Iraq: Kurdish activist brings Christmas cheer to children in war-torn Dohuk

For the last two years, Kurdish activist Shaima al-Abbasi has dressed as Santa Claus to bring gifts to children in war-torn cities in northern Iraq, as seen in footage captured in Dohuk on Tuesday.

“This idea aims to spread love and peace around the world and demonstrate that there is no difference among religions or people,” al-Abbasi said.

al-Abbasi was seen draped in a red and white cloak as she rode into town to visit the children.

In addition to gift-giving, the 24-year-old also organises fun activities which include singing and dancing.

“Since I adore children, I insisted on having this costume tailored by a female tailor especially to make children happy because I am an advocate of women’s and children’s rights,” she said.

Like many of the children she meets, al-Abbasi was displaced from her home in Sinjar to a refugee camp in 2014, after the rise of the Islamic State.

She started working with children in 2015 and has been volunteering with various organisations ever since.

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