After streetfootballworld Festival16 the streetfootballworld team received this letter from Hassan Luaibi. We wanted to share with all of you the message Hassan was sending - strong, inspiring, and word-for-word from Hassan's heart.


Dear friends of SFW Lyon 16,

My name is Hassan Luaibi; I represented Team Iraq through the Iraqi Youth Network and our Danish partners, Cross Cultures Project Association. My reflection of this festival is more of a ”thank you letter” than a reflection.

I come from the generation of war and political isolation; it would have been unthinkable and impossible for me to have such experience by my own doing. This SFW festival, meant the world to me in the meaning of the word; it created bonds not just across countries, but continents; even though we might have different pigmentation, worship different Gods or come from different cultures, in the end, we were united through the friendly and brotherly bonds created by sports. Something we work with in Iraq, where we are uniting our country through football; across sects, religions, tribes and ethnicities.

The best experience in my opinion, which can back up what I said earlier, is the concept of creating mixed teams; we weren’t any longer Team Iraq, Team Colombia or Team Ireland, at the festival we became one, something governments and politics has failed to do, but we, achieved it through the beautiful and simple game of football.

What I would like to say to my dear brothers and sisters from the festival, our generation should keep on working together and do our best to create the best possible circumstances for the future generations. Because sooner or later, we will inherent this world that has been filled with hate and prejudice, we should take what we learned from this festival and use it as a manifesto of peace in each and every individual country of ours, so one day we will have a better and collective world.

That said, on behalf of the Iraqi people, a people daily hit by terrorist actions, we would like to offer our deepest condolences to the French people on the horrific attacks that happened on July 14th, a date which is also our national day; which had the same visions and ideals as yours.

We advice you to continue to live your lives as before, smile at the world and celebrate yourselves and what you have contributed the world, don’t let the their hate infect you, be resilient and don’t lose your sense of humanity. That is the best resistance against those who wants to take away your liberty and joy as human beings.

Love, peace and football


Hassan Luaibi