Northern Iraq

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A magnitude 7.3 earthquake that struck northern Iraq and parts of Iran has killed at least 349 people in both countries and injured more than 6,000, according to officials. It is the strongest quake to hit the region in years.

Most of the reports of dead and injured came from Iran, with the official IRNA news agency saying 341 people are dead and 5,953 others are hurt. The Kurdistan region Ministry of Health says eight people were killed in Iraq — seven in Kurdistan and an eighth in Diyala province. The health ministry said 535 had been injured.

The Iranian province of Kermanshah is the hardest-hit, with Reuters quoting state media as saying there are more than 140 victims in a single town there — Sarpol-e Zahab, located about 10 miles from the Iraq border. The main hospital in the town was also reported to have been heavily damaged.

Strong Earthquake Hits Near Iran-Iraq Border, Killing At Least 349

Photos: Tasnim News Agency/Reuters and Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Kendall Jenner x Pepsi Ad Made Me Want To Vomit

Before you do anything else watch this if you haven’t seen it already: 

Did you watch it? I hard a hard time making it through the entire spot myself without a few grimaces, “wtf were they thinking” faces and a “i can’t believe this shit” to a coworker. 

Let’s look at a few scenes to examine why this isn’t just the worst ad of all time but an ad that is insensitive, offensive and completely thoughtless. 

1.) Co-opting a movement 

Love

Join the conversation

Peace

These are all very nice sentiments and shit we should strive for every single day but they aren’t the typical signs you see at real protests. The protests where people are putting their safety in danger because they’re afraid they might walk outside with a hoody on and get shot, or that their family won’t be able to return to America if they board a plane to see their family in their native country are the images of protest people actually experience. The protestors certainly not as happy as the perfectly casted multi-racial group of actors walking down this very well lit street with no menacing or threatening police officers present any step of the way. Hell, they even found time to place pretty people to eat next to the protests while it was happening. The police aren’t in riot gear, apparently seeing no threat from this massive group of protesters singing and dancing their way towards them. 

Now look, I work in advertising for big brands™.  I know major corporations are risk averse and don’t want to alienate potential consumers who don’t share in what should be non-controversial views like equality and freedom of expression. But they are. But that’s why no one has ever asked a corporation to make a fucking resistance commercial. If you aren’t going to be on the ground with organizers and protesters, or helping to pay legal funds for those wrongly incarcerated or even at the very fucking least, providing food and beverages to people who are taking hours at a time out to speak out on something they believe in, then don’t use a movement for your own commercial gain. 

2- Tropes, (Un)intentional Racism, More Tropes 

All black people are good for in commercials are for hip hoppity dancing, tattoos, giving dap and staring lustfully at white women. 

All the people of color in this ad are mostly used to check boxes provide accent color to what is an otherwise whitewashed scene. 

This is an especially embarrassing lack of effort in representation when one considers the context in which the subjects are being portrayed. 

3- Our White Savior 

Ohhhh boy what in the actual fuck?!!?!

Another white woman swoops in to save the day. I wish Pepsi had Melania Trump’s number so that I can get past a few of the issues currently concerning me. 

I would’ve had a problem with this closing scene if it was from just about anyone but we’ll get to the actual ending in a bit. The fact that it’s a fucking Kardashian Jenner – the physical embodiment of wealth, entitlement and privilege in America – shifts this ad from just terrible advertising toward the realm of parody, absurdity and offensiveness. 

Do you remember the protests in Baton Rouge after Alton Sterling was gunned down by police officers? 

This is the lasting image of those protests. Ieshia Evans is walking up to a group of white police officers dressed like they’re ready to confront ground troops in Northern Iraq, and able at a moment’s notice to gun her down. 

The ending of this thing is even more absurd. Once Jenner hands the very peaceful policeman the can of Pepsi, the crowd goes crazy, like they were all Tyrone Biggums and it was time for the free crack giveaway. 

If I knew all I had to do to avoid being shot by the police while black was carry a Pepsi around with me, I would’ve been doing it this entire time. 

