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With the marshes of southern Iraq facing a drought, the living standards for Arab families in the southern governorates are quickly deteriorating. Rahima, 38, was born and raised in Nasiriyah, south of Baghdad, close to once fertile wetlands, but with the marshes being progressively drained – first by Saddam and later as a result of damming programs in Turkey and Iran – she chose to move to the mountainous Kurdistan Region in 2006. She now lives in Goktapa village, 80 km west of Sulaymaniyah, together with her two children and husband. She works on fruit farms, while Jasim, her husband, found a job in construction.
Being the only Arab family in the small Kurdish village is not easy, but the kids are now enrolled in a Kurdish school and are learning the language, while Rahima’s hard work provides the family with all they need.