Serving the community, despite the threat of Islamist extremism, corruption, and drought
Interview with Qayssar Ahmed, head of the Garden of the Righteous of Halabja in Iraq
If there is a Garden of the Righteous in Halabja, much of it is due to the determination of Qayssar Ahmed. A survivor of the 1988 genocide, once he returned from the tent cities in Iran, Qayssar became a journalist and communications expert. Director of Radio Dangi NWE, a community radio station for young people and women, he is a member of the Kurdistan journalists' union and the International Federation of Journalists. But above all, together with his wife Hero, he is the driving force behind the NWE organization, which pioneeringly fights to connect the memory of the genocide to today's struggles: freedom of expression, women's rights, environmental protection. On the eve of the 35th anniversary of the Halabja genocide, where over 5,000 people lost their lives at the hands of Saddam's troops, Qayssar tells Gariwo about the biggest challenges facing this border community - between Islamist threats, corruption, energy crisis and drought - at one of the most delicate moments in the history of the region.