Sophia's Peace Work

Sunday, June 06, 2004

A Quick Note From Kurdistan

I've been up in Erbil for the past few days, staying at the home of a friend. We met up with some other friends yesturday and went to visit the Italian NGO "Emergency" ... a war victims clinic. It was an amazing place and we were all wondering why it was that the Italians, who seem to have the most NGO's in Iraq, are doing the best humanitarian aid work. The place was a full hospital dedicated to people who are victims of war. When I compared it to typical hospitals in the U.S., I would have to see that it won hands down. (Interesting note: They have a burn unit at the hospital that treats both war & non-war victims. Most of the patients are women ... victims of accidents during cooking or heating, but a large percentage (1 out of 3 patients) are suicide attempts. Also most of their war-related victims now are people who were hurt by old mines laid on the Iran/Iraq border... or from unexploded cluster bombs)

We will be traveling to Shaklawa and beyond today to see the waterfalls and feel some cool mountain air and then over to Sulimaniyah tomorrow to see what Talibani controlled area is like ... (Erbil is Barzani-controlled). Yesturday still felt like work (doing the interview at the clinic and grading tests - still!)... but today and tomorrow are vacation!


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