IOM publishes children’s coloring book to promote social cohesion
The country of Iraq is rich in traditions, culture, and languages; each brings its own color and texture. Joined like stitched threads, they together make up the diverse and vibrant fabric of Iraqi society.
This coloring book recognizes an important tradition in Iraq: the role of the hakawatis, or storytellers. The coloring book is an effort to promote social cohesion through sharing a piece of Iraq’s rich cultural heritage.
In Iraq’s oral tradition, the hakawati was a source of folk wisdom and stories. Later, mothers told these stories to their children, which contribute to creating a sense of shared custom and belonging within the society. Years later, those children, as adults, fondly remember the stories, and may use them to recall shared traditions.
Acknowledging the contribution of storytelling to tighten the threads towards the weaving of a cohesive Iraqi society, this book gathers various folk stories from many of Iraq’s ethno-religious groups. It includes Kurdish, Arabic, Shabak, Yazidi and Turkic folk stories, but does not mention their origin.
This is intentional, as the book aims to present the younger generation with an interconnected view of Iraq’s cultural heritage; and to offer the opportunity to bringing readers and those who share the stories closer together.