Border lives: Daraw


Daraw in Sidakan

Soran District: Village Daraw

CPT visited the village of Daraw on November 15, 2008 and December 5, 2009. The distance from Daraw to the Turkish and Iranian borders is two to three hours. This area is left to the villagers, PKK, Turkey, and Iran. The KRG offers no protection to villagers here.

Fourteen families live in the village. Villagers reported that Turkey bombed their homes as long ago as 1998. One villager was killed and others were injured. The bombing in Daraw began again on January 15, 2008 and the villagers fled to the nearby town of Sidikan. But after eight months the families returned to Daraw because their resources had run out and they could not continue to pay rent.

People in these villages face threats from Turkey and Iran. According to local teacher, Mr. Arrarat, Turkey provides bombs to Iran, which shells them from the Iranian side, “Some were Turkish bombs, not Iranian types.”

On July 18, 2009, Iranian shelling injured Mr. Osman from the village of Zhelea. He is a young man of twenty and a student. The shelling occurred at 9 p.m. while he was camping on a mountain close to Daraw. He had taken his herds there for summer grazing. His neck and shoulder were injured. The injuries continue to cause great pain and he has stopped his studies. Osman's grandfather reported that the farmers had missed the foaling season and this was a big loss for farmers. He reported his own loss as $8,000. Last year, the entire extended family had 240 animals. This year they have only 200 animals, a loss of more than 40 animals, because the flock ordinarily would have grown with new births.

Being prepared to flee is part of their lives. Mrs. Hiro reported that people here are prepared to run at any time, “I didn’t have good honey for a sick baby here, because we keep things at the other place, not in the village, in case we have to run away someday.” The children also have the same mentality. Mr. Arrarat said, “When they hear a plane, it is hard to quiet them. The children leave school and just run home without considering the dangers. They want to stay with their families.”

~CPT (2010) "Where there is a promise, there is a tragedy", p.16.

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