After a 14 year break, children of Iraqi Kawliya group (known as Iraqi gypsies) can attend school in al-Zuhoor village near the southern city of Diwaniya, Iraq.
The primary school in Al-Zuhoor’s is open again. Almost 14 years have passed since the village school was destroyed by Islamic terrorists and since then, the local children could not go to school. The primary school and clinic was badly damaged by a mortar attack in 2003.
Al-Zuhoor is a village about 150 km /95 miles south of Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq. This village known as the 'the gypsy village' in Iraq. Roughly 420 people live in mud houses and reed huts line the unpaved streets. The Kawliya people who live there, are often referred to as the Iraqi gypsies and do not have rights and are not recognised as citizens by the Iraqi government.
Manar al-Zubaidi, representative of the 'I am a Human Being' action group on Facebook, put pressure on the Iraqi government. He demanded that the Kawliya are granted Iraqi nationality to help their children continue with their studies and get jobs.
With the help of UNICEF (United Nation's Children's fund) the school was rebuilt and reopened. 27 children between the ages of 6 and 10 years attend the school with a headmaster and two teachers.
image: REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani