths as "crazy and fools", but said they should be dealt with only through the law.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Double celebration on Women's Day as Kurdistan Region marks National Day for Traditional Clothes

ERBIL – people of Kurdistan Region celebrated two events this year on March 8th. The Women's Day and the National Day for Traditional Clothes.  The overlap of the two events comes after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)'s Council of Ministers this year that March 8th be set for the national day for traditional clothes. On the day, people of Kurdistan, especially young women not only celebrate their day, but also the Kurdish clothes day. 

But the celebrations of the traditional costumes seemed to overwhelm the Women's Day as thousands of government employees headed to work on the day wearing their traditional Kurdish clothes.  The Kurtak u Sharwal, or Rank u Chokhal worn by men, and the Krasi Kurdi for women were all over the country.

Of course the happiest of all groups in Kurdistan were the students, especially high school students who have to wear uniforms on normal school days. According to the KRG instructions, the wearing of traditional clothes will be celebrated for three days 8-10 March. This allows students to go to school in their traditional costumes for three days.  One student who wore his traditional Kurdish clothes and was going to school told AKnews that the period for the celebration of the traditional clothes should not be restricted to three days. He said the days should be increased to allow them wear their Kurdish costumes more often.

Rooms and halls of schools and universities were full of bright colors with students who clearly said yes to wearing traditional clothing from not just Kurdish culture but also that of Turkmen and Chaldea-Assyrians groups.

Students at Salahaddin University posed for group photos in the sunshine today before heading off for a two-week holiday for Nawroz.

The national day for traditional clothes has created a hot market, especially for Kurdish tailors.
Every year, demand for Kurdish costumes increases during March when the region welcomes spring and the Nawroz celebrations.

But this year, with the government decision to mark traditional clothes on March 8 - 10, has really sparked demand.
"We would normally receive three or four people a day who come to have their Kurdish clothes made. But now we get an average of seven or eight people per day," says Ismael Sabah, a tailor in Erbil's Qaisari market tells AKnews.

Also, adds the tailor, before last year only older customers, over the age of 30, were interested but now younger generations are flocking to tailors for their Kurdish costumes.

Like many his age, Hemn is now full of excitement over Kurdish clothes.

"This is a great source of joy for us. The period should be increased and not restricted to just three days," he says.

The Photos Below Have Been Taken From XENDAN (www.xendan.org)To Whom The Copyright Belongs.

 A Classroom with pupils all wearing traditional Kurdish clothes (Xendan)

 Young Kurdish school girls all dressed up in Kurdish costumes, Duhok city (Xendan)

 Government employees wearing traditional Kurdish costumes (Xendan)
  Government employees wearing traditional Kurdish costumes (Xendan)
 Students of Hawler High School for Girls, Erbil City, organized a Kurdish Clothes Show to mark Women's Day and Traditional Dress Day  (Xendan)
  Students of Hawler High School for Girls, Erbil City, organized a Kurdish Clothes Show to mark Women's Day and Traditional Dress Day (Xendan)
  Students of Hawler High School for Girls, Erbil City, organized a Kurdish Clothes Show to mark Women's Day and Traditional Dress Day (Xendan)
  Students of Hawler High School for Girls, Erbil City, organized a Kurdish Clothes Show to mark Women's Day and Traditional Dress Day (Xendan)
  Students of Hawler High School for Girls, Erbil City, organized a Kurdish Clothes Show to mark Women's Day and Traditional Dress Day (Xendan)
  Students of Hawler High School for Girls, Erbil City, organized a Kurdish Clothes Show to mark Women's Day and Traditional Dress Day (Xendan)
  Students of Hawler High School for Girls, Erbil City, organized a Kurdish Clothes Show to mark Women's Day and Traditional Dress Day (Xendan)
 Students of Hawler High School for Girls, Erbil City, organized a Kurdish Clothes Show to mark Women's Day and Traditional Dress Day (Xendan)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Body of American teacher killed by own student buried in Sulaimaniyah's Christians Cemetry

The body of the American teacher, Jeremiah Small, who was shot dead by one of his students at Sulaimaniyah’s private Medes School, was buried in the city’s Christians cemetery.

The burial was attended by dozens of Mr Small’s friends and students as well as hid family who landed in Erbil International Airport on Sunday and arrived in Sulaimaniyah the next day.

Authorities said earlier this week before the arrival of Small’s family that the body would be sent home as soon as his family arrives.

But the family of Small said, upon their arrival in the city that they wanted to have their son buried in Sulaimaniyah’s Christians Cemetery.

On March 1st, 18-year-old Bayar Sarwar, shot Jeremiah Small four times before shooting himself once on the head. Police forces said there was an issue between the student and the teacher without making it clear what kind of issue.

Sarwar’s friends described him as a smart student and Mr Small as a good teacher and good person. They could not explain why Sarwar would want to kill his teacher.

The motivation for the murder-suicide remains a mystery so far. Police have said the investigations are still ongoing.

All the photos below have been taken from Hawlati Newspaper's Website (www.hawlati.co)