Going for Gold at the Dohuk Athletic Tournament

17 year old Ahmed participated in the high jump. He is from Mosul, and is currently living in Ghazliyah camp in Ninawa. ©UNICEF Iraq/2017/Anmar
“I trained hard, and I won the silver. Victory is sweet — maybe next time I’ll get the gold!” said 17 year old Ahmed.

Despite the rain more than 1,000 internally displaced Iraqis, refugees from Syria and members of the host community gathered to watch the an annual athletic tournament in Dohuk, northern Iraq.

With support from UNICEF and the German Development Bank (KfW), the event was organized to bring different communities together to foster dialogue and tolerance.

Getting ready to participate in the Dohuk championship ©UNICEF Iraq/2017/Anmar

Girls and boys from 23 camps and 5 host community schools participated in the tournament, giving young people from different backgrounds the opportunity to interact and play with one another.

Chief of Field Office for Dohuk AbdelJabar Dini presents a trophy to one of the winners ©UNICEF Iraq/2017/Anmar

The event was attended by the governor of Dohuk, UNICEF Chief of Field Office for Dohuk AbdelJabar Dini and religious leaders from the Muslim, Christian and Yazidi faiths.

A performance of a traditional Kurdish dance ©UNICEF Iraq/2017/Anmar

Children competed in 200 and 300 meter races, hurdles, relays, discus, and high jumps. Others donned traditional clothing to perform Kurdish dances in between the sports activities.

Bassem with his trophy ©UNICEF Iraq/2017/Anmar

“These games make us stronger, and encourage us to be more productive in the future,” said 16 year old Bassem, who won first place in the 200 meter race. “I hope there are more activities like this that bring us together,” he said.

By Anmar Rfaat and Krman Kamal, Communication Consultants with UNICEF Iraq

Direct donations to UNICEF Iraq: https://support.unicef.org/campaign/donate-now/donate