Erbil capital of the middle class, refuge for Iraqis, Iraqi researcher

Iraqi Researcher Praises Erbil's Tolerance and Hospitality
An aerial view shows the Erbil Citadel in the Kurdistan Region's capital, Dec. 13, 2021. (Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP)
An aerial view shows the Erbil Citadel in the Kurdistan Region's capital, Dec. 13, 2021. (Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – In an article titled "Erbil, the Capital of the Middle Class and the Refuge of Iraqis," published in the Arabic-language Independent newspaper, Iraqi researcher and writer Sabah Nahi commends Erbil for hosting Baghdadi families and opening its doors to Arabs.

He highlights the city's tolerance, spearheaded by President Barzani, which has fostered investment and revitalized Kurdistan. These qualities, Nahi argues, have transformed Erbil into another capital for Iraqis.

A Safe Haven for Iraqi Families

Nahi emphasizes that Erbil has evolved from a mere gateway for Iraqis escaping the turmoil in central, southern, and northern areas around Mosul into a residential city where Iraqi families can find security, stability, and peace.

Unlike the chaotic and conflict-ridden cities of Iraq, Erbil offers a haven of tranquility and better living conditions.

Forced Displacement

The article underscores the significant influx of displaced people to Erbil, especially after the fall of Mosul and other Iraqi cities in 2014.

During this period, communities from Nineveh province, including Christians, Yezidis, Shabaks, and others, sought refuge in Erbil and other cities in the Kurdistan Region, where they were warmly welcomed.

Reflection of Manpower

Despite ongoing differences with the federal government, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has maintained an open-door policy, providing secure residence to all individuals seeking safety in the region.

This policy has allowed people to travel, stay, and live peacefully in the Kurdistan Region.

Kurdish Tolerance

Nahi highlights the roots of Kurdish tolerance, tracing it back to President Massoud Barzani's policies post-2003 war. A researcher and professor at Baghdad University who purchased a house in Erbil attests to this longstanding tradition of acceptance.

This culture of tolerance has significantly contributed to Erbil's economic development, cultural enrichment, and social beautification.

Economic Opportunities

Erbil's success is also attributed to the thriving private sector, which has played a crucial role in investment in various sectors such as electricity, real estate, and automobile trade.

Consequently, the Kurdistan Region has become a popular tourist destination.

President Barzani's Leadership

Reflecting on President Barzani's leadership, Nahi recalls the London Congress in 2002, where Barzani uniquely advocated for tolerance over revenge, unlike other political forces.

This stance has been pivotal in shaping the new phase of Kurdistan, making Erbil a city that every Iraqi can take pride in.

The Mass Carnival

The article also acknowledges the historical significance of Erbil and the role of KRG security forces in maintaining peace and stability.

The city is described as a vibrant hub where the diverse languages and cultures of various communities converge, creating a blend of peace and reconciliation.

Half a Million Tourists

The influx of about half a million Iraqi tourists to Erbil during the Eid al-Adha holidays is a testament to the city's stable and balanced life, particularly among the middle class who seek security and stability.

Salary Cuts and Life Challenges

Nahi also touches on the issue of salary cuts for employees in the Kurdistan Region, attributing the responsibility to the Iraqi parliament. Despite these challenges, Erbil continues to thrive as a beacon of hope and prosperity for Iraqis.

Erbil's evolution into a safe, welcoming, and prosperous city underscores its role as a capital of tolerance and a refuge for those seeking a better life amidst Iraq's ongoing challenges.