Category: Podcast

#19: OUT IN THE COLD: the Deepening Crisis in Iraq

According to the latest UN estimate, 5.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Iraq. To discuss that challenge, EPIC convened a distinguished panel with Francois Stamm of ICRC, Michel Gabaudan of Refugees International, Joe Stork of Human Rights Watch, and Nancy Youssef of The Daily Beast. Hosted by the Iraqi Cultural Center on January 16, 2015, the panelists offered insights on the deepening crisis, the opaqueness of the current military campaign, and warnings for the future of international aid in Iraq, as the fight against ISIS and inadequate shelter leaves many Iraqi families out in the cold.

#18: United in Diversity: The Story of Iraq’s Christian Communities

You may have seen it on your social media feed. These days it seems to be appearing everywhere. The Arabic ن (“noon”) symbol has been used by the Islamic State to mark Christian homes and businesses. Now Christians and their supporters, as well as advocates for religious freedom around the world are turning the tables and using it as a symbol of solidarity. Tune in to this episode to hear from Nuri Kino, Juliana Taimoorazy, and Jeff Gardner and learn more about how a global movement is coming together to defend Iraq’s minorities and preserve its rich heritage and cultural diversity.

#17: Winter is Coming

Across Iraq and the region, millions of Iraqis and Syrians fleeing ISIS face another threat: winter. How are governments responding to this fast approaching humanitarian emergency? Can aid agencies move fast enough to provide shelter for so many before the freezing temperatures and heavy rains begin? Daryl Grisgraber of Refugees International stops by our office for an in-depth conversation about the growing crisis and what you can do to help. "Winter is coming" is more than just a warning from the House of Stark. It's a harsh reality that millions of displaced and vulnerable Iraqis and Syrians will soon face.

#16: What You Need to Know About What Happened in Sinjar

You've heard the stories. 10,000s of Yazidis stranded on Mt. Sinjar. The U.S. responding with air drops of aid. Then, the Pentagon declaring the siege over. But what happened in Sinjar? Why were civilians left unprotected without warning as ISIS militants advanced on their city? Is the crisis on the mountaintop over? Tune in for a special Iraq Matters report with Iraq-based researchers Christine van den Toorn and Nawaf, a Yazidi college student whose family fled Sinjar. Also included: an Iraq Update with Musings on Iraq blogger, Joel Wing, and the latest humanitarian developments.

#15: The Changing Landscape of Iraq in Crisis

How is Iraq's deepening crisis changing the landscape of northern Iraq? What happened to the Iraqi Security Forces in Mosul? Will Kurdistan declare independence? To answer these questions we talk with Christine van den Toorn, an American researcher based in Iraq who has witnessed the unfolding crisis. Also featured: updates on PhotoVoice and TentEd and the latest news from Washington, D.C. and Sinjar Mountain.

#14: Can Civil Society Save Iraq?

Since the fall of Baghdad, the international community has invested millions in empowering an active civil society in Iraq. What is the state of that society today? How are community organizations and activists adapting to the fall of Mosul, the mobilization of militias, and other recent developments? What are they doing to advance government accountability, help vulnerable populations, empower youth and protect women’s rights? Tune in as we talk with Sarhang Hamasaeed of the U.S. Institute of Peace.

#13: Preventing a “Lost Generation” of Syrian children

Imagine growing up in a refugee camp far from the only home (and school) you’ve ever known. We feature a conversation with Zack Bazzi, a veteran returning to Iraq’s conflict zone to carry out a rapid response initiative to help Syrian refugee children, and the Musings on Iraq blogger, Joel Wing, for a special, post-election Iraq update. You can also listen to the extended version of Zack Bazzi's interview here.

#12: Our BIG Season Finale: Celebrating Why Iraq Matters

They’re smart. And they want to create a better world. They are the young participants of Iraq’s first PhotoVoice project. We talk with EPIC’s director about the concept and practice of PhotoVoice, and what we can all learn by looking at the world through their eyes. Then we celebrate the end of our first season by taking you on a journey to the heart of why Iraq matters, with excerpts from our most memorable interviews.

#11: Bridging Cultures through Higher Education: The Iraqi Student Project

How did two people start a movement that would change the lives of many young Iraqis? This week’s episode features interviews with the founders and participants of the Iraqi Student Project, a grassroots non-profit that succeeded in securing higher education for 60 Iraqi students. Also, EPIC’s founder and director, Erik Gustafson, offers insight into the President’s State of the Union address and Musings on Iraq blogger, Joel Wing, gives an Iraq Update.

#10: Is Peace in Iraq Possible? The Story of “Little Iraq”

Can Iraq’s diverse communities ever live together peacefully? To answer this question, we talk with Christine van den Toorn who tells us the story of “Little Iraq”, a town called Bashiqa. Also included is excerpts from Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq’s recent remarks on the need for the US to be more engaged in promoting national reconciliation and an Iraq Update with Musings on Iraq blogger, Joel Wing.