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    U.S. Soldiers take part in Kurdish Labor Day celebration

    U.S. Soldiers Take Part in Kurdish Labor Day Celebration

    Photo By Daniel Nelson | Soldiers from Command Post - North, Task Force Lightning, enjoyed the mountainous...... read more read more

    MOSUL, Iraq- Soldiers from Command Post-North, Task Force Lightning, led by Col. Stephen Myers, deputy commanding officer, CP-North, joined in Kurdish Labor Day celebrations in Amedye, Iraq, May 1.

    The Soldiers ate a customary Kurdish feast for lunch in a mountainside restaurant that offered a landscape view of the city of Amedye, which sits on top of a mesa.

    "I was impressed with the Kurdish people's hospitality and how they welcomed us to their celebrations," said Capt. Matt Radik, a staff officer for CP-North. "The contrast between the northern and southern part of Iraq is vast. This is beautiful countryside."

    After lunch, the group took a perilous road trip through the mountains to the site of a "worker's festival." The road hugged each bend and curve of the mountain range. At the event site, tents were scattered from one rugged mountainside to another and thousands of Kurdish people had come together to enjoy the celebration.

    "It was like what I would imagine Woodstock was like," said Sgt. Brian Allen, non-commissioned officer-in-charge, public affairs office, CP-North, "but this took place in the mountains."

    Folk songs, dances and a comedy skit about current events in Iraq were the center point of the event. Myers and his Soldiers were seated at the front to have full view of the entertainment.

    During the event, a group of Kurdish dancers assembled on the grassy area in front of the Soldiers, forming a line alternating male and female. At each end a performer held a ribbon.

    The music was fast-paced and the dancers were on point, sometimes moving as one unit with jolting, crisp movements and at other times performing separate gender-specific pieces.

    Before the Soldiers left the event, spectators came together to take part in a traditional Kurdish dance. Interlocking their pinky fingers together, the crowd included the Soldiers in a seemingly endless chain of a dance, which is customary during Kurdish celebrations.

    "It's always good to experience other cultures," added Allen.

    Before leaving the event, Myers took time to meet with festival goers.

    Before the return flight to Mosul, the pilots flew over Amedye, giving the Soldiers a view of the "postcard" village. In addition, they routed the flight past one of many houses that belonged to Saddam Hussein. The house sits on a mountain peak overlooking the enormous valley in which Amedye lies.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.21.2009
    Date Posted: 05.21.2009 08:21
    Story ID: 33894
    Location: MOSUL, IQ 

    Web Views: 530
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