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Minorities in Northern Iraq

Northern Iraq is considered the homeland of the Êzîdî community, as Êzîdism’s holiest sites are located in Iraq. Between 700,000 to 750,000 Êzîdîs lived in Iraq in 2005. By 2014, this had decreased by 200,000 and then by a further 90,000 between 2014 and 2017. Already from 2003-2013, 150,000 Êzîdîs fled Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. It is also the homeland of the Assyrians. Since the 2003 Iraq war, Assyrians have fled from the country and their population has collapsed under the Government of Iraq. Majority of them have either fled to the Kurdistan Region or abroad. 

Systematic persecution of the minorities was a consistent feature under successive Iraqi governments, especially the former Baathist regime - including Arabization.  

Oppression continues in the Kurdistan Region (KRI) for both, Êzîdîs and Assyrians. There is also an ongoing Kurdish expropriation of Assyrian lands, and in general a Kurdification of historical Assyrian and Êzîdî homeland. 

Whether in the Kurdish region or in the rest of Iraq, hardly any Êzîdîs or Assyrians feel secure there. The types of discrimination against Êzîdîs and Assyrians transformed as conflicts in Iraq gave rise to new actors and new regimes. As Iraq became gripped with an increasingly violent and disparate insurgency, the Êzîdîs and Assyrians were specifically targeted by Sunni extremist groups such as Al-Qaida and IS, and like-minded groups. This culminated in full scale genocide, perpetrated by IS, from 3 August 2014 to today.

anonymous asked:

Is it true that kurds steal/stole assyrian land? I heard they were normads and that they stole the land and that the muslim kurds kill christians? I dont know if I can trust the source so I thought I ask yoj

Are you referring to Northern Iraq? Most places of Northern Iraq are ancient Assyrian land. Through wars and migration of peoples, demography has been changed in this area. Since the arrival of the Aryan tribes and, in particular, of the merging of cultures during the time of the Parthians and Sassanids, it is no longer possible to speak of an Assyrian domination.

Kurds took part in the Assyrian genocide. Today, there are Kurdish land grabs which aim to drive out the remaining Assyrians from their ancestral homelands.

- Mod Rojda

washingtonpost.com
Tillerson says Kurdish independence referendum is illegitimate
Meanwhile, the Iraqi government banned international flights to airports in the region and prepared to seize border crossings.
By https://www.facebook.com/tamer.elghobashy

The United States does not recognize the . . . unilateral referendum,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in Washington’s first substantive statement on the vote, in which nearly 93 percent of voters in the Kurdistan region approved declaring an autonomous state in northern Iraq.

“The vote and the results lack legitimacy,” Tillerson said, “and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq.”

The U.S. loves “democracy” until it doesn’t. 

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Zagrosian Lizard

Timon princeps (called the Siirt lizard or Zagrosian lizard) is a species of Timon which belongs to the family of Lacertidae, the wall lizards. This species occurs in northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, southwestern Iran (the central Zagros Mountains), and possibly northern Iraq. The species may not be present in northeastern Iraq, resulting in two disjunct populations.

This species is found in rocky areas in open oak woodland and shrubland, and sometimes in open grassland. The female lays between five and ten eggs. It is not present in modified habitats or close to human habitations. This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

The Êzîdîs are among the world’s most marginalized communities. As adherents of one of the oldest remaining religions, they continue to suffer varying degrees of persecution in their native lands in Iraq, Turkey, the KRI and Syria.

Historically, the Êzîdîs have suffered persecution on a large scale, having faced uncountable genocidal campaigns against them throughout their history and periods of severe oppression during the past centuries.

Turkey

Large numbers of Êzîdîs were forced to convert during the Ottoman Empire by Turks and Kurds. It is estimated that more than 80,000 Êzîdîs lived in Turkey until the 1970s, but only 350 Êzîdîs remain there today, the rest having fled to Western Europe. This exodus arose for a number of reasons, including persecution on the basis of religion, denial of Êzîdîs rights, and forced Islamization of Êzîdîs.

