(Photo: Christmas day in Ainkawa IDP camp with friends and colleagues, December 2016)
The Point Magazine, February, 2017: We have all read the stories about Australians traveling abroad to conflict zones to join terrorist groups like ISIS. However, very little attention has been dedicated to Australians traveling to conflict zones to help communities to learn and heal.
One of these notable Australians is independent journalist and ESL (English Second Language) teacher, Vanessa Powell.
(Johanna Higgs giving a presentation to a group of students at the University of Kurdistan Hawler. Source: Supplied)
Rudaw English: Johanna Higgs is a women’s rights researcher who has travelled to at least 108 countries in the world. Now she is in the Kurdistan Region investigating sexual violence against women in the region.
Rudaw English, December 3, 2016: In a landmark ceremony held at the historic citadel in downtown Erbil on Wednesday, religious leaders from five different faiths met to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the deportation of Jews from Iraq.
I visited Khanke IDP Camp in Duhok governorate in September 2014 as part of a Christian Peacemaker Teams delegation.This was the largest camp in Iraqi Kurdistan at the time, sheltering internally displaced Yazidi people, many of whom had escaped from Shingal. Conditions in the camp were rather bleak, overcrowding and an upcoming winter presented fears about how people would cope. On the day I visited a terrible sand storm whipped up.