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Originally published by the Middle East Institute – March 22, 2021 With the approach of Iraq’s next parliamentary elections in October 2021, pro-reform candidates are facing troubling obstacles as they prepare to compete against the country’s establishment parties, which include armed militias that have dominated Iraq’s parliament since 2018. To ensure a fair electoral playing field, reformers are asking the international community to quickly step up elections-related assistance and planned oversight, as well as publicly reaffirm a readiness to call out observed violations. Iraq’s government decided to hold the country’s first-ever early elections after weeks of sustained mass protests starting in October
Three times per year, EPIC welcomes a new cohort of interns – young professionals seeking to add practical experience to their academic backgrounds in humanitarian affairs, international relations, security studies, political science, public relations, and beyond. We are grateful for their contributions to our research, action, and advocacy, and for the opportunity to connect them to Iraq and its people. Please join us in welcoming our Spring 2021 interns: Katie and Jacob! Jacob Kopfensteiner: is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a Master’s degree in Arab Studies. His interest in the Middle East first began at
As the New Year begins, we have a special opportunity to double our impact for lasting peace in Iraq. Two generous EPIC supporters have agreed to match all gifts up to $15,000! With this opportunity, you can help make 2x the impact in 2021. In Sinjar, we are empowering community-based activists to use creative story-telling and change strategies to address critical issues in their communities. After a series of workshops along with ongoing mentoring by our team, the activists are now moving ahead with their projects. Here are just a few. Talie, a young woman with a disability rights group,
A spark of joy. That’s what every child expresses when he or she receives a gift, and that’s what we feel every time EPIC makes a positive difference in the lives of children and families. For this #GivingTuesday, if you have not already done so, we invite you to join us in making a lasting impact in Iraq. Your donation will go a long way in furthering EPIC’s mission of peace as we support the recovery of Sinjar and other war-torn communities; enhance understanding about Iraq’s protest movement and the urgent need for democratic reforms; and help doctors and nurses
Originally published by the LSE Middle East Center Blog – October 5, 2020 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s threat to close the American embassy in Baghdad exposes a dangerous dichotomy in the Trump administration’s Iraq policy. Less than six weeks ago, the administration gave visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and his colleagues a warm reception, offering support to help the Kadhimi government cope with Iraq’s severe economic crisis, prepare for early elections, respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and assert greater state control over security institutions, which have been compromised by the encroachment of pro-Iran militias. The episode reflected an appreciation of
Earlier this month, we kicked off our #IraqCOVIDRelief fundraiser that will aid two hospitals fighting the spread of COVID-19 in Mosul, Iraq. As of today, we are over 20% of the way towards our $30,000 goal! And it gets better. Thanks to two generous supporters, right now all donations will be matched dollar for dollar. So if you have not yet donated, visit our Facebook fundraiser and invite your friends, family and network to join you in doubling your impact for Iraqi hospitals and health workers. Facebook is able to handle donations in all currencies and currently charged no processing
Three times per year, EPIC welcomes a new cohort of interns – young professionals seeking to add practical experience to their academic backgrounds in humanitarian affairs, international relations, security studies, political science, public relations, and beyond. We are grateful for their contributions to our research, action, and advocacy, and for the opportunity to connect them to Iraq and its people. Please join us in welcoming our Fall 2020 interns: Brian and Christopher! Brian Carter is a senior studying Politics and International Affairs with Arabic and Middle East studies minors at Wake Forest University. He became interested in MENA in 2015
Originally published by Middle East Monitor – September 3, 2020 On 4 August, Iraqi activist Ridha Al-Igaili’s home in Amara, the capital of Maysan province, was attacked by militiamen who fired a rocket-propelled grenade and sprayed the building with bullets. This was the second attempt on his life this year. Luckily for Al-Igaili, a pharmacology student and member of the Maysan Students’ Union, no one was injured. News of the attack reverberated quickly on social media. Barely two weeks later, fellow activists Reham Yacoub and Tahseen Osama were assassinated. These cold-blooded attacks were the latest in a wave of targeted violence and kidnappings by shadowy gunmen seeking to silence advocates of free
From the start, EPIC has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak in Iraq. Early on, we sounded the alarm about the threat to Iraq’s health care system and more recently, the exponential rise in cases with health care workers being twice as likely to contract the virus. Unfortunately, despite our efforts, the response by the U.S. and international community continues to fall short. Today we are taking matters into our own hands, and we need your help to do it. EPIC and our long-time partner, the Iraq Health Access Organization (IHAO), have joined forces to launch a COVID-19 Emergency Response.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which for the first few months seemed to mysteriously spare Iraq’s exposed population, is now hitting the country of 39 million and its under-resourced health system hard. The main cause has been poor compliance with social distancing policies by many Iraqis who haven’t taken the pandemic seriously or prefer to risk disease rather than suffer the economic costs of extended lock-down. Meanwhile, poor policies and poor conditions at hospitals are causing many of them to spread the virus rather than prevent new cases. Case growth has become exponential since mid-May. The second half of May coincided
Three times per year, EPIC welcomes a new cohort of interns – young professionals seeking to add practical experience to their academic backgrounds in humanitarian affairs, international relations, security studies, political science, public relations, and beyond. We are grateful for their contributions to our research, action, and advocacy, and for the opportunity to connect them to Iraq and its people. Please join us in welcoming our Summer 2020 interns: Alaq, Makenzie, and Shannon! Alaq Zghayer is an Iraqi-American who was born in Irbid, Jordan, and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She is a native Arabic speaker. She will graduate from Kalamazoo
We are one world. Iraq is us and we are Iraq. The world heritage of the land between two rivers is interwoven into the very fabric of who we are — from humanity’s early quest for meaning (the Epic of Gilgamesh) to our pursuit of knowledge (Ibn al-Haythem‘s embrace of the scientific method). Likewise, our spirit of 1776 can also be found in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square and in the desire of every Iraqi to form a more perfect union. Kicking off with #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity, and continuing throughout the month of May, we invite you