Freedom festival kicks off in Erbil
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Erbil is marking the 28th anniversary of the city’s uprising with a 10-day long festival.
The ‘Azadi [freedom] and Newroz [New Year]’ festival kicked off in front of Erbil citadel on Monday with music and dancing.
“It’s joy and happiness. These events are getting better every year. Thanks to God that the crises are ending and the people will have better life,” said singer Arab Osman of the event.
The wave of uprisings against the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein started in Raniya on March 5, 1991, spreading to Sulaimani on March 7, Erbil on the 11th, Duhok on the 14th, and culminating in Kirkuk on the 21st, coinciding with the Newroz festival.
During the two-week uprising waged by civilians and Peshmerga, Saddam Hussein's regime forces were ousted from the Kurdish cities.
A year after the 1991 uprisings and a decade of genocidal acts, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Kurdistan Region Parliament were established.
“It’s a very important day for us and all Kurds. I came here to let my two sons know about the uprising. We are now free and our life is getting better now,” said Zhiyan, a woman who attended the festival with her children.
Photos: Mohammed Shwani/Rudaw