Finalizing Handicraft Courses

After three months of participating 37 women and girls from the IDP groups, refugees, and Halabja Host community sucessfully finished sewing and handicraft courses, which were conducted by NWE Organization and supported by Wadi and MISEREOR Organization.

On April 25, 2018, NWE Org held an exhibition for selling theproducts they made during the courses. In addition KNN channel reported about this exhibition.

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Nwe Winter Report 2017/2018

We can obtain our rights in a green and clean Environment 
NWE is a non-profit and non-governmental organization, which was founded by a group of youth on October 12, 2012, in Halabja Province. It endeavors to protect the environment through implementing sustainable development projects and advocates women rights and gender equality. NWE is further dedicated to strengthen sustainable future and lead towards social and economic improvements of social communities at the national level. In order to achieve these goals, NWE is committed to partner with various stakeholders in order to foster cooperation and joint work.
Yearly General meeting of NWE Organization  
The general meeting of NWE Organization was held on January 23, 2018, to review the activities of the last year and plan for the New Year. The staff discussed new approaches to improve and enhance the departments and reorganizing the best work methods according to NWE’s frameworks and goals.
Citizenship, Participation and Peaceful Coexistence

The project of Citizenship, Participation and peaceful Coexistence is conducted by NWE organization in Halabja. This project is supported by MISEREOR and Wadi organization. The goal of this project is to create an environment where all IDPs, Syrian refugees, and host communities (Kakais) of Halabja can coexist and live in peace.  It offers participants different types cooperative activities to achieve life goals together, for example opening learning circles for 10 Arabs and 10 Kurds to teach each other Kurdish and Arabic languages.
Language learning Circles for Kurds and Arabs of IDPs, Syrian Refugees and Host communities of Halabja, January 17, 2018.
Media training for IDPs, Syrian Refugees and Host community women in Halabja, February 19, 2018
  • Providing Media training to a group of girls to land job opportunities in the future is one of the activities of this project. It offers trainees theoretical and practical training at Dangi NWE Radio station. Consequently, these girls can use their voices to start broadcasting their own programs to demand their own rights.  Many participants of this program are being employed due to their participation in this course.
  •  Opening computer training to all participants is another activity of this project. It covers Microsoft Office Word and Excel trainings; they are highly demanded for being employed in Governmental and non-governmental institutions.
  • Monthly social trainings and women health seminars are offered to the participants of this project.
  • Drawing courses for children, particularly for those whose mothers are participants of this project, and involve the children in educational and environmental seminars.
  • It also provides knitting, Salon, and sewing courses for girls and women so as to start their own business and be independent financially
Supporting Livelihoods and Social Stability for Syrian refugees and host population

NWE Organization for Protecting Environment and Women Rights held a training course for refugees and host population about radio journalism in Barica Camp – Arbat for six months (November 2017 – June 2018), in collaboration with Fursa youth center- Un Ponte Per (UPP). it was Funded by the European Union
Radio journalism training for youth from host community & Syrian refugees, Barica refugee’s camp – Arbat, March 24, 2018.
Dangi NWE radio

Dangi NWE radio station is a community radio station which is one of the projects of NWE Organization and it is funded by Wadi organization. It broadcasts 11 hours daily, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm,in Kurdish, Kurmanji, and Arabic in addition to two hours of VOA Kurdish language department broadcast, on 88.6 frequencies FM in Halabja governorate, Sharazoor, Hawraman and Arbat.

The refugee for Refugees program in Kurmanji dialect and Arabic language, March 1, 2018.

The morning programs are broadcasted in Kurmanji dialect and Arabic language by refugees for refugees. It starts with a live broadcast program which includes interviewing refugees and receiving their phone calls live in the program to talk about their issues.

The afternoon programs include news, music time and various special programs on current issues such as women, youths, environment, health, and sports. They are all aired in Sorani and Hawrami dialect.

