Press Release – July 12, 2011 Hundreds of Iraqi and international runners will compete in a marathon in the historical city of Erbil, Iraq on October 7, 2011, to send the world a message “Let’s Run for Peace and Nonviolence.”
We want to deliver a message to the world that Iraqi people are striving to live without violence says marathon planning committee members from Erbil.
Building peace through sports is an international initiative implemented in dozens of countries around the world for adults, youth, women, and individuals of varying skills. The First International Iraqi Marathon for Peace and Nonviolence in Erbil will host running events for families, the handicapped, youth, women, and professional runners. Each person will be able to participate in a section of the marathon.
Runners can sign up individually or in teams, representing NGOs, Government Ministries, Youth Clubs, Student and Workers Unions and any other informal group, to compete in one of the three races (2 km, 10 km, 21km and 42 km) where many prizes will be offered for the winners.
We believe that sport is a vehicle for connecting people all over the world says Nicola Visconti the Erbil Marathon co-organizer from Sport Against Violence in Rome, Italy who already has recruited 37 runners to travel from Rome to Erbil for the race.
Following the marathon, civil society activists from all over the world will convene in Erbil for the International Conference of the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative(October 8-9, 2011), building bridges of solidarity and cooperation with Iraqi social movements who are working to build a democratic Iraq, with respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The First International Iraqi Marathon for Peace and Nonviolence in Erbil and the ICSSI Conference are part of the Iraqi Week of Nonviolence, a week-long series of national activities sponsored by Iraqi NGOs of the Iraqi Non-Violence Network (Laonf) including the Al-Mesalla, Kurdistan Youth Organization (KEYO) and the Iraqi Kurdistan NGO Network (IKNN).
Added By: Ann Ward