Doves as a Symbol of Peace

February 28, 2017 at 12:17 am

February 19, 2017. Kirkuk. “Peace Message" competition. Photo: Shvan Muhammed

Rashid Faizula had not closed his eyes for a while because he did not want to miss the beautiful view of the pigeon in the sky.  He wanted to identify his pigeon among the eight thousand pigeons flying in the sky of Kirkuk.

It was a very special morning for Rashid who had been feeding and caressing pigeons for a few years. He participated in a pigeon contest that was held in Kirkuk with the participation of eight thousand pigeons.

Rashid told KirkukNow that, “It is such a good feeling that I cannot express. It is a very special day for us as pigeon-feeders. Kirkuk needs more events like this because doves are symbol of peace.”

Kirkuk was chosen in 18 provinces for this competition as a symbol of peace and living together. There were 23 clubs from the five provinces of Iraq in the race. The competition was called the “Peace Message”.

The contest was seen as a message of peace to all Iraqi people. The type of pigeons participating in the competition was Zajil that are bigger than normal pigeons, and they can carry 250 gram weight.

On February 19th, 2017 morning, the competition began at 6:30 am, and the pigeons were released from their cages. The contest took place in the village in a village in Kirkuk-Erbil road.

Arshad Khaliji, one of the organizers of the contest told KirkukNow, “We have given this day the name of peace and co-existence.”

The fact that Kirkuk has been chosen for this competition is due to the fact that Kirkuk is consists of many different religious and ethnic groups. Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens, Christians, Kakai, Sunni and Shiite live together in the city.

Arshad Khaliji said that, “The requirement for participating in the contest is that the pigeons must be Zajil.”

Zajil birds can fly for a long time, and they can return to their homes without getting tiered. Throughout history, Zajil pigeons have also known as ambassadors.


Isa Abdulla, a contestant from the south of Iraq said, “By the time we go home, our pigeons would have returned to their homes too.”

Isa told KirkukNow, “We want to spread the message of peace and co-existence throughout Iraq.”

This peace contest coincides with when Iraq is involved in the war of ISIS and others. Isa said, “People from all religious and ethnic groups have participated in the contest because our message is the message of peace and co-existence.”

500 people who were the owner of the eight thousand pigeons participated in the competition. Each participated pigeon had a special number. A special device had been used to calculate the time of the pigeons in order to identify the winner.

For Rashid Faizula, who still has not blinked his eyes from the sky, believes that the message of the contest is more important than winning.






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