Dialogue Training for Development in Multi-ethnic Communities of the Ninevah Valley-Iraq

Iraqi Al-Amal Association in cooperation with  Mennonite central committee (MCC) started a project on Dialogue Training developemnt in Ninevah Vally -Iraq

Due to the escalation of conflicts between ethnic and religious groups of Muslims, Christians and Yazidi, in recent times in the Ninevah Valley (Bartilla, Ba’ashiqa, Tliskef), instability and insecurity prevailed in the region and resulted in the riots and assassinations of clerics which have impacted on the disruption of social and economic situation in general. Conflict, intimidation, kidnapping, and murder in Mosul and the Ninevah Valley have contributed to mass migration of families from religious minorities in the region. Over the last 12 months, more than 1000 Christian, Shabak, and Yazidi families have been displaced to Erbil and other governorates in Iraq.

Those remaining live in fear and fractured communities. As a result of tensions, youth have stopped going to school and university, participation in recent local elections and government is limited, and some individuals are avoiding travel to work, health care centers and other public movements.

Due to the variety of the groups living in Ninevah Valley (Bartilla, Ba’ashiqa, Tliskef) and its geographic location, lying between Erbil and Ninewa governorates, Ninevah Valley has witnessed some conflicts recently and is expected to see more. The status of Ninevah Valley is a disputed territory and belongs to neither governorates (Erbil and Ninevah) and this has paved a way for more conflicts to arise. Moreover, the authorities of these governorates try their best to win the support of people and interfere in their internal affairs, so that in the cases of election or referendum, they gain the majority of their votes. This kind of treatment and intervention by the governorates cause some sort of conflict and strife, since each governorate wants to have more supporters than the other in Ninevah Valley (Bartilla, Ba’ashiqa, Tliskef).

Another window from which conflicts arise in Ninevah Valley is religious diversity. There are at least three religious groups living in Ninevah Valley which are Muslims, Christians, and Yezidies. In this type of religious structure, conflicts might be ignited at any moment and troubles might occur very often. Each religion has its own rites and rituals that should not be violated or disrespected. Moreover, the followers of each religion give priority to the religion they belong to or to the Sheikh that represents their religion. Over the past two years, we have seen some tension and clashes between Muslims and Yezidies over the matter of marriage, since in accordance with Yezidies, no one is allowed to marry Muslims. If any one does, he/she will get killed.

In addition to these problems, there are also problems of unemployment and poor services. A large number of young people of Ninevah Valley are unemployed as a result of the absence of project services.

Iraqi Al-Amal Association with its co-partners is trying to disseminate the message of peace among all these people and bringing them together in dialogue sessions and working groups so that they can talk about their own differences, identify the causes and then suggest solutions and begin to implement solutions

The project Goal:

Reduce violence and increase intergroup community development activities by working with diverse NGO’s in Ninevah Valley (Bartilla, Ba’ashiqa, Tliskef) through dialogue and collaboration education.

Good Luck

 

Ala Ali

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