Saturday, July 16, 2005

Thanks Fyda, and now the project is all planned!

Yesterday I had one of the best meals of my life. My friend Fyda from KSF in Sweden (read more about our trip on their web page as well) invited us to his family's house. As you can see we got one of those fantastic meals I had only seen on TV before. Fyda is the one grabbing some food on the picture. We spoke to his wonderful mum for a while and Fyda helped us translating, she has never lived in Sweden like a few others of Fyda's family. I asked her about what she thought of the freedom that the Kurds in this part of Iraq now enjoys She used to be a guerilla soldier herself, and when Fyda's oldest sister was only six months old she was sent to jail. She smiled and said that she always dreamt about living with her family in a house, and now she was doing exactly that. Her joy filled the entire room which was packed with our group and Fyda's family. And her food and hospitality was incredable.

Earlier during the day we had a last meeting with the Kurdish student group we are going to work with here Our ambitions are now outlined as follows: We will apply for funds from the Olof Palme Center; the project's name is Baba Gurgur; our main ambition is to start a Youth Center in the city of Kirkuk (students there have little to do after school/university and the need for computers, football clubs, a meeting room for study courses, etc etc is huge). In Sweden S-studenter and KSF will be the organizers (the new board of S-studenter just have to give their approval first, and also the student clubs in Stockholm). Our partner in Kirkuk will be KSF:s sister-organization there (they are the largest student organization in northern Iraq). We will visit each other a few times every year and we will prepare workshops and seminars about democracy and gender equality for the Kurdish students in Iraq. The idea is that they then will spread this knowledge in their organization in Iraq with the Youth Center as a base. I really think this can be an excellent project and I dream that I one day will be standing outside the Youth Center, seeing Kurdish students mix and discuss with other students from the region. If this ever happens, I will silently think that Olof Palme was right when he said that "Politics is nothing but will".

Now we are about to do some shopping so I have to run, don't know when I will be able to blog again since we will start heading home tomorrow. But a summary and some more pictures will show up sooner or later.


Anonymous Anna Sundström said...

Seems like a great idea for a project. I know someone that could talk at a seminar on gender equality, the social democratic women's organization and the challenges for today's women's movement... ;-)

17/7/05 20:52  
Blogger Eric Sundström said...

Sounds great, I cannot wait for this project to happen! And gender equality will for sure be one of the most important parts of the project.

19/7/05 14:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

considering your videocollection,
I would not critizise your Palme-quotations-skills. But.
Politik är at" vilja
isn't that rather
"Politics is willpower" in English?Or are you referring to a variant of the quotation/free translation?

19/7/05 22:35  
Blogger Eric Sundström said...

Ulf: I agree that it is difficult to translate "politik är att vilja". I used the translation "politics is nothing but will" in an essay I wrote in Scotland 1997, but that is somewhat of a "free translation". But I think it captures the essence of the quote, even if "Politics is willpower" is a more correct word by word translation.

20/7/05 09:32  

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