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enhancing understanding of iraq through programs, research and advocacy

“Meanwhile, in Iraq…”

Election Day 2012 is drawing  closer here in the United States and this month showcases the presidential debates. These debates are meant to display the two distinct views and policies of the candidates. Iraq did not come up during the domestic policy debate, but it did during the VP debate and could be raised again during the “Town Hall” style debate and the foreign policy debate. Iraq has largely vanished from both the media and the campaign trail outside of the occasional soundbite from President Obama concerning the final withdrawal of forces in December of 2011. Nestled  between Syria and Iran,

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Iraq Youth Hike Press Release

The EPIC Idea This summer, the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) will bring together a group of Iraqi kids of diverse backgrounds to do something many of them would otherwise never get a chance to do: go on a guided nature hike through theZagros Mountainsin the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. During better times, Iraqi families traveled to other parts of the country for recreation and vacation. Today, most children inIraqlive their entire lives in only one city or province. In divided cities likeMosulandKirkuk, families fear allowing their children to go beyond their neighborhoods boundaries. Kids have fewer opportunities

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Iraq Action Days Press Release

Press release for Immediate Release        Contact: John Brennan-direct-202-585-2838 April 14, 2008                                         jbrennan@mww.com cell-202-258-3993     Real Stability in Iraq Depends on U.S. Response to the Growing Iraqi Humanitarian Crisis Forum provides the latest on-the-ground perspective of the crisis and what needs to be done   (Washington, DC) – A coalition of non-governmental organizations (see list below) including InterAction, Refugee Council USA, International Rescue Committee, and Education for Peace in Iraq (EPIC), came together to provide the latest on-the-ground perspective of the deepening humanitarian crisis in Iraq and described the best way forward from the crisis. There was consensus that:

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Ground Truth Project Press Release

EPIC Debuts New Interview Series to Showcase Iraqi Voices   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Emily Leaman of EPIC (202) 543-6176 July 17, 2006 (Washington) — The Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) is pleased to announce the international release of The Ground Truth, a unique and timely interview series that captures the on-the-ground perspectives of Iraqis, aid workers, military personnel and others who have lived, worked or served in Iraq. EPIC is an independent non-profit organization working through education, policy research, and advocacy to promote a free and secureIraq. Contributing to this mission, The Ground Truth helps to shape

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Iraq in their Stories: Meet Two of the 2012 MacArthur “Genius” Fellows

Every year the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation gives out $500,000 “no-strings-attached” grants, commonly known as “genius grants”, to a small group of people. These Fellows are described as demonstrating “creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future.”  Two of the 23 MacArthur Fellows for 2012 have been recognized for their first hand storytelling in Iraq. The first is documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. Her recent works have been part of a trilogy documenting post 9/11 America. It was her 2006 Oscar nominated film on Iraq called My Country, My Country, that really caught our attention. She sought not just to document the Iraq

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We did it!

Thanks to the support of 191 contributors like you, we successfully reached our crowd funding goal on Indiegogo. The EPIC team (from left to right): Executive Director Erik Gustafson, Board Member Andrew Morton, Board President Nathaniel Hurd, Fall interns Daniel Young and Joanna Fisher (and her flying scarf), and our chief project advisor Kristien Zenkov. Off camera: EPIC fall intern Christian Chung and 191 contributors who took us across the finish line! As a result, PHOTOVOICE IRAQ: Picturing Change is 100% funded, and EPIC is now moving forward to implement Iraq’s first photovoice project. If you shared our project with

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Final Hours to Picture Change with PHOTOVOICE IRAQ!

We are over 75% of the way there! Haven’t donated yet? Want to tell a friend but are not sure what to say? Here are our Top Ten Reasons you should help us reach our goal by midnight tonight!   Top Ten Reasons to Donate to Photovoice: #10: The photos from PICTURING CHANGE will help us understand the needs of young people in Iraq. #9: Everytime you donate, the EPIC HQ wildly rejoices!  #8: Because 60% of Iraqis are under the age of 25 and will be impacted tremendously, with your help. #7: Supporting this project will help EPIC reach

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Final 48 Hours

Last night we had the opportunity to bring together some of EPIC’s friends and supporters for a reception kicking off the last 48 hours of fundraising for PHOTOVOICE IRAQ:Picturing Change. The event brought together educators, scholars, advocates, and practitioners to support EPIC’s mission.   The same sentiments were repeated throughout the night: student-centered projects like this are what the youth of Iraq need now, small-scale development can have the greatest impact, and that photovoice has the power to teach a range of much-needed skills. Over twenty passionate support were in attendance at this intimate spontaneous reception to rally support for

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EPIC & The Tiziano Project: A Conversation with Jon Vidar

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” remains as true as ever, even in a globalized world characterized by the power of technology. Frozen in time, however, is the powerful impact that a simple picture can have on perceptions of a state, religion, or people. At EPIC, we view this simple fact as an incredible opportunity to build understanding and craft the foundation for a peaceful and fruitful future Iraq. So we’ve teamed up with the best photojournalists in the business at The Tiziano Project, working together to wield the power of photography and technology towards the task

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Practicing Photovoice

Today in the office we decided to try an activity.  We practiced photovoice for ourselves to see what impact it can have on both the photographer and an audience.  Photovoice, when done correctly, is a multi-step process involving discussions, skills training in photography technique, practice writing captions, and debriefing at the end of the exercise. The method takes at least eight weeks and leaves students with skills in photography, writing, and communication. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go through this entire process so we are practicing an abbreviated mini-photovoice exercise. Everyone in the office was asked this question: What

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Why Crowdfunding?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” -Margaret Mead This quote has been adopted and shared by organizations of nearly every kind.  I once lived in a house where it was scrawled on a napkin and taped above the sink as a plea  to do the dishes.  When I was teaching high school history I kept it written on the board for weeks, egging on my students to ask for examples of when a small group of people had actually changed the world.  (For the

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Foundations for the Future

Growing up in the New York metro area the events of 9/11 certainly shaped my generation. Less than two years after 9/11 I was finishing high school and preparing to start college unsure of what to study. In the middle of all these events, the United States began the 2003 invasion of Iraq. My name is Daniel Young, a fall EPIC  intern. Starting college just as the war began, combined with a heated presidential election, hooked me on politics. My studies have continued into graduate school with coursework  focused on development, conflict, and democratization during the Arab Spring. It was

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