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Shirin Kittani-Aqrawi • شیرین کتانی عقراوی

Shirin has accomplished fifty years of humanitarian, political, and human rights activism in Kurdistan and 32 years in European exile. With her husband, she ensured the relocation via UNHCR of over 700 Kurdish families in the 1970s, through Frankfurt to USA

From 2004 to 2010, she lived to Vienna to take an active role as diplomat, next to her husband, Ambassador, Tariq Aqrawi, who was appointed the first Kurdish-Iraqi Ambassador post-Saddam to the UN, IAEA, OPEC and Austria. She is now a senior adviser to the Barzani Charity Foundation.

Originally from Amadia and Oramar, she was born in 1946 in Diwaniye, a desert region of Iraq, after the Iraqi government exiled her family to there. This was part of a crackdown against her father General Ali Abdulaziz Kittani’s family actively being part in the Kurdish national movement, especially his brother Ezzat Abdulaziz Kittani, a leading figure next to General Mustafa Barzani.

She has been actively involved in the political activities of the exiled Kurdish resistance movement. One of her many achievements was in 1975, Shirin, while living in Berlin with her newlywed husband and head of the Kurdish Student Society KSSE, Tariq Aqrawi, single handedly negotiated the release of 21 Kurdish Students in Prague, before risking to be extradited to Iraq, where they would have been executed by the ruling Baathist government. After the students protested against the Iraqi government in front of the Iraqi Embassy in Prague, upon request, the Czech government ordered their forceful relocation to Iraq. The students, fled into the Swedish Embassy to plead for asylum. The Swedish government was very hesitant to grant such request.

As a member of the KSSE, and due to her husband, who was the head of the organization at that time, being on a political mission to the Kurdish mountains, she was appointed to travel to Stockholm and convince the Swedish government to grant the asylum. Negotiating with the Foreign Ministry in Stockholm, giving a press conference and directly talking with the Swedish Ambassador in Prague, she managed to convince the government to rescue the students. Granting them political asylum.

She studied 12 years of primary and secondary education at the coventry school in Baghdad ‘Rahibat” - an elite french catholic girls school with graduates including Zaha Hadid - world famous Iraqi architect). She did her undergraduate in Medicine from University of Belgrade and Master of Arts in political science and translation from University of Bonn, Gemany. She spent 32 years in European exile, and returned to Kurdistan for good in 2011.

Languages: Kurdish, Arabic, English, German, French, Persian and Serbo-Croat

Married to Ambassador Tariq Aqrawi, Mother of two, Grandmother of two

شیرین خان زیاتر له‌ په‌نجا ساڵ کاری له‌ بواری چالاکی مرۆیی و سیاسه‌ت و مافی مرۆڤ کردووه‌ له‌ کوردستان وماوه‌ی سی و دوو ساڵ له‌ ده‌ره‌وه‌ی وڵات ، ڕاوێژکاره‌ له‌ کۆماڵه‌ی خێ‌رخوازی بارزانی ، له‌ نێان ساڵانی ۲۰۰٤-۲۰۰۹ چوو بۆ ڤییه‌نا تا ڕۆلێکی کاریگه‌ری هه‌بێ وه‌کو دیپلۆمات له‌گه‌ڵ هاوسه‌ره‌که‌ی سه‌فیر تاریق عقراوی که‌ وه‌کو یه‌که‌م سه‌فیری کورد هه‌بژێردرا پاش سه‌ددام بۆ ڤییەنا و