Stories written by Karlos Zurutuza

Iraqi Sunnis Seek a Say

Sunni Muslims have set up a new party amidst uncertainties as to whether elections can be held as scheduled in the troubled western regions of Iraq. Polling for the 328-seat Iraqi parliament is due Apr. 30.

Libyan Highlanders Enforce Rule of Law

Everybody in this mountain village is seemingly familiar with the new regulations. “People other than militiamen or policemen will be fined 500 dinars [around 300 euros] for carrying guns,” local resident Younis Walid tells IPS.

Q&A: “Libyan Women Were Handed Over as Spoils of War”

Unless immediate changes are enforced, Libya is heading towards an "Afghan" model regarding women´s rights, Aicha Almagrabi, a Libyan writer and senior women rights activist, told IPS from her residence in Tripoli.

An African Dream Called Lampedusa

Youssef crossed the Sahara desert with a folded school map of Europe in his pocket. “Could you please point [out] Lampedusa in the map for me? I cannot find it.”

Spring Bursts Among the Toubou in Libya’s Desert

"Can there possibly be anything more satisfying than teaching your own language to your own people?" Abdel Salam Wahali remarked to IPS. He is a teacher of Tebu, an ancient language which is experiencing a boom in post-Gaddafi Libya.

Libya’s Fragile Peace Cracks

Car accident in Omar Mokhtar Avenue in downtown Tripoli. Nobody was injured but there’s a bumper hanging off the back of a car. In just a few seconds, a group gathers around.

Libya’s Berbers Close the Tap

"Oil tankers won´t get crude from this port until Tripoli finally meets our demands," says Younis, one of the Amazigh rebels today blocking one of Libya´s largest gas and crude oil plants.

For Kurdish Women, It’s a Double Revolution

"I got married when I was 14 and I already had four children at 20," recalls Nafia Brahim. In her fifties now, she is working hard so that no other woman loses control of her life.

Fragile Peace Holds on a Syrian Island

"The whole region is under control but be careful in the city centre," says a Kurdish militiaman at the eastern gate of Qamishli, 600 km northeast of capital Damascus, confirming rumours about breaches in Syria’s relatively stable northeast.

“Terrorist Groups Are Displacing Kurdish People”

Kurdish fighters have emerged as a powerful player in the Syrian war thanks to the Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (YPG - “People's Protection Units”), a seemingly well-organised armed group which has so far proved capable of defending the territory it claims in northern Syria.

Kurds Build Bridges At Last

After fleeing the war three months ago, Gulnaz is headed back for Syria to bury her brother within the 24 hours Islam stipulates. But it is far from easy to take the coffin across the Syrian-Iraqi border.

It’s Afghanistan Again in a Turkish Town

People run back home at dusk, just when the shooting intensifies. To Sha Mehmed the experience is familiar. He was 11 when he left his native Afghan village to settle in this small Turkish town on the border with Syria.

Where a Moustache Can Mean Life or Death

"The soul needs to reincarnate a thousand times before becoming one with god," says Rajab Assy Karim from Ali Saray, 190 kilometres north of Baghdad. Iraq is full of "shortcuts" to the ultimate, and several seem to pass through this tiny desert village.

Splintered Damascus Holds Its Breath

“Life is almost normal in the centre of Damascus," local resident Hisham says from the predominantly Christian neighbourhood of Bab Touma. "Only the occasional noise of artillery on the outskirts reminds me that we are at war."

One Way to See the Killing in Syria

Zuhair Hassib did not witness the last and the most ghastly massacre in Syria. Images of last year’s Siege of Homs were enough for the artist to have seen. His paintings have brought those horrors home in a way pictures could never have.

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