Orthopaedic and trauma surgeon Professor Deiary Kader has recruited many scrubs, nurses, physiotherapists, and surgeons into the Newcastle-Gateshead Medical Volunteers.
Runak is a Kurdish Yezidi and one of 5,000 women and children enslaved by Daesh. Her husband was taken, presumed dead. Her eldest son was abducted, probably to a Daesh training camp. Her eight-year old son was held for months and returned, probably after sexual abuse.
The dangers facing women are so palpable and real that UN Women has issued urgent requests for humanitarian agencies in the KRI to provide psycho-social support for traumatised women, as well as livelihood programmes for non-camp based women refugees in order to increase their incomes and reduce their vulnerabilities.
Britain should help defend Kurds in Iraq and Syria, for instance, and undermine Daesh ahead of a comprehensive solution in Syria, whose nightmare has persisted for four years and may well continue. Britain should not hide its head in the sand by failing to play a fuller part in defeating the menace of Daesh, and bolstering the Kurdistan Region.
Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are routinely cited in debates on the humanitarian crisis caused by Daesh but large numbers of
Several hundred people including the Mayor of Gateshead and the Sheriff of Newcastle, assembled in their finery at a charity ball with a Kurdish twist in Newcastle last weekend.
Several MPs referred favourably to Ukrainian communities and organisations in their constituencies in a recent Commons debate on Russian actions against Ukraine. Such links with voters, who may be seen as newsworthy locally and electorally important, makes MPs more attentive.
One of the most persistent points made by government officials, business people and others we have met on our parliamentary delegations to Kurdistan in the last six years has been the British visa system.
The Commons, for the second time in a year, returned last week to debating the Kurdistan Region and, specifically, British relations with it. This is very unusual given that Kurdistan is a faraway place of which most British people are unaware. Such debates can change that.
Last week's large Oil and Gas conference in Erbil, which I attended, marked the probably inexorable progress of the Kurdistan Region to economic independence and better and more reliable relationships with the rest of Iraq and with Turkey...