An EPIC Update on the Obama administration & PHOTOVOICE

Greetings dear friends,

I am writing to  you from Arbat refugee camp outside Sulaimani in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, and I have some very important news to share with you.

A young mother and her twin girls at Arbat, a Syrian refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq, on October 17, 2013 (Erik K. Gustafson/EPIC).

President Barack Obama has just announced that he will meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at the White House on November 1, marking the first such meeting in nearly two years.

This is a welcome development in our work to put Iraq back on the agendaNow we need your help to ensure that the meeting translates into tangible steps toward peace in Iraq.

Here are two things you can do:

(1) Join us in urging President Obama to articulate a clear, long-term strategy for peace in Iraq. Please share this link with your friends and family.


(2) Chip in to promote our petition on Change.org.Every donation of $10 allows us to reach another 50 likely supporters.

Please consider chipping in $10 today.

While you support us from home, EPIC will continue our peace advocacy in Washington DC and our field work here in Iraq.

Regarding the latter, I am pleased to report the successful launch of our research and youth development project, PHOTOVOICE IRAQ: Picturing Change. In partnership with American University of Iraq – Sulaimani (AUIS) and George Mason University’s Center for International Education (CIE), we’re working with a group of AUIS students, including young men and women from Baghdad, Sulaimani, Erbil, Kirkuk, Ninewa, Babylon and Diyala. In coming days, we’ll share a complete update on Photovoice and field reports on my visit to Arbat and other Syrian refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

At a time of escalating violence in Iraq and Syria and growing crisis for refugees, together we can deliver an urgent call for peace and humanitarian action to President Obama. Please share and support our petition today.

Many thanks,



Erik Gustafson
Executive Director

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