Sadly, I must announce that Runak Rauf, Founder and Director of the Women’s Media Center in Suleymaniyah, Iraq, passed from this world the morning of June 13, 2012. The QFH crew, edit staff and I were blessed and honored to work with this great lady, a prime example of a legendary Kurdish lioness.
Runak Khan was brave, bold, yet compassionate and kind. Never one to run from a challenge, she was formidable foe to all who would harm her beloved family, friends, or Kurdish homeland. She was a champion of unprotected women and applauded by women who knew her the world over.
In the midst of a bitter Kurdish civil war in 1994, Runak Khan organized a 150 mile women’s march from Suleymaniyah to the Kurdish capital of Erbil. The women by-passed tribal leaders and went straight to the newly formed parliament, where they shamed the men into ending the destructive war, achieving peace where Kurdish leaders, Western countries, and the United Nations had failed.
Runak Khan boldy expressed her well thought out opinions in Rewan, the Women’s Media Center’s, even when they conflicted with those of politically powerful family members. “My father raised me to be independent and educated,” Runak Khan explained to us.
Runak Khan was a loving mother and grandmother, caring friend, and Kurdish patriot. We all shall miss her and cherish the gifts she so generously bestowed upon us.
Below are comments on Runak’s life and condolences to her family by Quest for Honor crew, editorial staff, supporters, and audiences. Please add yours. These are being sent to the Women’s Media Center in Suleymaniyah, Iraq, and may be published there.