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Children of Iraq's Kawliya return to school after 14-year break

From Reuters - April 17, 2018

AL-ZUHOOR, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqs Kawliya minority, also known as the countrys gypsies, have long been marginalized by society.

But in al-Zuhoor, they finally have an elementary school againnearly 14 years after the villages only school was ransacked and destroyed at the hands of an Islamic militia.

Known locally as the Gypsies Village, Al-Zuhoor is near the city of Diwaniya, 150 km (95 miles) south of Baghdad. Roughly 420 people live in mud houses and reed huts lining unpaved streets.

With no basic services, the villages primary school and clinic, built by the government of Saddam Hussein, weredamaged by an Islamic militia in a mortar attack on the village in late 2003, months after a U.S.-led invasion toppled him from power.

The school was reopened with the help of U.N. childrens fund UNICEF after a campaign started by civilian activists on Facebook called I am a Human Being. It is made of a cluster of caravans provided by UNICEF on Al-Zuhoors outskirts.

The school has 27 children aged six to 10 and a teaching staff of a headmaster and two teachers.

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