Wednesday, 7 September 2016
Iraqi youth prepare to celebrate International Day of Peace with massive carnival
Activists in Iraq are preparing for Baghdad’s 6th annual peace carnival, which will be held on the 21st of September, the official International Day of Peace.
Last year, more than sixty different groups participated, over 14 000 people attended the event and this year’s activities are shaping up to be even bigger.
Co-founder and spokesperson Ms Noof Assi said she and her friends were first inspired to commemorate the celebrations when a Google search of the word ‘Baghdad’ only revealed topics and images of war and death.
“We couldn’t find any peaceful photos,” Ms Assi said.
“We decided to do something to bring back the name ‘City of Peace’ to Baghdad, this is what it used to be called when the city was first built,” she added.
Ms Assi said another driving force was because she, along with other Iraqi youth, don’t know what a peaceful Iraq is like.
“For the past forty years Iraq has been at war, so all new generations know only one language … war language,” she said.
“People are using religion and beliefs [in Iraq] to create more conflicts and we are just sharing the idea that when you fight in this war you are simply not having your freedom.
“Putting a smile on another person’s face is more worthy than raising your gun in someone else’s,” she said.
With growing support for the group, each year it is able to put funds toward new projects and for every carnival, a “theme” is chosen, meaning that funds raised can be put toward a specific cause.
In past years, the carnival has raised funds to go towards micro-finance projects, supporting internally displaced persons, orphanages and support for youth led charity campaigns and groups.
The theme of this year’s carnival is ‘Youth are the Future’s Leaders’, an empowering statement considering the volunteer group consists of 15-35 years olds.
For more information please contact:
Ms Noof Assi (Co-founder, IQPeace) on Phone +964 7709 2650 03 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Caeser Alwardii (Media Coordinator – Baghdad City of Peace Carnival) on phone +964 7712 2068 47 or email email@example.com
IQPeace Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/BaghdadCityOfPeace/
IQPeace Website. https://iqpeace.com/
Ms Tamika Watts (Volunteer Media Advisor – Australia) + 61 0406 615 440 or Tamikarenee.firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Richard Cowley (Volunteer supporter – Australia) email email@example.com