Activities of Ashty Camp
NWE Organization with the support of Wadi Organization distributed clothes and equipment among the Refugees monthly in Ashty Camp, part of it were given and collected by Halabja citizens.
363 Days Campaign for No to Violence in Halabja

NWE Organization has  Announced the 363 Days Campaign for # No to Violence in Halabja for the commemoration of 30th anniversary of Halabja & 5th of Ghouta Chemical Attacks, which consisted of different activities, such as gathering,  reading statements, and mountain hiking  for  refugees, Kakaye, and Host community in Hawraman area on 2 February 2018.
Announcing 363 Days Campaign for # No to Violence, gathering, reading statements, in Halabja January 31, 2018.
Mountain hiking for Women from IDP’s, refugees, Kakaye, and Host community in Hawraman area, as a part of 363 Days Campaign for # No to Violence on February 2, 2018.
Media (Radio) courses for youths

Dangi NWE Radio has been implementing media courses since 15 January 2018. It offered theoretical and practical training based on youths’ demands for 23 youths of Halabja. The training course covered topics of radio program production, working in other radio stations, news writing for the radio station, successful presentations of radio programs.
Journalism training in Radio Dangi NWE, On January 15, 2018.
IHL Friends Network

NWE Organization in cooperation with four other organizations in Kurdistan has been attending meetings for discussing the idea of founding a Network for an International humanitarian law (IHL Friends network), which organized and supported by Geneva Call, in Erbil.
Meeting for creating a Network for an International humanitarian law (IHL Friends network
International # Women’s Day – 8th March 2018

 Radio Dangi NWE specifies all the programs of that day to Women issues and topics. The programs of international women’s day include interviewing significant figures who advocate women rights, discussion of women’s day and songs. All of these programs are presented by females in three different languages and dialects such as Sorani, Kurmanji, and Arabic.
Radio programs on International #Women’s Day – 8th March 2018.
Tree planting campaign

NWE and Capital of Peace Organizations in cooperation with Wadi, started a tree planting Campaign for commemorating the 30th anniversary of Halabja chemical attacks and the 5th anniversary of Ghouta attacks on March 14, 2018.  We announced in a press conference the first day of building a park and planting trees in Halabja.

A tree for Halabja and A tree for Ghouta
you can also participate by planting two trees and more.

Tree planting Campaign for commemorating the Halabja 30th anniversary chemical attacks and the 5th anniversary of Ghouta attacks, on March 14, 2018
Press conference  for announcing  the Campaign of commemorating Halabja’s 30th-anniversary chemical attacks and the 5th anniversary of Ghouta attacks on March 14, 2018
NWE participated in the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Radio Dangi NWE has been part of rural women and girls empowerment program via Radio Stories. In line with the theme of the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (12 – 23 March), “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls,” and in collaboration with the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), UN Women brings to life stories of rural women from around the world, from Haiti and Canada to Iraq and Senegal to the Pacific islands of Fiji. Produced largely by women producers, these stories, told in the first-person narrative and are currently being aired on local community radio stations.…/feature-story-rural-women-radio-st…

Remembering Ghouta Day

Three years ago the Syrian Army attacked the Ghouas near Damascus with Chemical Weapons. NWE is part of the Breathless Campaign and commemorates this event every year.

Breathelss and our partner Wadi issued a press statement today, saying:

“Chemical agents are the perfect weapon for anyone who intends to terrorize a population. They demonstrate that the affected people are without any value in the eyes of the attacker. But chemical agents are not the only weapon used by the Assad regime to terrorize the people. For four years, various areas are besieged by regime troops. Not only Aleppo, but as well other areas like the Ghoutas suffer under hunger and starvation in consequence of siege. Bombing and shelling systematically target civil infrastructure  such as hospitals, water facilities and schools. Around 450,000 people live under siege in Syria today. Recently, Syrian troops supported by Hezbollah and Russian bombers launched another campaign against the Ghoutas.

The chemical attacks on the Ghoutas in August 2013 were just a prelude to the horror that followed: Siege, hunger and constant bombardment. International reactions on the Ghouta attacks did not hurt the regime. Today, Assad has more aid and material support from the outside than before – while the urgently needed humanitarian aid and support for the civil population still is out of reach.

