* Editor’s note: Fakhir Mustafa Mohammed was a Humphrey Fellow at UC Davis during the 2013-14 academic year. He sent this brief email to Elisabeth Sherwin, the executive director of International House, who passes it along. Mohammed lives in Kurdistan with his family and wrote this email on Aug. 28.
I am good; the ISIS is in retrogression thanks to U.S. Air Force strikes. Thanks to the U.S. Air Force, the situation is much better but Peshmerga (Kurdish troops) are still fighting ISIS along the 1,020-kilometer border that has seen many victims and martyrs on a daily basis but we are regaining our land. This morning the Peshmerga are trying to get Zumar (oil area) again.
Many times I said that I love USA and their people, and why do you ask is that? Because every time we need urgent help to save our nation (Kurd) only USA comes to save us, and this is the third time. The USA saved us in 1991 with the non-fly zone and in the 1998 civil war, and this year 2014 when we almost lost our people and land. But two hours before this catastrophe took place, the U.S. started its air strikes, and we were safe again.
That is why in April of 2014 I carried the American flag in the UC Davis Picnic Day Parade — which I preferred to carry even more than the Kurdistan flag — and I am totally right to have American friends.
Fakhir Mustafa Mohammed