RealNews

2,000 Kurds camp in huge Iraq stadium, victims of Baath's Arabisation

Jamilah Abdullah and her five children, all under the age of five, live in a freezing dank bathroom at Kirkuk’s sports stadium on the outskirts of town. There is no electricity and no running water. With no door either, a plastic curtain is their only protection from the freezing nights and bitter wind. The stench of human waste is gut-wrenching. Like most of the 2,000 Kurds squatting in the stadium, she was evicted from her home in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 255 kilometres (160 miles) north of Baghdad, a victim of Saddam Hussein’s brutal Arabisation policy. City officials estimate that 600,000 Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen and Assyrians were banished from Kirkuk in the 30 years from 1963, when the Baath party first swept to power, and its final collapse in 2003. Saddam’s forces razed 32-year-old Jamilah’s home to the ground in 1991 and along with countless others she fled to Sulaimaniyah in the autonomous Kurdish regions to the north. Full Story

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