Ho! Ho! Ho!
It is Christmas day once again, and the atmosphere in Erbil demonstrates just that!!
Ankawa is primarily known to be the Christian suburb in Erbil, but Muslims and other groups make their way to Ankawa in the evenings just to enjoy their time and get into the season’s fun spirit. The streets all over Erbil, and Ankawa in particular, are brightly decorated, at night the city sparkles with light. Text messages are going though with both ‘Merry Christmas and a happy New Year' and Muslim Kurds are visiting their Christian friends to wish them the best.
What is amazing about living in Kurdistan is that we all celebrate special occasions together, a Muslim myself, but I am in the Christmas mood and spirit. The other way is also true, when Jezhn comes we celebrate with our non-Muslim friends.
I know Muslim Kurds who have put up a Christmas tree in their house- “it’s for the mood of the season” they explain, “and the New Year”, now that is acceptance and co-existence!!
Many of the shops and malls have been selling Christmas decorations since for the past month or so. The shops are all decorated, and it is not rare to find a Christmas tree in almost one in every two public places you may visit.
I just wish Santa came to our house too :( and that some snow falls to complete the feel.
* Picture from M. Kurdi -- Majdi Mall in Erbil, on Christmas day