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“I love Kurdistan’s freedom of press. I don’t mind journalists who criticize my government’s policies… but my mother?”

Barham Salih, Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan, speaking about his mother, activist and publisher Runak Rauf —-Slemani, Christmas Eve – 2002.


RUNAK RAUF, Director of Women’s Media Center. In 1994, in the midst of a bitter Kurdish civil war, Runak Rauf, already in her 60’s, led a 150 mile women’s march.  The women by-passed tribal leaders and went straight to the newly formed parliament, where they shamed the men into ending the destructive war.  “My father raised me to be independent and educated,” says Runak Khan (a term of respect).  As director of The Women’s Media Center, she often writes for Rewan.  She boldly expresses her opinions, even when they conflict with those of her high-profile son, Burham Salih, now Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq.   Runak Khan is bold, brilliant, and an inspiration to all who know her.


RUNAK FARAJ, Editor of Rewan (Dawn), Women Media Center’s newspaper. “One of my students was murdered in an honor killing. That changed my life,” says Runak Faraj, editor of Rewan. “Our work is hard. We are facing problems that go back thousands of years.” Runak Faraj has written several books and many articles on the problems women face in Iraqi Kurdistan. She also works in radio and television media in her efforts to bring Iraqi Kurdish women to a better place.


KALTHUM MURAD IBRAHIM, Rania reporter for Rewan. Katlhum began her journalistic career as a volunteer for the Women’s Media Center.  She now directs their Rania post, participates in investigations and writes for Rewan. Helping people comes naturally to Kalthum, the daughter of a mullah. “People often came to my father for help,” she says, “so I am accustomed to the idea of aiding people.  My father greatly influenced my life. He never treated me differently than my brothers.”


HEMEN KAIKAY, Free lance video journalist. Hemen often works for KURD-SAT in Slemani and KIRKUK-TV in his native Kirkuk, as well as for international video. Determined to made a difference, Hemen aspires to reveal the plight of Kurdistan’s women through his work and is inspired by the  Iranian photographers who documented the massacre of Halabja.  He keeps a SB Productions camera in Kurdistan and sends us updates on stories from time to time.  His work, his contacts and his  knowledge of Kurdish society were essential components for Quest for Honor.


LAWEN ASAD. Lawen is Deputy Managing Editor of SOMA, Slemani’s English language newspaper.  She has a M.A. in international politics from London. Lawen was both efficient and effective as SBP’s Associate Producer in Kurdistan.


ABDULLAH RASOOL AHMED, Police Chief in Ranya.  After discovering and investigating the death of Nesrin, Chief Abdullah and his men arrange proper burial out of sympathy for the deserted women.


CAPTAIN NARIMAN, Head of the new Agency to Prevent Violence Against Women formed by Nechervan Barzani, Prime MInister of the elected parliament of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

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