Baghdad – Amir Moayed – Saja Hashem
Thousands of Baghdadi youths organized a peace carnival in the middle of the capital Baghdad in accordance with International Day of Peace celebrated by most of the world countries. The team organizing the carnival ensured that more than 600 volunteers participated in organizing the annual activity held on Abu Nuwas parks and they hinted that the number of attendants was behind their expectations and it reached 14k attendee, as far as they commented.
Rusul Kamil, one of the organizers of the carnival, said to Al Mada “the Carnival is not the outcome of this moment. It is the result of five-years work of youths aiming at spreading seed of peace in every Iraqi citizen and delivering their message to the world that is they are people who love life despite all of the living circumstances they are witnessing and that they are peaceful and rejecting all types of violence.”
She added that the carnival is held by voluntary youth efforts in addition to the participation to variety of campaigns including cultural, health related, and artistic including both drawing and singing. She also hinted that the number of volunteers reached 635 from both genders this year.
She continued saying that the organizers began their preparations for the carnival before four months of the day of the carnival and these preparations included the volunteering application form that aims at knowing the ideas of youths and campaigns and their goals and what part they want to take in the carnival.
Zain Mohammed, one of the carnival organizers for five years, said that the number of attendants was beyond expectations and it passed the 14k attendee from Baghdadi families where we occupied Abu Nuwas Park in Baghdad during the carnival four hours. He added that this year was a special carnival due to the number of volunteers, the hard work, the attendants number, and most importantly is the synchronization between Baghdad and Basra’s celebrations and the continuous cooperation between the two governorates to hold the carnival at one time.
Mohammed believes that the reason behind the success of the carnival is that youth groups hold and organize the carnival, which in turn made them feel responsible and accept the idea of teamwork, and the greatest support was the attendants whether youth or from Baghdad families that is increasing every year.
Mohammed hinted that the primary message of the carnival is that the Iraqis love of peace and their fighting of all radical ideologies; enticing that the team of volunteers consisted of 600 members and it was hard to organize all this number of volunteers still at the end the carnival was a success by everyone’s testimony.
Whereas, Sama Basil, a member of the social media team, believes, according to her statement to Al Mada, that the participation of women in the day of peace carnival was a huge and a clear one whether they were volunteers or attendants. She also explained that the already prepared team for this carnival was very cooperative and we did not have any kind of bothering.
Basil explained that families of women volunteers were sometimes feeling annoyed of the amount of meetings, yet after knowing the idea and the cause behind the carnival and the aim of holding such carnival, they encouraged the joining of such carnival and thus any kind of pressure faded away. She explained that women were present in majority of the teams and they were effective indeed.
Hiyam Sabah who is a keen every-year attendant of the carnival with her family believes that the carnival is a success every year. It aims at motivating Iraqi people towards peace because of what we are suffering from including psychological pressures in every aspect of life whether it is social, service-related or even security-related; and this number of attendants is a proof that there are so many people wishing for peace and a calm life. When it comes for here, she says, she makes sure to bring her kids for such activities so that they will have hope in their future, even if it is a glimpse of hope, and to take them far from existing violence, also to raise the spirit of cooperation and patriotism in them. She wishes the continuation of such activities.
On the other hand, Shahad Sadiq, handmade team member, assures that the carnival carries an important and unique message assuring that despite the hard and tiresome living circumstances in Iraq, yet there are youths who still have the hope. She proves that such youths work hard and never sleeps to present such an activity assuring that the carnival wants to deliver a message of peace even if during one day and one day only in a city missing peace.
Al Mada Arabic copy