It may be too late to turn the game completely. Crimes against the Syrian people can’t be reversed. But it is not too late to help the besieged people of Syria. It is not too late to stop the bombing of people. And it is not too late to avert the menace of other mass-killings in the Ghoutas, in Aleppo and other areas of Syria.

The people of Syria don’t need more good words and promises, they need:

– The immediate implementation of a no-fly-zone over populated areas and the immediate end of bombardment;

– International proscription of the use of barrel bombs as war crime;

– Free and secure access of humanitarian agencies to the civil population in every region of the country;

– An immediate end of the sieges.”

And we held a commemoration in Halabja expressing our solidarity with the people in Ghouta:

halabja ghouta 2

halabja ghouta 1

Italian Media reports about the Refugee for Refugee Radio

The Italian Magazine L’Indro was currently reporting about Nwe’s Refugee for Refugee Radio:” ‘Dange Nwe’, radio dei rifugiati di Halabja”

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, Hanin Hasan e Hive Ahmed parlano dei progetti a favore di donne e bambini in Iraq

Sì, spesso l’ascoltatore non si esprime facilmente, a causa della timidezza. Molte volte avremmo voluto che gli ospiti venissero nel nostro studio per partecipare direttamente al programma, ma non accettavano proprio a causa di questo ‘problema’. Credo sia piuttosto comune.


Incontrate difficoltà nel parlare di contraccettivi ad una comunità religiosa? Come vivono la sessualità?

Eravamo intenzionati ad affrontare questo tipo di argomento, ma la società a volte non ce lo permette. Gli immigrati hanno condizioni di vita difficili e per questo spesso impediscono alle loro donne di rimanere incinte.

Di chi è stata l’idea di creare ‘Dange Nwe’ e perché?

Abbiamo preso questa decisione di comune accordo, in quanto, nei Paesi del Medio Oriente, la radio è un mezzo di comunicazione molto potente e d’aiuto. Inoltre, non è molto oneroso produrre programmi radio; al contrario, è un mezzo interattivo e diretto, per assicurare che scambi di idee e informazioni arrivino in velocità nei luoghi in cui si trovano gli ascoltatori e in studio. Oggi i partner di ‘Dange Nwe’ sono: Wadi, la Croce Verde svizzera, FHI360 (organizzazione non profit per lo sviluppo umano), Medica Mondiale e altre organizzazioni non governative.

La lingua utilizzata in trasmissione è soltanto l’arabo? Avete mai pensato di allargare il campo d’ascolto anche ad un pubblico di lingua inglese, magari per lo streaming su internet?

Originariamente era il Curdo (i due dialetti curdi Kurmanji e Sorani, ndr). Ma, in seguito, abbiamo aggiunto anche l’arabo, in quanto lingua parlata da molti rifugiati. Ad essere sinceri, non stiamo considerando l’inglese, se non a livello di diffusione del progetto tramite i social network. Perché è vero che potrebbe essere d’aiuto nel sensibilizzare soprattutto gli europei, a causa dell’affollamento delle nostre coste, ma il nostro principale obiettivo è capire e farci capire dai rifugiati, per condividere esperienze.

L’équipe che lavora in radio ad Halabja è al sicuro?

Garantiamo, da qui e dal posto, i migliori standard di sicurezza possibili. Le donne del nostro team vanno in giro tranquillamente, con e senza velo, senza essere importunate.

Vi è mai capitato di essere stati interrotti o ostacolati nei vostri lavori, nei vostri progetti?

Purtroppo sì, abbiamo dovuto fronteggiare non poche difficoltà in passato, ma attualmente non stiamo più avendo problemi. Tuttavia, eravamo preparati ad affrontare anche quello.

In che modo si è sviluppato questo programma, in dieci anni di vita, e quante persone lo ascoltano ogni giorno? Potrebbe identificare il target di ascoltatori?

