Dec 11, 2012

We need a break

Abdulla Hawez

Kurdistan's Erbil has been appointed this year to be the tourism capital of the Arab world in 2014. Kurdistan, especially its capital Erbil, has developed very rapidly in the last eight years. 

Kurds, through out the history, has lived in wars and violence confrontations. One of the major reasons has been ethnical. The other had been historically geographical; Kurdistan had been the border between two major empires, the Ottomans and Safavids, that’s why most of the wars had been mainly erupted in the Kurdish terrains. In the first half of the prior century, as the nationalist sentiment has arisen in the region, Kurdish struggle for an independent sovereign state has been continuing until nowadays. The only part of Kurdistan that could gain relatively notable achievements has been Kurds of Iraq.
Iraqi Kurdistan has a quasi-state since 1991 when a no-fly zone had been imposed under the Iraqi Kurdish areas by the United Nations. Since then, local government, and the state institutions that has been founded gradually could ran the region, even though there were international, regional and Iraqi sanctions over the region, which was quite challenging to survive, but Kurds could linger.
The key event that has changed the condition of Kurdistan and opened the doors toward it has been the liberation process in 2003 by the coalition forces led by the United States. Very rapid development with huge budget from the central government flew to Kurdistan, so that helped Kurds to develop. In less than ten years, with Kurds could keep their region peaceful and far from violence, they could achieve what could be achieved in decades. Fairly strong democratic institutions, sturdy representation of the opposition in the parliament, free media, and protecting minority rights. None of those have been done in the rest of Iraq, mainly because of insecurity and sectarian bloodshed.
Peace is the core for any development. Without peace, Kurds couldn’t achieve, what they have achieved. Iraq is a rich country with lots of natural resources that could be shared among all Iraqis. However, the country has been mentioned among worst countries in the world in many reports this year. Insecurity, which has resulted from sectarian violence and security vacuum, led the country to this track.
Kurds need more time to build up their region, and compensate centuries of suppression and tyranny that led to backwardness and ignorance, so do Iraqis.
As the two sides, Iraqi government and Kurdistan regional government are mobilizing troops in the disputed areas of Kirkuk province, both nations should reject this action. There is a huge possibility to compromise the case through dialogue, as they have never done so seriously. Now, the loudest voice is the one of radicals who prefers violence to tackle the matter. To abandon a war, the people of these areas should decide their future, not the ones of Baghdad and Erbil. To achieve this, you need to keep peace for some more years, as the development has just started in Kirkuk in the couple last years. In peace, the people of these areas can decide their future. Understandably, both government of Erbil and Baghdad want to impose their will on this issue, but the will of the people of these areas should be the core for any future compromise. Otherwise, neither the issue will be tackled, nor the country will witness peace which is needed for any development that Iraqis awaiting it from a long time.
Neither Kurds nor Arabs could benefit from the violence, as they have already experienced it in the last ten years. Wisdom is something that could appear in such circumstances. It’s the time for Iraqis to start re-building their country, and Kurds continue building up their region further. This is the only way to make the people satisfied. We need a break from wars and violence. We really do.

Abdulla can be reached through: @abdullahawez

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