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The Yazidi people of the Kurdistan region of Iraq recently became a topic of public discourse when on Aug. 7, President Barack Obama made a statement on
the ongoing violence in the region as forces from the Islamic State — formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — continued its advance on the city of Irbil.Deborah Strange stands with children in Iraqi Kurdistan. Strange lived in the region’s capital of Irbil from 2010 to 2012, where she worked as an English instructor and department head for the local university.

The average reader, meanwhile, may have questions about Kurdistan, its people and its culture; thankfully, one Sedona resident knows firsthand.

Deborah Strange, a longtime educator who has worked at Verde Valley School and Sedona Red Rock High School, lived in Irbil and taught at a local university from 2010 to 2012, and now some of her former students are the ones taking up arms to defend their homeland.

To read the full story, see the Friday, Aug. 22, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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