Off The Grid with Luke Coleman – Our man in Iraq

It’s been quite a month, work wise. We’ve taken the step of joining the Arabic and Kurdish sections of the organisation and set up a Facebook page, offering an alternative perspective of Iraq. In the last couple of weeks we’ve published videos on para athletes, youth organisations, artists, the environment and (really selling it here) MUCH, MUCH MORE. So, obviously, please come on down to facebook.com/YallaEn and give us a follow.

Away from the desk, I’ve been to Mosul to make a few reports on an amazing project run by local NGO www.thecnsf.com. CNSF are training men to be glaziers and women to sew curtains, and have fitted thousands of square metres of glass into homes in the east of Mosul, and hung drapes. Having windows means that a/c units and coolers can be run in the near 50° heat, and the curtains give privacy. Obviously the workers are making a living, and all of this adds up to one central thing: dignity.

This evening I’m off to a project on the other end of the scale. At an IDP camp here in Erbil a concert will be performed by an orchestra of young people who’ve been given lessons and instruments for the last three months. This is the kind of longer-term project that will bind communities, gives people a hobby and develops self-esteem.

Am I leaving? I really should be, but when you have a month like this, somehow your heart is dragged back into the place. And do me a favour – I desperately want our work to be seen by Western audiences, you’ve been reading this for long enough, now go and watch some 1 minute films: facebook.com/YallaEn

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