The team of Sports Against Violence, together with Iraqi authorities, organized an intiative to run for peace in the streets in the Eastern part of Mosul on Friday 10th of February 2017. Below is the press statement that was released prior to the run:

We run for peace

We run for Mosul

Whenever we read the historical story of the marathon, the story of “Pheidippides” after the end of the war that swept through Greece in ancient times, we are filled with hope of achieving peace that humanity prevail over violence, war and extremist thinking! People want to enjoy a future of peace freedom and social justice.

Mosul, Om Al Rabean, was usurped by the forces of darkness for more than two years. Now half of it has been freed, and we, Sports Against Violence, decided in coordination with the Iraqi government and the national army to conduct a “run for peace” in its liberated streets, in order to send an important message to all of Iraq. The starting whistle for a fresh start was launched by the liberation of our beloved Mosul, and to get rid of the forces of darkness and terrorism; a new beginning for lasting peace.

Liberation will be fully achieved only if Iraqi civil society and Iraqi institutions jointly commit to rebuild their society, favor the return of all IDPs, manage internal conflict with nonviolent methods, protect minorities and work for reconciliation. To this end we run today, unarmed, strongly convinced that another Iraqi is possible, another Mosul is possible.

We will meet you in the city ofMosul, Friday 10th of February 2017, in our next activity “Peace Message to Mosul”, to run for peace and peaceful coexistence.

“Sports Against Violence” is a team of the Iraqi Social Forum, a sports association that seeks to spread values of non-violence involving young people. It is a partner of Sport Against Violence in Italy and the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative.