Handicrafts Made By Iraqi Female Prisoners Sold At Craft Fair In Sulaimani
At first glance, this craft fair looks no different to any other until you look a little closer and realize the items are all made by women and children living behind bars.
A two-day exhibition selling jeweler, woolen items and homeware made by prisoners took place in Sulaimani, Iraq on Thursday (February 23) and Friday (February 24) trying to end a cycle of crime and violence for some.
Hosted by The Organization of National Centre for Human Rights, organizers hope profits raised will financially assist prisoner families struggling without their loved ones.
The team said they were focused on improving the rights of people from Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
Lawyer for The Organization of National Centre for Human Rights and key organizer of the event said the main goal was to help financially.
''We, The Organization of National Centre for Human rights, held this exhibition of handicrafts made by female and children prisoners. We send money made from the exhibits to the prisoners," she said.
Approximately 40 female prisoners and 10 child prisoners were able to have their handicraft displayed on their behalf at the exhibition.
One shopper, Galosh Gulan said she supported the idea of equipping prisoners with skills to help them with life outside of prison.
''I like to encourage those people [female prisoners] to do more good things with their time and they forget about what they did in past and they can put their past behind and look forward to the future and hopefully they will come up with good ideas and good things,'' she said.
Another visitor, Zito Shamseddin, called upon the authorities to hold more exhibitions and to establish workshops in prison to equip prisoners with relevant skills.
''I came to this exhibition to extend my support to those women [the prisoners] who made these nice handicrafts. And I learned that the revenues of exhibits will be sent to prisoners. My visit to the exhibition is to show my full support to the female prisoners and back up the organisation which held this initiative. I call upon the concerned parties and other humanitarian organizations to organize workshops inside jail to qualify prisoners.''
For those trying to piece together their lives after prison, organizers hope the event will encourage collaboration with both women and men from one side of the bars to the other for the betterment of all.