Young Shabaks who were displaced to the Nineveh Plains have formed the Shabak Youth Parliament in order to represent themselves at the national level.
In an attempt to create a stronger community and encourage coexistence, the Iraqi Shabak community living in the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq has established a Youth Parliament, which aims to teach the younger generations how they can use their voices to bring about change.
“This is an attempt to convey the voices and suffering of young people to the Iraqi Government, the executive authority, and the legislative authority to meet their ambitions and solve problems,” said Haneen al-Qado, a Shabak member of the Iraqi parliament. “Society progresses, and as society progresses, new problems arise.”
Despite being called the Shabak Youth Parliament, members of the parliament can be from any ethno-religious group within the 62 Shabak-majority villages. Furthermore, their vision is that this can be expanded to all the areas within Nineveh Province.
“There is an openness to the rest of the minorities, and therefore, the goal of the Shabak Youth Parliament is to unite the vision of the Shabak youth and Shabak society and move towards the other minorities in the province of Nineveh,” said Husein Shaker, the head of the establishing committee for the Youth Parliament.
The recently-launched parliament is based on the democratic principle of voting and nominees will be elected from the different villages. According to the parliament’s constitution, 20 people will be chosen to represent the large villages, 15 from the medium villages, and ten from the small villages in the Nineveh Plains, which is a region containing a number of different ethno-religious groups in Iraq.
The young people participating in the parliament have expressed their happiness with the proposal of such a concept as it will allow them to improve both themselves and the societies that they live in.
“Through this parliament, we will refine the ideas of our youth and implement them on the ground,” said Mohammed Husein, a nominee for the Youth Parliament.
With this positive step forward, the Shabak community in the Nineveh Plains is attempting to move past the pain that was inflicted on them by ISIS. Since the liberation of the Nineveh plains in 2017, 90% of the Shabak community have returned to their homes after they were forcibly displaced by ISIS.