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Celebrating the Long, Rewarding Road to Peace

In a rugged landscape of fortresses and ridges long fraught with violence, the third annual Erbil International Marathon on October 25 aims to show that peaceful persistence can and will win the day. The event is dedicated to propagating peace, and to showing that Erbil, “the steadfast city, can play a great role in rebuilding Iraq and ending decades of war, sanctions and occupation through the will of its people…who are working hard to rebuild their lives and homes.”

As in years past, organizers hope to draw participants, professional and amateur, from around the world to undertake the 42km trial, during which runners will indeed pass through both contemporary achievements of the last decade and sites of old conflicts. Besides this full marathon, a shorter 10km run for those over 15 and a 4km fun run” for families will also be held concurrently, along with a special marathon for the handicapped of both genders. All stages will be followed by an awards ceremony to honor the winners.


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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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