13 Young Women Wish To Report “Untold Stories”

January 16, 2018 at 2:37 pm

Sulaymaniyah 10/1/2018 Some young women while participating in journalism workshop. Photo: Hardi Abdullah

Sulaymaniyah – KirkukNow

“I wish to report the sad stories, to show the pictures previously unseen by the world.” Safia Mahir, 27, who lives in Mosul also said “the Islamic State (ISIS) took my life, it took away my son, I want that injustice to be revealed”.

Safia is one of the trainees attended a three-day Journalism workshop by (KirkukNow) on January 8-10, 2018 in Sulaymaniayh. 13 young women received training on the basics of the international journalism. (kirkuknow.com) is an independent news website, operating in Iraq’s “disputed territories”.

The main reason encouraging Safia to join the workshop was the way ISIS mistreated people during its four-year control of Mosul and the violations committed against women and children under their control.

Saifa said “beside being deprived of my right as a women and been forced to wear the veil (Niqab), I also lost my son because of that group, Mosul is full of these stories and I want to tell them.”

By the end of 2016 when the operation to retake Mosul from ISIS launched by the Iraqi forces, Safia tried to move from Mosul city center to Duhok, north of the country for their safety. On their way out, a roadside bomb exploded, killing her 10-year old son and leaving her husband with one eye. “I embraced my dead son for two hours in my arms, I will never forget that day”, Safia added.

Sulaymaniyah 10/1/2018 Safia Mahir receiving certificate of Journalism workshop by (KirkukNow). Photo: Hardi Abdullah

This is one story among thousands happened during the four-year fight between Iraq forced  and ISIS fighters; Safia wishes to tell them.

Salam Omer, Editor-In-Chief of KirkukNow, gave the training in partnership with the German wadi in Iraq, aiming at increasing the number of female journalists in media outlets in northern Iraq. wadi, a non-governmental organization, promotes self-help programs since 1992 in the Middle East – Israel, Jordan and Iraq. 

The trainees came from Mosul, Duhok, Irbil and Sulaymaniayah and some of them were wadi satff members, who daily encounter with victims telling stories about human rights violations committed against locals across northern Iraq.

Khalat Qadir, a wadi team member in Garmiyan area- south of Sulaymaniayh- is one of the trainees who pay daily visits to the IDPs said: “this is very important for us in order to write about violations we encounter in our areas, and also to convey unheard voices.”

Safia who took part in her first journalism workshop ever said “during the years ISIS had its grip in Iraq, it misused media to broadcast their threats and new decrees; these decrees claimed thousands of people’s lives; currently as ISIS has reached its end in Iraq, I want to completely reverse media for a different purpose in Mosul.”

Sulaymaniyah 10/1/2018. Bakhan Jamal, German wadi staff member and trainee. Photo: Hardi Abdullah

Mosul is the second largest province in Iraq; ISIS ruled the biggest Sunni province in the north for four years, where its population faced hunger, threats, killings and displacement. “Bad luck meant to be a woman and live in Mosul… they (ISIS) completely changed the purpose of religion; from mosques, they were reading out their bloody prayers, broadcasting and publishing their verdicts in their newspapers.”

Kurdistan Rasul, a wadi member and trainee from Irbil, said: “it was necessary to devote more time for the workshop to better learn the basics of international journalism and how to work in this field, thus we demand more workshops on the topic.”

“From now on, media must play an important role in Mosul and should stand up for its mission.” Safia said.

Narin Rostam and Bakhan Jamal, both trainees of KirkukNow contributed to this story.






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