Category: Research & Advocacy

Iraqi Activists And The Difficult Decision To Boycott Elections

In October 2019, a broad based protest movement in Iraq seized international headlines with mass rallies, marches, occupation-style encampments, and civil disobedience in Baghdad and other cities across the south. Activists dubbed their movement “Tishreen” from the Arabic word for October. Despite the largely peaceful, inclusive, and organized nature of… Read more

Iraqi protesters’ perilous journey to the ballot box

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… Read more

Closing the US Embassy in Baghdad Is the Wrong Answer

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… Read more

Will young protesters be the dark horses in Iraq’s next election?

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.… Read more

IRAQ’S HEALTH SYSTEM AT RISK: THE STRUGGLE TO FIGHT COVID-19 AND SAVE LIVES

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… Read more

The real cost of US-Iran escalation in Iraq

Originally published by the Middle East Institute – January 27, 2020 As an Iraqi American who lived through the 1991 Gulf War and 2003 U.S.-led invasion to bring about regime change, I have witnessed firsthand how U.S. wars in the region can break out when Baghdad and Washington fail to… Read more

Summer is Here

As the mercury surges in Mesopotamia, so does the risk for a new showdown between angry protesters demanding better conditions and a government struggling to provide for them but is shackled by a legacy of corruption and incompetent, fiefdom-like institutions.   Many parts of southern Iraq, especially Basra, witnessed widespread protestsRead more

Iraq Moves to Establish Special Courts for Stigmatized Iraqi Families

Last week, Wehda al-Jumaili, a member of the Human Rights Committee in the Iraqi parliament reported that Iraq is establishing courts to issue birth certificates and identification cards to Iraqi children who were born under ISIS rule. This remarkable and laudable decision, once implemented, will affect the lives of tens… Read more