Pres­ence of Ex­pats is Key Af­ter Attack

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

ates, whether through oil jobs to con­tinue the devel­op­ment of Kur­dis­tan’s great­est fi­nan­cial re­source, English teach­ing to fur­ther ed­u­cate the ris­ing gen­er­a­tion, or NGOs to help lift the bur­den of a mil­lion refugees, is vi­tal to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. It also fur­ther se­cures at least some level of for­eign in­ter­est in keep­ing Kur­dis­tan’s ma­jor cities safe.

When Pres­i­dent Obama au­tho­rized air strikes against ISIS in early Au­gust, he cited the need to “pro­tect Amer­i­can per­son­nel” in the re­gion. There’s a strong like­li­hood the US would have got­ten in­volved even with­out Amer­i­cans in the area, but few would ar­gue that the US con­sulate in Er­bil, along with a siz­able pop­u­la­tion of Western­ers, made the de­ci­sion easy.

Last week’s attack is a clear at­tempt to scare away for­eign­ers and in so do­ing cause more eco­nomic dam­age than can be done through one bomb­ing in Ainkawa. It was ISIS’s des­per­ate at­tempt to take a jab at the Kurds' de­vel­op­ing re­la­tions with the West while destroying the econ­omy by send­ing its busi­ness part­ners pack­ing.

Th­ese days, whether in Europe, the US, or Kur­dis­tan, it’s im­por­tant for us all to re­spond to th­ese events with vig­i­lance and tight­ened se­cu­rity. Yet for the Kur­dish com­mu­nity to fur­ther pre­vent the eco­nomic and ed­u­ca­tion cri­sis that ISIS seeks, it will be cru­cial to not only keep the re­gion se­cure but to clearly com­mu­ni­cate its spe­cial com­mit­ment to pro­tect the world's diplo­mats, busi­ness­men, teach­ers, and NGO work­ers.

Like­wise, for the ex­pat com­mu­nity, let’s not give way to overblown head­lines about the re­gion and as­sume what we know isn’t true. Kur­dis­tan of­fers a good level of se­cu­rity to guests living here. As ev­i­denced by last week’s attack, it’s not per­fect. But as we look at iso­lated ter­ror events that have hap­pened world­wide in the last three years, we know that no where is per­fectly safe. Let’s main­tain stead­fast­ness and com­mit­ment to­wards our host coun­try and to­gether not fall prey to the ter­ror that seeks to de­stroy us all.

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