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    Posted April 20, 2012 by
    Sulaimani, Iraq

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    Green Music and Arts Festival- Iraq


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ChrisDB says the first annual Green Music and Arts Festival was a huge success. Nature Iraq and Development Now--two organizations of which he is a co-founder--organized the event, which he says drew around 5000 people. 'It was an honor to be involved in such a groundbreaking project. Hopefully this will set the stage for many more in years to come.'
    jne2013, CNN iReport producer

    The inaugural Green Music and Arts Festival took place today in Azadi Park in Sulaimani, Iraq. The first event of its kind held in Iraq, the Festival celebrated the beauty of nature, the unique landscape of this corner of the world, and the people and organizations who are devoted to protecting the environment through the arts and education.

    Thousands of Iraqi citizens attended the free festival, and the atmosphere of the event was very constructive. An assortment of university students from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani performed in an elocution contest based on a prominent Kurdish poet, Goran.There were a variety of exhibitors which displayed greenhouses built of recycled plastic bottles, constructed a mine field with explosive-free mines, and plants and flowers were available for sale to attendees. Children had their faces painted and were involved in playing a variety of games including painting eggshells and pin the tail on the monkey (not donkey) compliments of volunteers from the organization Development Now.


    From 4 until 7 on the day of the event, festival-goers were treated to an eclectic mixture of music from American and Iraqi musicians, drama, and film. The Festival also integrated numerous environmentally-themed photography and painting exhibitions, a selection of locally and internationally produced ecologically themed films, and educational exhibitions from Sulaimani-based Non-Governmental Organizations including Nature Iraq, STEP, the Green Kurdistan Association, Green Environment, and the Kurdistan Animal Protection Organization.

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