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How Iraq can become a peaceful country

5/4/2018 5:11:55 PM

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Karwan Ibrahim
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The Iraqi people need a stable and peaceful life. They need a life without war and conflict. They need a country where people do not drive each other away. Iraqis are completely tired and desperate from too many fights and tragedies. 

Iraq is one of the most important countries in the Middle East because it has so many different cultures, constituencies, religions, and minorities. Yet, how can this diversity bring about a peaceful country? That is the point I want to talk about…

Iraq’s borders were formed in 1920 and included Arabs, Kurds and other ethnicities, but now the main ethnic groups in Iraq are Arabs and Kurds with smaller populations of Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, and some other groups. The country's population is 37 million citizens that are Muslims, Christian, Yarsan, Yezidi, and others.

From 1920 until 2018, there were many conflicts, wars, and forced assimilations. So many people were killed or displaced. So many villages, towns, and cities destroyed. So many people left the country. All because we have not accepted each other’s differences and coexistence.

The history of Iraq is full of conflict: military coups, revolutions, and seizing power through violence; sectarian conflict; the oppression of minorities; wars against neighboring countries. So many tragedies.

The latest war in Iraq was against the so-called Islamic State (or ISIS) that started in 2014 and only ended in 2017. The ISIS war was another tragedy for Iraq, because Iraq lost a lot of energy and ability defeating ISIS. This war ruined many villages, towns, and cities, including Mosul, the second largest city in the country.

Even now, there is still some ISIS activity against civilians and security forces in the disputed areas, such as Kirkuk and Diyala provinces in central and northern Iraq, but they are not strong and must be removed completely.

The best solution for Iraq’s issues is by firmly embracing a democratic system, with democratic thinking. The ethnicities and nations should accept each other’s difference and the religions should not try to remove or assimilate each other. This diversity should be a very important point for building a stronger society. Iraq will never become a peaceful country without a democratic society and democratic nation.

The Kurds should know that Arabs are a part of this country and Arabs should accept that Kurds and other minority groups are a part of the country as well. This country has suffered for many decades because of tribalism, nationalism, and religious fundamentalism.

I think that we should start this process in school. Individuals should think critically about issues because the politicians will always try to use people for their own ends. If people are not aware and wise, political parties will misuse them. Many times political parties make problems worse between nations and differing groups. They use religion and nationalism to gain power.

Now we are going into a general election that will be held on May 12, 2018. People should vote for those who have no religion or nationalist platform. They should vote for those that believe in a democratic nation, and raising awareness of the problems in society. They should vote for those who believe in the participation of women in all sectors of the country. The election is a way to change the country for the better.

The people of Iraq, who were deprived from elections for so long, can now use this right. They can show the political parties that they tired of war and turmoil. They can show them that they want a stable and peaceful country.

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Karwan Ibrahim, is a senior news editor in Iraqi Kurdistan, and has studied Master in Communication and Journalism in India. He can be reached at karwantree@gmail.com