Non so darvi dei dati esatti e specifici, ma, secondo un recente sondaggio, la nostra è la stazione radio maggiormente di successo nella regione. Circa 150mila persone ci scelgono ogni giorno.

Come possiamo supportare, da qui, il vostro lavoro?

Facendo crescere consapevolezza, come sta facendo Lei. Scrivendo e diffondendo le notizie in qualsiasi Paese europeo.


Refugee Radio nominated for Raif Badawi Award

Today we learned that our Refugee for Refugee Radio Programme was nominated for the Raif Badawi Human Rights Award for female journalists in the Middle East.

The team has faced extraordinary conditions, and despite their differing backgrounds, have come together to work. Their work is by refugees for refugees. On a daily basis they tirelessly, and with dedicated focus, provide hours of news, politics and other information to an area that needs it terribly. The spread of the so-called “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria has had numerous devastating effects. There are essentially no independent media outlets, and state media outlets have all but disintegrated. In this climate, the work of the editorial team is even more incredible.

The German Weekly “Die Zeit” reported about the nomination:

“Nominiert ist in diesem Fall keine Einzelperson, sondern das außergewöhnliche Redaktionsteam der Radiostation Dange Nwe Halabja (Kurdisch: Neue Stimme aus Halabja). Die vier Nominierten sind Flüchtlinge und haben sich unter schwierigsten Bedingungen in der nordirakischen Stadt Halabja zusammengeschlossen, um ihr Programm auf die Beine zu stellen: By the displaced people, for the displaced people (Von Geflüchteten, für Geflüchtete), eine Sendung, die jeden Tag mehrere Stunden lang über Nachrichten und Politik mit besonderem Fokus auf Flüchtlinge informiert. Das Programm ist eine Informationsinsel inmitten einer Katastrophenregion: Der “Islamische Staat” (IS) hat sich in Syrien und im Irak ausgebreitet. Die Staaten zerfallen, unabhängige Medien gibt es so gut wie nicht. Dass sich unter solchen Bedingungen junge Frauen zusammenschließen, um frei und unerschrocken ein Programm zu machen, das sich an den täglichen Bedürfnissen der Menschen orientiert, ist ein außergewöhnliches Beispiel für Journalismus, der mitgestalten und anpacken will. Die Nominierung zum Raif Badawi Award 2016 soll dieses Engagement würdigen.”


Condemning the Yazidi Genocide

Today we organized a demonstration in Halabja Women Center against the Yazidi Genocide.

Women from all the different groups, nationalities and religions were gathering together to commemorate what happens to the Yazidi Community. In August 2014 the Islamic State (IS) overran Sinjar mountains where most Yazidis in Northern Iraq were living, killed thousands and abducted 5000 women and girls. Many of them are still in the hands of the IS and suffer terribly. In Halabja we are taking care of hundreds of Yazidi refugees who are living in Ashty Camp.

It is important to show our solidarity with the Yazidis. Today Muslims, Christians, Syrians, Iraqi-Arabs and Kurds together gathered in Halabja to show our solidarity especially with the Yazidi girls and women.

We all demended from the Kurdish and Iraqi Government as well as the International Community to increase their efforts to get all Yazidis free and to grant them a safe and secure future. The criminals of the Islamic State need to be persecuted for this attempted Genocide.

Local media was present to report about the activities in which we were also lihtening candles for the victims.

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Support for Refugees on Children’s Day

Recently in honor of Children’s Day at Ashti Camp in Arbat, our social support team distributed gifts. The Ezidi children were very happy and excited to receive presents. In these long hot summer months, there is not much to do, or play with.  All of the 260 gifts, were gift wrapped before being distributed, giving each child a moment to unwrap their surprise and feel special.


At the Women’s Center in Halabja, we distributed gifts to the local and IDP children who regularly visit the center. A total of 58 gifts were distributed. Again the gifts were wrapped, creating a special surprise for each child.


Halabja group launches ‘Summer of Peace’

HALABJA, Halabja province – A new peace organization in Halabja is overcoming linguistic differences to promote tolerance and cultural exchange between local residents and the refugee communities that have flooded the area.

