Kurdish children sporting traditional costumes on Kurdistan Flag Day in front of the parliament building in Erbil. Photo by Farzin Hassan/Rudaw
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region—As the Kurdish provinces approach a referendum that may see them separate from Iraq many young people who become eligible to vote for the first time in September say they will be happy to contribute to the creation of an independent state with their ballot.
“This year will be my first time voting,” Farhad Peshawa, of Sulaimani who has turned 18, told Rudaw. “And I’ll vote for independence and separation from Iraq.”
The independence referendum that has been set for September 25 is the talk of town these days. It occupies most conversations at homes, workplace and tea shops.
Despite their grievances against the Kurdish government many youth in Sulaimani still believe the vote to leave Iraq must be a “Yes”.
For 18-year-old Hiran Omar, separating from Iraq would be a good answer to the tragedies the Kurds have been through in the past.
“The Kurds have suffered a lot and that’s why I’ll happily go to the polls and vote for independence,” she said.
Hiran’s friend, Hawr, is at the right age to cast her ballot in September and she hopes that all eligible voters go to the polls.
“My vote in the referendum is “yes”,” she told Rudaw. “And I hope everyone else goes to vote for separation from Iraq.”
In a meeting with President Masoud Barzani on June 7 the Kurdistan Region decided to hold a referendum on September 25 on whether to separate from Iraq and form an independent state.