Translate page with Google

Pulitzer Center Update September 8, 2014

This Week: A State of Conflict in Northern Iraq


Media: Authors:
Image by Sebastian Meyer. Iraq, 2014.

Today Iraq is consumed by sectarian fighting, but in the north the legacy of the US-led war is...

author #1 image author #2 image
Multiple Authors


From Saddam Hussein's genocidal Anfal campaign in the 1980s and a brutal civil war in the 1990s to the current threat from ISIS, Iraq's Kurds have lived through a seemingly permanent state of conflict. The violence has left deep scars on generations of Kurds, many of whom clearly suffer from PTSD but have no access to the kind of modern medical care available to American veterans. Pulitzer Center grantee Jenna Krajeski wrote about the struggles of these Kurds in a piece for Harper's magazine last month. More recently she spoke with NPR's All Things Considered about her story.

Jenna and grantee Sebastian Meyer have been working on a long-term project documenting a year in the life of Kurdistan. In August, when the Yazidis, a minority sect in northern Iraq, were routed from their villages by ISIS extremists, Sebastian reported the story for Voice of America radio and filed this photo gallery for The Washington Post.


Ana Santos, our 2014 Persephone Miel fellow, notes that when Filipino women leave their families to find work abroad, they view migration as a necessary sacrifice to obtain the two things that will secure a future for their children: a home and an education.

But for some 100,000 women who leave the Philippines each year to work as caregivers mainly in the wealthy countries of the Middle East and Europe, this simple aspiration comes at a cost that cannot be translated into monetary terms. "A mother's presence is deferred for the promise of economic gain. Years that would have been spent seeing her children grow up are spent watching over other people's children," says Ana.

A documentary produced by Ana for The Rappler tells the story of one family as it copes with the cost of an absent mother.


As India's economy grows, so too does its need for energy. "Coal-fired power plants supply most of India's electrical demand but, as India's coal reserves dwindle, cultivating the hydropower potential of the rivers cascading through the Himalaya Mountains has become a national priority," writes Pulitzer Center student fellow Tom Clement in an Untold Stories dispatch.

Tom, who graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., this spring, traveled to Sikkim, in the foothills of the Himalayas, to look at India's ambitious plans to construct a series of hydroelectric dams in remote rural area. The project could tap the region's vast potential, but as Tom discovers, it also "threatens the livelihood of locals and the fragile Himalayan ecosystem."

Until next week,

Tom Hundley
Senior Editor