The NWE, or “New” in Kurdish, organization, which advocates for human rights and the environment, recently launched the Halabja Summer of Peace and Coexistence campaign to act as a bridge between local Kurds and the mostly Arab arrivals.

In a recent event, NWE brought together 24 Iraqi women, 18 Syrian women and 10-15 Halabjans to exchang skills and unique experiences.

The first hurdle was how to speak to each other. Halabja people speak Sorani Kurdish, Syrian refugees speak Kurmanci Kurdish and Syrian Arabic, and Iraqi  IDPs speak Iraqi Arabic.

NWE used the challenge as an opportunity, offering the group classes to learn Kurdish and Arabic.

The parliament of the Kurdistan region declared Halabja the capital of peace in September 2014 for its sacrifices for the Kurdish cause, namely the chemical attack at the hands of the Iraqi regime in 1988.

The NEW organization will offer participants language classes, crafts, and vocational courses during the three-month campaign. Some 17 Iraqi and Syrian children also receive English courses.

Suhad Abbas is an Iraqi IDP, a college graduate and mother of six children. She worked as a volunteer teacher this year at an Arabic school for Iraqi IDPs in Halabja.

As her family struggles to pay for the rent and basic needs, she is now attending sewing classes offered as part of the NWE campaign. Her new occupation, she hopes, will bring some extra income to the family.

Abbas’ hometown of Diyala was been recaptured from the Islamic State in February, but she’s not ready to return.

“We are afraid to go back since we fear being detained by Hashd al-Shaabi [Shiite militias known as Popular Mobilization Units],” she said. “All of us have been scattered in Kurdistan.”

Besides some 720 displaced Iraqi families, there are also 70 families from Rojava, known among locals as the Kobani refugees in reference to the symbolic Kurdish city.

Khansa Derbas, from the Syrian city of Hasaka, came to Halabja three months ago along with her three children. She was encouraged by her husband who had found refuge here 10 months ago.

“My husband told me the people here are good.” Khansa said, insisting that she will stay in Halabja as long as she is a refugee.

Amira Arsalan, a new college graduate from Halabja, has practiced her first Arabic conversations with the Arab IDPs.

Understanding the language, she said, makes her day even harder because she now understands how difficult the situation of the IDPs is.

The community radio station Dangi Nwe, or New Voice, has also taken part in the campaign. The radio broadcasts a special program about peace and coexistence twice a week by inviting refugees to share their experiences with their audience

Published: 30/06/2015

Al Jazeera | Iraq refugee radio programme gains momentum

Thousands of listeners are tuning in to segments produced by and for people displaced by violence in Syria and Iraq.

Jonathan Brwon, Al Jazeera

Halabja, Iraq – As the Sulaimania skyline fades and the snow-capped mountains separating Iraq and Iran draw nearer, the signal of Iraq’s first radio broadcast made by and for refugees emerges from static.

“This is Dange Nwe Radio, refugee-to-refugee segment, from 8am to 12 noon, broadcast in Kurmanji and Arabic,” a female broadcaster announces in a southern Iraqi accent. The early-morning programme includes Kurdish poetry, classic love songs by a Christian Lebanese singer, and pop music more familiar to listeners in Baghdad than in northern Iraq.

The new refugee radio programme on Dange Nwe (New Voice) Radio is staffed exclusively by Syrian and Iraqi women displaced by the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and the war in Syria.

The four DJs tailor their programming to the thousands of families who have fled the ongoing violence and sought refuge in this rural corner of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

“All the programmes we air – whether they are news, politics, health, or music – have an audience within the refugee community,” Hevy Izat Ahmed, who is originally from Kobane, told Al Jazeera. “We know what news refugees need to hear, about aid deliveries, or about what’s happening at home.”

