After getting into the capital here on 30.01.13 I managed to walk for about four hours and get to a building which is called the Immigration Office and by this time the office was closed, so I was wondering what to do next. There was a big building which was under construction, so I decided to go and speak to the people who were looking after it, acting like the security guards. I told them who I am and I asked them if I can camp over here? and they kindly told me that I can stay with them, and even they offered me dinner as well.
Later on I found out three of these companions were from Syria (they were
coming here after the trouble and they have escaped Assad’s army) and one was from Faloja. One of them was showing great interest for me to go and talk to their group about what I am doing and what I think about their group, which is promoting federalism in their Kurdish region and not separation from Syria. I told them “No problem, if I stay here in the capital I’ll come over and will do the talk”, so after exchanging numbers and having a great night there, I left to again visit the Immigration Office building on 31.01.1.
I managed to get into the building and find the right person to talk about how can I get to the Jordanian/Kuwaiti border without ending up in jail, like what happened to me and Richie in the town of Khanaqin, and after a long discussion they told me I have to go to the regional parliament and speak to them to see if they can help.
I arrived at the parliament and they sent out a representative who spoke to me
and gave me details of another building which is dealing with foreign affairs, so I was walking towards it in a rainy situation and I got lost and ended up going into a building which was like a high school/sixth form for boy science students. When they saw me they started questioning me about what am I doing here? and they saw my board which was written in English, so they brought their English teachers as well, and the news soon spread around the school and to the headteacher that a peace man is here, so they came and provided me with refreshment and drinks.
I told them all about myself and soon they arranged for me to go to two English classes of their student sand I promised them 10-15 minute talks. The headteacher quickly provided a page for their Facebook news, saying that someone by accident turned up in their school (which was built in 1928 and
the leader of the Iraqi government and the governor of the regional capital were students there).
I missed going to the office which I was looking for because here on Thursdays it is half day at work, but through being at the school I got involved with a better opportunity. The headteacher was going to a meeting and he asked me if I can go with him to see they can help to solve my problem. After getting there and speaking to them I was provided with the governor’s phone number and put in contact with TV channels (like Kurdistan TV and Zagros TV) so they could arrange interviews with me, and also they wanted to give me some money.
I told them “I will not accept money, but will gladly accept food and top-up for my phone”, so they kindly provided me with food and top-up and they put me in touch with the governor and the mayor. The governor wasn’t in the capital but the mayor kindly provided me with a welcoming ceremony and a hotel to stay in until I can see the governor on Sunday, which is the first day of the working week here. On Friday I used the opportunity of having a safe place to stay and I arranged to go and see some public organisations and arranged to see the Kurdish-Syrian group as well for today.
So that was a brief few days here in the capital, I hope to have more good news to tell soon and will try to post links to interviews if I can.