Under the supervision of Prof Dr. Mahabad Kamil Abdullah, the president of the UoH, and under the slogan, “The UoH Serves the Halabja Chemical Attack Case with its Projects and Innovations” held an event to commemorate the Halabja Chemical attack on the 16th of March 2023 in the Central Library of the UoH presidency.
The event was held in the presence of Mr. Azad Tofiq, governor of Halabja, members of the UoH council, families and relatives of the victims, lecturers and employees and a number of administrative officials in the city.
The event began with standing silently for a minute for the souls of Halabja chemical attack and Kurdistan martyrs. Then, the welcoming speech was delivered by the president of UoH. She stated, “Today, 35years later, the tragedy of Halabja remains a haunting reminder of the horrors of war and the devastating impact it has had and will continue to have on innocent civilians. As we gather here today, we must remember those who lost their lives and those who continue to suffer from the effects of the chemical weapons used in the attack”.
After that, the masterpiece of Gulbaran by Mr. Salaharash and Mr. Aziz Hama Karim which was composed by Mr. Bakhtiar Hama Karim and Mr. Aziz Hama Karim was presented by the children of Shawnm Kindergarten.
Another part of the commemoration was dedicated to showing a project named Halabja Genocide Digital Archive which was presented by Assist. Prof. Dr. Nariman Abdullah Ali. This project is to collect and archive all information, documents, research papers, writings, photos and videos on the chemical attack on Halabja. The following is the link of the project website:
Halabja Memorial - In Memory of a Tragedy
In another part, Prof. Dr. Hussein Mohammed Salih presented another project entitled, “Encyclopedia of Halabja” in which he discussed the importance of the project which is a joint work of Khal Organization and UoH with the financial sponsorship of Mr. Sheikh Ali Sheikh Ezadin.
Afterwards, a piece of music was performed by the musicians Mr. Jazai Saz, Mr. Salim and Mr. Alan.
Later, a panel named, “A New Vision for Reconstructing the Individuals Identity in Halabja” by Mr. Hoshmand Atta Mahmoud was organized for each of the following:
Firstly, Dr. Jaafar Omar Ahmad as a psychologist disucced extensively researched the psychological effects of chemical attacks on the victims of Halabja. He has discovered that such attacks can lead to long-lasting trauma and psychological damage, including depression, anxiety, and phobias. He wished that the UoH would conduct more research papers on this field.
Secondly, Dr. Jihad Ibrahim Ahmad discussed “Health Consequences of the Halabja Tragedy” and the types of gases that were spilled on the day of chemical attack on Halabja such as Mustard gas which blistered the skin and lungs as well as Nerve agents such as Sarin and VX which were much more deadly.
Thirdly, Dr. Lehon Qadir Abdulrahman discussed “Identity of Halabja and Halabja People from Genocide and Distortion to Hide and Be a Leader” in which he talked about the concept of the city and the co-citizenship. He mentioned that the city is a place that brings together different views. Further, a citizen is someone who lives for a place which includes different views and ideas but not himself.
The chemical attack on Halabja, which occurred on March 16, 1988, remains one of the deadliest instances of chemical warfare in modern history. More than 5000 people, mostly civilians, were killed or injured when Iraqi forces, under the command of Saddam Hussein, dropped deadly chemical bombs in Halabja. The attack was part of a larger campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Kurdish population in Iraq, which lasted for several years and resulted in the displacement and death of hundreds of thousands of people.