Chawan, Miss Kurdistan for Peace writes for nina-iraq.com
Chawan Muhammad (Miss Kurdistan for Peace 2013-2014)
I attended the Nina launch in Sulaimania in June and knew I wanted to write for Nina. It connected to my fundamental beliefs, in the same way as I felt my personality and role combined in perfect harmony when I became Miss Peace last year.
I believe peace is essential if our aim is to improve our social, political, and business life – in fact without peace it is impossible for anyone to live their lives to their full potential. I believe that peace is the ‘achiever’ of democracy and human rights. Peace is the protector of communities. Peace can grow from the smallest seeds and as such I will try to ‘plant’ peace in Kurdistan. This seed of peace must grow if we are to achieve our aims politically and as a community. Supporting peace is an ideal that determines not just my future but that of all of us. I welcome my role in promoting this, even if it is a something that seems almost impossible at the moment.
Kurdistan gained autonomy in late 1991. Since then, we have had an independent government and parliament. Since the fall of Saddam’s regime in 2003, Kurds have participated in building the new Iraq. The Kurdistan federal region is constantly working towards building levels of democracy and achieving peace and security.
Economically Kurdistan region enjoys rich resources of agricultural land, minerals and oil. The latter is exported to other countries worldwide. In terms of security, the cities of Kurdistan are distinguished from other cities in central and southern Iraq by their stability. Because of the current crises in Syria and Iraq, catalyzed by the invasion of ISIS, the Kurdistan region has become a safe haven for many Iraqi and Syrians refugees.
As Nina is a magazine created to support women’s economic empowerment I think it is also important to point out that our region is actively working towards creating greater social and economic freedoms for women. Political participation of women is an important indicator of overall stability and I am delighted to say that here we are involved in politics as participants in the government. Women also have the freedom to set up their own businesses; indeed Nina has showcased some of the successful businesses run by women in Kurdistan.
Women must be actively involved in community, political and business arenas. I believe this will support and promote peace and stability.