Five-thousand people died in a single chemical weapons attack on March 16, 1988 – exactly 31 years ago.
A performance was held in downtown Erbil on Saturday to respectfully mark the anniversary and remember those lost.The 15-minute play titled “In remembrance of Halabja” was written by Hiwa Suad, head of the Erbil Artists Syndicate.
It embodies the loss of innocent men, women, children, and elderly people and addresses the many tragedies which have befallen the Kurds in recent decades. “This play tells the plights of Kurds including Anfal, chemical attacks, and all the way to the massacre of Yezidi Kurds,” Salam Bapir, media officer of the Erbil Play Department, told Rudaw.In the closing months of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), the forces of Iraq’s former Baathist president Saddam Hussein dropped shells containing chlorine, sarin, and a cocktail of other toxic substances upon the town of Halabja. Those who were not killed outright suffered horrific injuries.
Many families separated during the hurried evacuation are still searching for their children to this day.
Photos: Mohammed Shwani / Rudaw