The symbol of Iraq's Donkeys' Party
A bronze statue statue showing the head and shoulders of a donkey dressed in a suit, collared shirt and tie is pictured after being unveiled by a political party called the Donkeys' Party in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan. © Shwan Mohammed - AFP
The symbol of Iraq's Donkeys' Party
Last updated: April 12, 2012

Iraqi Kurdish donkey-themed party unveils statue

A political party in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region called the Donkeys' Party has unveiled a statue of its four-legged namesake in dress attire in central Sulaimaniyah.

The bronze statue statue shows the head and shoulders of a donkey dressed in a suit, collared shirt and tie.

At 1.8 metres (five feet) high and 1.1 metres (three feet) wide, it took famous Kurdish sculptor Zerak Mira seven months to create and cost $4,000 (3,050 euros).

It is located on Nali Street, which is named for a famous Kurdish poet who wrote a well-known poem about donkeys.

The statue was revealed at a ceremony attended by a number of Kurdish artists and intellectuals, an AFP journalist said.

Donkeys' Party Secretary General Omar Kalol said he hopes the statue will encourage people in Kurdistan to better treat animals, especially donkeys.

"The statue of the donkey has more than one meaning," which will be understood by those who see it, Kalol told AFP.

"The donkey played a very distinguished role in the Kurdish armed liberation movement ... and it was the only friend of the Kurdish fighters in the mountains of Kurdistan during the struggle for Kurdish rights," he said, referring to decades-long guerrilla war in northern Iraq and Iran.

The Donkeys' Party was founded and officially authorised in 2005.

Its administrative structure is based around the life of a donkey, with its headquarters and branches named after various structures that house donkeys, and its party ranks range from "little donkey" to "donkey."

The party has demanded that Kurdistan regional government provide it with financial support to open a radio station, which is to be named "Zarin," the Kurdish word for the sound a donkey makes.

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