Day 2 :
All good here ! I am well arrived in Erbil, and visited a few areas already with other workers from the NGO. We are living in the so called « dream city » a little bit boring place as it’s manly rich people living here, and there is no soul at all in the area. But we’re not living far from « Ainkawa » the Christian area where it seem to be much more living !
Yesterday was a very interesting time as we went on food and supplies distribution in two different refugees camps. The Yezidi community which I have been following in the news since the crisis of june had to flee from everywhere ISIS were chasing them and if most of them found refuge in Dohuk Governorate, there are some that arrive to Erbil as well. The first camp we went to is inhabitate by Yezidis. I was quite fascinated, as I have a special and personal link to them, as their beliefs is close to Zoroastrianism, the former religion of Persia before the Arabs invasions. Anyway, they definitly live in pretty shitty conditions as most of them had to flee from their houses, villages and ancestral land in a few minutes from ISIS with nothing, and had to walk through mountains and deserts on hundreds of kilometers without any food nor water. It was good to see the smiles of all those childrens when they saw us arriving with the van full of food and supplies !
The second giving was with Kurdish families that fled from Mossul. There are like those 20 families we helped that day, thousands of others living in such desperate conditions all around Kurdistan (and not only). Loads to do !
I had the opportunity to go to the city-center of Erbil as we were looking for stuff to buy for the association. Erbil’s center is quite an impressive place ! A huge citadel builded with millions of bright brown bricks and established straight in the middle of Erbil, and all the city is harmonized on that circle design. Restored buildings, fountains, loads of shops, bazaars and restaurants, a very nice place where to be despite the heavy trafic that is apparently going on all the days long here. It’s incredible the time we can lose on the roads, waiting at trafic lights, or just stuck into massive trafic jams…
I am staying with 3 British guys aged from 25 to 29, with whom I am getting quite well along so far, and a New-Zeland girl shall arrive tonight. A little bit tough sometimes to understand everything they are saying as I was in French mode speaking the last 2 months, but still we manage easily to understand each others. Beers and jokes helping ! 😉
Apparently thursdays here are the parties night, and I’m looking forward meeting other expats and get to know more Erbil and its night-life. Friday plan is to go to Akre refugee camp, 2 hours driving from here. Rise Foundation has begun an art project with childrens for 5 months, and they organize sessions with childrends for painting up all the complex of an old Saddam military base. Amazing rehabilitation for such a freaky building !
More picture to be uploaded soon !