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“In the middle of chaos, a bright side”: Iraq Builders celebrates one year of repairing homes around Baghdad

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Originally posted on TED Blog:

A team from Iraq Builders puts a new roof on a bombed-out home in Basrah, Iraq last August. Photo: Courtesy of Iraq Builders A team from Iraq Builders puts a new roof on a bombed-out home in Basrah last August. Photo: Courtesy Iraq Builders

If you happened upon a small park in Nasiriyah, Iraq, last June 28, you would have noticed a group of 15 people, fast asleep, with blue hard hats and orange vests nearby. This group was not homeless, nor staging some kind of occupation. They were volunteers from Iraq Builders who had traveled more than 350 kilometers to repair the badly damaged home of a family without the means to do repairs themselves. Since they didn’t have a place to stay for the night, they slept in the park.

“It was nothing,” says Elaf Mohammed Al-hijazi, who’s a doctor as well as the social media coordinator for TEDxBaghdad and the co-founder of Iraq Builders.

Iraq Builders started a year ago, out of a conversation Elaf Mohammed had with friend Zaid…

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