Seven Questions With Sarkawt Shamsuldin

6/26/2018 8:29:47 PM

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Stefano A. Ingannamorte
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Articulate and well versed in the important issues affecting both the Kurdistan region and Iraq as a whole, Sarkawt Shamsuldin made his first bid for elected office this year in Sulaymaniyah, campaigning with the region's most progressive party - The New Generation Movement. Shamsuldin was elected decisively on May 12th, 2018 to serve a four-year term as a member of Iraq's parliament.

I sat down with him to find out more about what motivates him as a politician and what he hopes to accomplish in Baghdad.

Q: At what age did you become interested in politics, and why?

A: I became interested in politics when I was 10 years old. It might be related to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region’s political and economic situation, especially my generation was affected by many political developments that we lived through.

I was born in the middle of the twenty-century’s longest war after WW II, the first Gulf War or what we call the Iran-Iraq War. Then, I opened my eyes and I found myself a refugee after the Kurdistan Uprising in 1991. A few years later, we were involved in a bloody civil war, and then 2003 came and Saddam was removed from power.

These events had a huge impact on me. I found that if I want to change something, I needed to do through politics.


Q: Who influenced you most during your formative years in the Kurdistan region?

A: Well, when I was at high school I read many books written by various writers on Kurdistan history. I enjoyed reading Nawshirwan Mustafa’s book and Rahand Group writers, such as Mariwan Qanie, Rebin Hardi and many others.


Q: Who are your political role models in Kurdistan, Iraq and around the world?

A: In Kurdistan, we have good personalities in politics who inspired me and moved me on many issues, but not as a role model. Internationally, I am a big fan of Barack Obama and Emanuel Macron. I see them as role models.


Q: What do you consider your core values as a politician?

A: Freedom and coexistence are the two most important values; I will defend them wherever I will be. I will fight for freedom before anything else because there is no democracy without freedom and without democracy, peace is impossible in Iraq.


A: Once you have begun work in Baghdad, what will be your top three priorities?

Q: My top three priorities in Baghdad will be working on securing funding through Parliament for freedom of speech, youth leadership, and peacebuilding projects.


Q: As an elected member of parliament with the New Generation Movement, which elements of "Kurdistan 2033" are you most inclined to propose as a politician and attempt to pass into law?

A: Governance will be the most important thing. I will do my best to educate my colleagues on the importance of this section. If I get enough support, I may propose it formally to our government to implement. But judicial reform might be best to be passed as a new law to reform the system.


Q: How would you like to be thought of and remembered as a politician?

A: I want to be remembered as someone who proved to everyone that you can do politics without crossing moral standards, young but effective. I want to prove to my generation and the younger people that politics is a very important field and not a dirty one. I think it is the most interesting thing to do because you change peoples’ lives.

Stefano A. Ingannamorte is a Campaign and Media Consultant for New Generation.