Syria  

In Syria, more than 150,000 Êzîdîs inhabited 110 villages and towns in the Aleppo and Hasakah regions until unrest erupted in 2011. Several factors caused the Êzîdî inhabitants to flee, including of course, civil war and the emergence of fundamentalist Islamist groups. But importantly, this was also the result of systematic persecution under successive governments in Syria, especially the Ba’ath party. Institutional discrimination pervaded every sphere of life for Êzîdîs, from being prohibited from building religious centers or practicing their faith freely, to being forced to study Islam at school. In the legal system, Êzîdîs were forced to follow Islamic Sharia law and their testimonies were not accepted in court. Êzîdî-made products are not considered Halal and are therefore not eaten by almost all Muslims including Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen.

Further, Êzîdîs are not allowed to obtain Syrian nationality and therefore live as foreigners despite their long history in Syria. Following the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by IS against Syria’s Êzîdîs, today there are fewer than 5,000 ‘free’ Êzîdîs remaining in the country.

Iraq and KRI

Northern Iraq is considered the homeland of the Êzîdî community, as Êzîdism’s holiest sites are located in Iraq. Between 700,000 to 750,000 Êzîdîs lived in Iraq in 2005. By 2014, this had decreased by 200,000 and then by a further 90,000 between 2014 and 2017.

Systematic persecution of the Êzîdî minority was a consistent feature under successive Iraqi governments, especially the former Baathist regime which came to power in the late 1970s. During Saddam Hussein’s rule, efforts were made to strip the Êzîdî minority of their true identity, as Êzîdîs were formally designated as Arabs and Êzîdism was considered as a sect of Sunni Islam. These policies were contrary to the views of the Êzîdî community, and to historical, social, and linguistic facts. Êzîdîs were excluded from any political and social involvement. According to Islamic law, they were not allowed to hold any positions of authority over Muslims (such as judges, police officers, etc). Êzîdî faith is considered by the majority of the Iraqi population as illegitimate; Êzîdîs ares falsely and commonly referred to as “devil-worshippers”, and not “People of the Book”. As a result, Êzîdî religious sites are often neglected, with a lack of funding for their care and maintenance remaining an ongoing issue.

The discrimination continued in the KRI. It is difficult for an Êzîdî to get work in cities such as Duhok, Zakho or Erbil. The shops of Êzîdîs are often avoided or even attacked. Many Êzîdîs suddenly disappear; arrested, kidnapped or even killed. Whether in the Kurdish region or in the rest of Iraq. Hardly any Êzîdîs feel secure there. The types of discrimination against Êzîdîs transformed as conflicts in Iraq gave rise to new actors and new regimes. As Iraq became gripped with an increasingly violent and disparate insurgency, the Êzîdîs were specifically targeted by Sunni extremist groups such as Al-Qaida and IS, and like-minded groups. This culminated in full scale genocide, perpetrated by IS, from 3 August 2014 to today.

Twenty five years ago today, on the 16th of march 1988, Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s deceased former ruler, plotted against the Kurds in the northern province of Iraq and systematically murdered thousands of Kurdish civilians. Under the assumption that the Kurds in Halabja were working against the Iraq during the Gulf war, Saddam had decided that it was vital for the regime to make “an example” of the Kurds, in order to avoid any further acts of treachery against the Kurds. However, there wasn’t much concrete proof on their supposed acts of treachery, and even so systematically killing every civilian in a village is an act that is not comprehensible, let alone justifiable.

Saddam decided to name his tirade against the Kurds as “Al-Anfal” ironically, one of the names of the verses in the Quran. The Halabja massacre killed up to 5000 Kurdish civilians in one tirade, victims included women and children.

Saddam’s use of mustard gas (and other chemical agents), till today remains to be one of the largest chemical weapons attack against a civilian populated area. The victims who had survived the attack, later died from either poisoning or cancer because of the chemical weapons.

Halabja is a prime example of how the USA never cared about the Kurdish people. Shortly after the massacre the US government declared the genocide as a fault of Iran, accusing Iran of targeting the civilians. Although they admittedly knew that it was an act by Saddam.

The Kurds have been incredibly isolated to the point where it is definitely sickening. This was a genocide, against an innocent people.

Halabja, Never forget.