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Rotary Club learns about Iraq

Nam Sabir, owner of two restaurants in Valley City and Jamestown, was the guest speaker at the recent Jamestown Rotary Club meeting. He was introduced by Rotarian Steve Looysen.  Nam owns Sabir’s restaurant in Valley City and the Buffalo City Grill in Jamestown. He immigrated to the U.S. 38 years ago and became a U.S. citizen in 1986. He came to the U.S. from the Kurdistan region of Iraq. It is located in the north of Iraq and constitutes the country’s only autonomous region. It is frequently referred to as Southern Kurdistan as Kurds generally consider it to be one of the four parts of Greater Kurdistan which also includes parts of southeastern Turkey, northern Syria and northwestern Iran. In September, Kurdistan voted to separate from the Iraq government. In October, the Iraq government sent troops into occupy some of the Kurdistan region. Nam said he has real concerns about the Mideast region because the U.S. has no clear policy moving forward. He is afraid that Iran will take over the country. He noted that Iran took over an oil field in Iraq. He is happy that the U.S. got rid of Saddam Hussein but is concerned that the present U.S. policy is making the region dangerous and that Iraq is using weapons left by the U.S. to fight the Kurds.

National Honor Society student guests were Matthew Skavroneck and Cody Williamson from Jamestown High School. Other guests were Tracey and Dernel Denning. Dave Smette reminded Rotarians that November is Rotary Foundation month. The foundation supports the Rotary Endowment, annual giving and Polio Plus. Donations will be matched 2 to 1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Erin Paulson said the club will ring bells for the Salvation Army on Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sign-up sheets will be passed around at the next meeting.

Paulson presided over the meeting. The invocation was given by Casey Stoudt. Jason Bitz collected “Happy Dollars” to support Rotary projects. Gail Martin was the song leader with Mark Reeves on the piano.  

The Nov. 21 meeting will be introduced by Jen Bollingberg. Duane Dunn will have the invocation. Song leader is Larry Hoffman. Pat Nygaard will collect “Happy Dollars.”