Make Life Skate Life's latest project has seen them out in Iraq, building a rad looking concrete wonderland for the locals in the form of Suli Skatepark. The project in the city of Sulaymaniyah comes via a handful of already committed locals and saw 40 volunteers from a variety of countries come together to build the skatepark over the course of three weeks.
The edit below is courtesy of Poulet Leo (who also put together the edit which featured in our recent interview with Pasty and Rob Jones on the DIY build in The Maldives) and offers a glimpse into the experience of building a skatepark in such an unexpected location - with a Beastie Boys in hardcore mode soundtrack to boot! The build will be followed by a year long skate programme assisted by Skateistan and The Skateroom, topping off what is already an incredible project. Mad props to everyone involved in this one - check out the edit and head over to their website to check out more of what they do.
Suli Skatepark is our current project in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. The city with a population of 1.6 million is the cultural as well as educational hub in the Kurdish region and has experienced significant growth after the Iraq war.
A small community of skaters in Sulaymaniyah who want to further develop skateboarding in their country, advocated building a community skatepark. Skateboarding in Iraq is fairly new. Thanks to a well-developed infrastructure in Sulaymaniyah, a small skateboarding community was able to emerge. In a conflict-affected region, skateboarding offers an alternative to the politics of war - it connects youth through a common passion.
In May 2018, 40 volunteers from 15 countries built Suli Skatepark that provides youth with a safe space for free expression. Construction was finished in less than three weeks, making it the country's first skatepark and the first international standard skatepark in the entire region.
As of June 1st, Make Life Skate Life, with the support of Skateistan and The Skateroom, will run a one-year skate program at Suli Skatepark with the goal to make skateboarding available to everyone who wants to learn while encouraging the participation of girls and refugees. We will provide support in training a skatepark manager and support the locals in their efforts to independently and locally run the skatepark and skate program.