Sister City Delegation Returns to Duluth

Duluthians Had Been in Iraqi Kurdistan to Promote Cultural Understanding Between Cities

DULUTH, Minn. – A five person delegation recently visited one of Duluth’s sister cities in Kurdistan.

Most of the group returned today after their three week trip and had a welcome home celebration at the Duluth International Airport.

Five Duluthians visited sister city Rania in Iraqi Kurdistan to build understanding and promote peace between cultures.

The delegation left on January 11th and has spent weeks working with Rania officials to promote economic and educational co–operation between the sister cities.

Despite being in Iraq, delegates say they felt safe and welcomed by the people, who they believe have a lot in common with Americans.

“Their dreams are similar to our dreams, their wishes are similar to our wishes. They want peace and they want to live their lives and grow their communities and those are the same things that we aspire,” says Duluth Sister Cities International member Koresh Lakhen.

Four of the five Duluth delegates were welcomed back today, with one staying in Rania for a while longer, and all delegates say grassroots connections are important to building bridges between cultures.

“I think it’s more important than ever that we reach out and try to make a person to person relationship with other places in the world and other people in the world,” says Duluth Sister Cities International board member Gale Kerns.

Rania is one of five Duluth sister cities. The others are in Canada, Japan, Sweden, and Russia.

A Duluth delegation tries to visit each sister city every four years.