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May 19, 2021

Pickles are an essential part of Iraqi cuisine. They are served at nearly every restaurant in Iraq and no dinner table is complete without the popular appetizer. Salam Hassan has been making pickles since 1997, when he started Taj Al Akhawaen, now a well-known pickles factory in Bashiqa in Ninewa, out of his home kitchen with his two brothers. They began by selling pickles to their neighbors but word spread quickly. Soon they outgrew the kitchen and opened a full-fledged pickles factory, which now provides a range of pickled products in Ninewa and Iraqi Kurdistan. 

May 13, 2021

Ahmed, 26, fondly remembers green spring afternoons spent as a youth playing soccer with his neighbors  and friends in his village near Bashiqa in northern Iraq. He loved to play soccer, and in high school he often dreamed of becoming a professional  player. Although his life took a quite different turn over the years, through the USAID-funded Shared  Future project, Ahmed was able to share the joy of soccer with the children of various ethnic and  religious groups in his community. 

May 13, 2021

Sozan, a Yezidi lawyer originally from Sinjar, has spent the last year representing Yezidi women and girls. Her clients include survivors of genocide and gender-based violence who live in Sheikhan. Working with USAID partner Dak Organization for Ezidi Women Development, Sozan helps survivors who were captured and escaped from the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with legal issues such as civil documentation and personal status matters, compensation claims and testifying in terrorism trials. She is a fierce advocate for survivors’ legal rights, “Legal procedures are difficult, and I would do everything I could to make it easier for my clients, because I knew they had already been through so much.”

May 12, 2021

Rasha has always been a people person. As a child on her narrow-alley street in Tel Kayf, a town in northern  Iraq, she was curious about her neighbors and enjoyed taking the time to get to know them. Growing  older, this interest evolved into tight friendships across different religions and ethnic groups. 

May 12, 2021

Since an early age, Devar, 28, has learned what it means to become a leader in his community and through diverse experiences, he has discovered the joy of dedicating his life to helping others.  Today, he continues to pursue his passion as the Executive Director of the Ankawa Humanitarian Committee (AHC), which is being supported by USAID. 

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Last updated: June 28, 2021

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