WATCH: Displaced Iraqis find new future in Kurdish region

Ahmed, 27, was living in Aleppo when war broke out in Syria. She studied philosophy at a university in Beirut before returning to Syria. Though she is new to radio, she is confident in front of a microphone: “Being a refugee and knowing what our listeners have gone through makes me able to do this job. Another broadcaster might not understand what it means to be a refugee in a foreign country.”

The eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, nestled in the foothills of the sprawling mountain range that delineates the border with Iran, is better known as the site of a massacre nearly three decades ago, when the Iraqi air force dropped sarin and nerve gas during the Iran-Iraq war, killing thousands.

‘We know what news refugees need to hear, about aid deliveries, or about what’s happening at home,’ says Hevy Izat Ahmed [Andrea DiCenzo/Al Jazeera]

Since ISIL fighters overran swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014, millions of people have been displaced, including around 5,000 families who have been drawn to the region surrounding Halabja for a variety of reasons, for example the relatively low cost of living and employment opportunities in the agricultural sector.

Dange Nwe’s five-room station, plastered with fading posters of Kurdish singers, is housed in a women’s centre in Halabja, originally established to offer vocational training. In the small studio, Fallujah native Hanine Hassan, 19, reads the day’s technology news, including a report on a newly launched mobile app that can estimate the moment of a user’s death and set a countdown timer to that moment. But Hassan told Al Jazeera she prefers interviewing refugees in nearby camps, and hearing about the challenges they face while adjusting to life in Halabja.

“I hope that having these interviews with refugee families, who are talking about their suffering, is comforting for others in the same position, so they know that other people are also suffering or experiencing the same problems,” Hassan said.

The refugee radio will last for as there are refugees here, and after that, we will adapt to whatever the needs of the community are.

Falah Muradkhin, coordinator

Although the station’s refugee programming began airing at the end of 2015, Dange Nwe has been a liberal voice in the Halabja region since 2004. The community-oriented station strives for independence from political and religious factions while tackling socially sensitive issues, including female genital mutilation and polygamy.

Before the new refugee-to-refugee segments began, “the station was in a bit of a crisis”, said Falah Muradkhin, the coordinator for Wadi, an Iraqi-German NGO that supports the broadcasts. “We were exploring new ideas. We needed new ideas for the station.”

When Muradkhin suggested that Dange Nwe staff train newly arrived refugees to broadcast programmes that would address the needs of the displaced community, “they weren’t convinced at first”, he said.

But today, tens of thousands of listeners are tuning in to the four hours of refugee-to-refugee programming, including news, celebrity gossip, and health and technology updates, according to data from the station.

Shadan Habeb Fathullah, a 28-year-old from Halabja, is the manager of Dange Nwe. She mentor the new recruits, while also producing and editing most of the segments. When a traditional Kurdish pop song abruptly cuts out amid a routine power outage, Fathullah runs to the backup generator outside to keep the broadcast on air.

“It’s a lot of responsibility, but I love what I do, and I want to do my best for the girls,” she told Al Jazeera in the station’s editing room.

Some of Dange Nwe’s long-time listeners from Halabja, however – including city officials – have expressed concern over the new programmes broadcast in Arabic and the northern dialect of Kurdish, which are not spoken by most of the population.

“My brother works in the market,” Fathullah said. “Until recently, most of the people working there listened to our radio in the morning. But since we began broadcasting in Arabic and Kurmanji [the northern dialect of Kurdish], people have been tuning to other stations, because they don’t understand the broadcasts.”

Despite the station’s tight budget, Muradkhin says these broadcasts will continue until the displaced people are able to return to their homes in Iraq and Syria.

“The refugee radio will last for as there are refugees here, and after that, we will adapt to whatever the needs of the community are,” Muradkhin said.

Dange Nwe even hopes to grow its programming and frequency range to encompass the entire area of the community of refugees and displaced people in Iraq’s Kurdish region.

“We’d like to be doing even more than we are now,” Hevy said. “We’d like to be able to expand our coverage to reach more refugees in Erbil, Dohuk and the entire refugee community in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.”

Follow Jonathan Brown on Twitter: @jonathaneebrown