Turkmen Shi’a Visit Sultan Saqi Shrine
I had to use the original title. Just look at the alliteration!
The 506th Air Expeditionary Group and the Kirkuk Provincial Reconstruction Team of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq assisted approximately 30 members of the predominantly Turkmen Shi’a community of the Tiseen neighborhood of Kirkuk city to visit the Imam Sultan Saqi Shrine and its surrounding cemetery, which are historically and religiously important to the Turkmen Shi’a community, April 17.
Traditionally, the people of the Tiseen community in Kirkuk visit the shrine and the graves of the deceased of their own community buried in the cemetery surrounding the shrine on religious holidays and other special occasions.
Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, the land was confiscated for use as an airport and military base, and visitations and use of the cemetery were forbidden. The U.S. Air Force, who has managed the base since 2003, and the PRT recognized the importance of the site to the Tiseen community and initiated periodic visits for them.
“The U.S. Air Force believes that it’s important to be a good neighbor to the people of Kirkuk, and we are pleased to have been able to meet and assist some of our neighbors today,” said Col. Leonard Dick, 506th AEG commander.
Kirkuk Provincial Council members Tahseen Kahea and Qassim Hamza participated in the visit, along with representatives of the PRT and U.S. Air Force. During the event, Akbar Shokor Bahram gave a blessing and spoke of the importance of the site to the community.
Story by Master Sgt. Martie Moore
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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 10:38 am and is filed under War on Terror, Iraq, Religion, Islam, War on Terror, Iraq, Rebuilding, Religion, War on Terror. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.