About dastan91

hey , I am Dastan, and I am one of the development club's member at AUI-S, and this brilliant club is one of the greatest experiences for me..


Nabil Musa, waterkeeper

Without water, life on earth wouldn’t exist. Bodies of water have not only made life possible, but throughout history they have shaped human culture. Sadly, the future of Iraq’s water is in a precarious position. Our community relies on water, and the future of a healthy water system in Iraq relies on Nabil Musa, Iraq’s first and only Waterkeeper.

On July 11, 2011, Mr. Nabil, who works as a Waterkeeper with the NGO (Non Governmental Organization) Nature Iraq visited Development Club, and gave an insightful presentation about water in Iraq. There are significant challenges facing water in the region including: poor planning, over pollution, unsafe drinking conditions, open sewage and little awareness of the severity of the problem. The work that Mr. Nabil is doing inspired me to get involved and spread his message with others.

A still from a short documentary produced by Nabil about the poor water conditions in Sulaimani

The global environmental Waterkeepers movement was championed by Robert Kennedy in the 1960’s, with the Hudson River as the first protected body of water. By raising awareness about pollution of the river and bringing major polluters to court, the past few decades have helped make the Hudson River a model ecosystem. The Waterkeepers protect more than 160,000 Km of rivers, streams, riversides, and coastlines in the world.

They are a grassroots organization, meaning that they use local resources to solve local problems. One of the short films that Mr. Nabil showed our group was a montage of problems that face Sulaimani’s Qeleyasan River. There were disturbing images of burnt tires on the banks of the stream, open sewage, and people washing their cars directly in the river. Many people are living without access to safe drinking water in Iraq and many water sources are becoming depleted in Iraq because of pollution, but the water keepers are doing their bests to reduce these problems firstly by raising awareness.

Development Club students watching a presentation on Iraq's water systems

One of the recent projects Mr. Nabil helped organize a trip to help clean the Qeleyasan River with some volunteers from AUI-S. In addition, the Waterkeepers have done many other projects  in Iraq like starting to organize trips to clean the Tanjero River, Zey Gawra and Zey Bechwk and Dukan River to name just a few. Remedying such problems is not easy by individuals or by small groups, so let’s work together, and let’s take care of the water sources to help protect our community, our water and our planet.

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Sulyon members shortly after performing their mask project

Written by Dastan Sabah. June 21, 2011. I had the good fortune of visiting an inspirational group called Sulyon with Development Club a few weeks ago. Sulyon is a group of artists, comprised of 41 active young members. Although most of the members are ethnically Kurdish, Arabic and British participants bring diversity to the group. This group’s members are full of life and energy. According to one Sulyon member: ”Art is free space for humans, and they can express their feelings freely and find what they search for.” Some of the main goals of Sulyon are to engage in an artistic dialogue with the citizens of Sulaimani and to help community members think about problems and their potential solutions in new ways.

Sulyon, which was founded in 2008, is very progressive; its projects are about today’s common situations, current problems and events. Sulyon members used street theater in autumn, 2010 to bring their message of free-thinking and diversity directly to the people. This group’s goal is to express common ideas and opinions about society, and to try to show society’s habits, illnesses, and weaknesses through their projects.

Chatting at Sulyon's office near the Sulaimani bazaar

Its members show their artwork mostly on the streets among people, or sometimes on platforms like stages. They have done more than four successful projects so far, including: Game, Border, Circle and Masks projects. While visiting the Red Museum with Development Club, I watched one of their projects recently. We observed that the group is very active in the community and it is working hard on its projects to create unforgettable plays and short films. It has been an inspirational project for me to be involved with.

Development Club members chatting with San Saravan about directing his recent masks project film

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