KRG Poland The international conference „Open Europe, Closed Europe?” in Krakow has come to the end. The event was organized by Europaeum – association of ten the most important European universities, among them is also the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.
The second day of the conference had strong Kurdish accent. Ziyad Raoof, the KRG Representative in Poland opened an exhibition “Peshmergas 1961-2015”. All panellists and conference participants were present. The guests were welcomed by Dr. Paul Flather from the University of Oxford, and then Ziyad Raoof had a speech.
The Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in his speech presented to the audience the history of armed struggle of Peshmerga since 60s to the ongoing fight against ISIS. He stressed that Peshmerga from the beginning were known for their bravery and strong determination in fight in extremely difficult conditions. Also, women played an important role in their ranks. Ziyad Raoof said that the ISIS invasion to Kurdistan in 2014 caused that many veterans from the second half of the twentieth century grabbed a gun and are defending their homeland.
On the occasion of the exhibition Ziyad Raoof acquainted guests with the current situation in the Kurdistan Region – ongoing war against ISIS, but also the humanitarian and financial crisis. Referring to the main subject of the conference – the debate if whether Europe should remain open for refugees- Ziyad Raoof appealed to help the Kurdistan Regional Government in maintaining 1.8 million refugees. The KRG Representative argued that refugees who stay in Kurdistan would like to return to their homes so military aid for Peshmergas in the fight against ISIS and humanitarian aid for the KRG could make that happened and might stop refugees to take the risk of escaping to Europe.
After the opening Ziyad Raoof invited guests for dinner, co-organized with ASPIRE- one of the largest business organizations in Central and Eastern Europe, which aims to strengthen cooperation between entrepreneurs from different countries.
The images presented at the exhibition come from the collection of French photographers publishing under the nickname Chris Kutschera and from the collections of the Kurdish photographer Nimat Shahab.