Dilkhwaz Ahmad
-- Musical Ambassador and Project Director

Drum circles:

-- in Kurdistan facilitate programs to address domestic violence

-- in Iraqi Refugee Women's Group in El Cajon, CA


Musical Ambassadors of Peace initiated musical healing programs within a community of 30,000 Iraqi refugees in southern California in 2006.
After witnessing the power of this musical healing work, Dilkhwaz Ahmed went through the Health Rhythms training program offered by Remo Drums. Musical Ambassadors of Peace (MAP) financed this training program for Dilkhwaz. She employed musical healing in her work with refugees ever since. This is the second time she has carried percussion instruments provided by MAP with her back to Iraq.
Dilkhwaz Ahmed is an immigrant women rights activist from the Kurdistan region of Iraq. She served as the Executive Director of the Nawa Center, a shelter for abused women in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq where she provided counseling and support to victims of domestic violence. She engaged in community outreach through participation in television shows produced for women and youth. She coordinated a program in the women’s jail, helping women transition to life in jail and gain skills necessary to survival in the context of prison life, including how to protect oneself from rape and other abuse.
In 2002, Ms. Ahmed was granted asylum in the United States, and resettled in San Diego. Her three children joined her in the United States three years hence. In 2003, Ms. Ahmed worked at License to Freedom, and since then she has helped more than 1,500 adult female and child victims of domestic violence, including people from the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Soviet Union.
She has provided counseling, support, transportation, direct services (i.e., escorting victims to court), and interpretation. In 2010 Ms. Ahmed was reunited with her husband after nine years of separation.  She worked very hard to challenge the immigration system for denying her husband's visa. 

Dilkhwaz is the voice of immigrant women. She walked in their shoes and she knows what it means to be an immigrant. In October 2009, she received a Community Hero Award from the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, an award given to an individual who is making a difference in the field of violence prevention. In March 2010, she received the Ruby Award from Soroptimist International of San Diego, as a woman helping other women. In September 2010, she also received Women Changing the World Award from the Women Leadership Institute. In January 2011, she received the Living Legacy Award from San Diego International Center. Also in January 2012, Dilkhwaz received the Community Champion Award from Molina Healthcare. Finally, in October 2012, she received Champion of Hope Award from San Diego Domestic Violence Council.


In cooperation with License To Freedom

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