By the way, read till the end of this post and you will see a surprise. Consider it a New Year present from me to you.
So, sit back, no, actually go get yourself a pyala of chai (or coffee), then sit back, relax and read away as you will have all the information on living in this part of the world only clicks away. You’ve gotta love me for this!
|This is what a pyala of chai looks like. (Tea in a special glass, referred to as Istikan in Arabic)|
So, let’s get started! Shall we?!
Ladies first. As always!
Men seem to dive in to any new place they live in, whether for a holiday or work related stay. However, us women, well… let’s just saw we like to know where we are going and a little planning and thinking doesn’t hurt!
Your first stop should be the Women’s International Network Erbil (W.I.N.E) page, feel free to click here if you’re a woman in Erbil. I advice you to join the large family of women from all corners of the world who share the nice pizza they had at certain restaurant, their search for a particular cupcake mixture at the supermarkets or it can be a place to share your complaints and difficulties while living in the ever growing city in it’s transition phase. Believe me, with over 600 members in the group there is always almost someone who replies with an answer to your question or gives support, advice and kind words to your complaint.
|Women’s International Network Erbil|
This group is so good to the extent that you can ask the number of a restaurant that delivers the best burgers and you will have a reply with in two minutes! I must mention once more it is a WOMEN’S ONLY group.
Let’s Volunteer in Kurdistan, Erbil
There are various ways you can do this, but it is often best to volunteer with an NGO because in many places here you can’t just walk and say: “Hey! I want to volunteer with you.” The sad reality is you will get people raising their eye brows. Hence, you can start in one of these places.
Volunteers in Erbil is a page on Facebook where you can get to know other people who are interested in volunteering. From there you can share your ideas and involve others who have same interests and want to help out.
|Volunteers in Erbil – page|
You can contact the RISE Foundation, click here they’re a great group who do great work. I have seen them in action and I must say very easy going. Someone by the name of Tom was a great help at a point where a friend collected a lot of donations, they helped in entering the refugee camp and distributing a lot of the goods (note there are two Toms in RISE!). Contact them! Some wonderful people there! However, I think their work is limited to only refugees in the Region.
My first start in volunteering was with START NGO, their door is always open, feel free to click here and learn more about what they do.
* Sorry if there are any typos, it is hard to focus on what to write when you’re eating some amazing kulicha with tea! Also, a BIG HUGE SORRY, the display pictures of the PrintScreens are not appearing on the computer. I blame the slow internet connection. I am apparently very behind for not upgrading to FastLink which apparently is the fastest internet at the moment.
Anyhowwwww back to what we were saying. Ways to volunteer in Erbil.
IFMSA International Federation of Medical Students Association- Kurdistan was initiated by my amazing friend Dr. Leila Amin. I remember I attended one of their events this year, many of the volunteers who are medical students referred to Leila as the God Mother of IFMSA-Kurdistan. She initiated it, and now it is run by some SUPER AMAZING young Kurds! If you are a nurse, doctor or anything in that field GET IN TOUCH with Leila and her superb team!
|IFMSA Kurdistan – Facebook post|
And finally a wonderful group of young people run the Dilvia Charity organization, which according to my knowledge are all volunteers. I had a few friends there when Dilvia was just starting.
|Dilvia Charity Organization|
Fun, leisure and yeah.. more fun in Erbil
For those who like to have some fun, here are some places for you to start. The only (I think) English radio station in Erbil is called Babylon, it is streamed on 99.3 FM, there is an amazing morning show which will make you laugh all the way to work. I think you can listen to it online no matter where you are, click here to find out more about them. The three hosts will be your best friends in your lonely Erbil mornings. So do tune in.
|99.3 Babylon FM, English Radion Station in Kurdistan|
The Erbil Lifestyle page is all about where to go and what to do in Erbil. Everything from events, parties to people and places. For example did you know the Lebanese (I think she’s lebanese) artist Nawal el Zoughbi will be hosting a party on New Year’s Eve in Erbil. Nop. I bet you didn’t. (You probably don’t even know who she is, but you get my point) So give the page a like and browse around.
|Events in Erbil for New Year #Hawlerakam #Hawler|
Ummm.. for the ones who like to have a night life (to be honest other than Iskan street and the malls I am the wrong person to give advice on a night life in this city) but there is a closed group which I am not a member of. Some of you might want to have a look, it is the Erbil Night Life page. My nightlife consists of family gatherings or the most is a burger in one of the infinite cafes/ restaurants. (I have a few posts on mandalawi.blogspot.com on various cafes. Check them out!)
|Spotted Erbil Facebook page|
Oooooops! Almost forgot, for The Nerdy type – we do have the Erbil Book Club group as well, not many people seem interested, there are about seven of us (girls) now. It’s kind of fun, because we end up reading a book and never meeting up. If the situation improves I will make sure to blog about that too.
The University of Kurdistan Hewler offers Music Lessons once a week. If you are interested. There is however a fee.
Also, there are Yoga and Zumba classes running in Erbil as well. If you are interested to join. The Yoga classes runs four days a week. (Click on the Yoga and Zumba button, it will take you directly to the pages, do send them an inbox with your questions.)
That’s it for now! Dearest Loyal Blog Reader, click away to the many pages and sites, write emails, comments and find your home away from home in Erbil, or as I like to call it, Hawlerakam (My Hawler).
For those who did scroll down and want to know the surprise. Ummm I honestly don’t know what you were expecting as a surprise, but I will be blogging for seven consecutive days, as from today (please say this was a good surprise. Yes? No? Ok. that’s a no!) Also, as a 2014 gift I will be posting my Memoirs column back in the Kurdish Globe days. Every Wednesday night on Mandalawi.blogspot
|SURPRISE!!! Read above. Hehe|
Okay, okay, I get it. Can you at least act like you are surprised and excited?!
For now xwa hafiz!