Ground Truth Project Press Release

EPIC Debuts New Interview Series to Showcase Iraqi Voices



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 the debate overIraqby showcasing the important and diverse perspectives of those directly impacted by policy decisions inWashington.

The first interview, to debut tomorrow, July 18, will feature Nadje Al-Ali, an acclaimed expert and author on women and gender issues in Iraq. Ali is a Senior Lecturer at University of Exeter (UK) and the acclaimed author of Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East: The Egyptian Women’s Movement (Cambridge Middle East Studies, July 2000). Her latest work, documenting Iraqi women in the Diaspora, will be completed this fall and released in 2007 (Zed Press).

A German-born Iraqi who has spent time inIraqthroughout her life, Ali offers unique insight into the most pressing issues facing Iraqi women today, accurately noting the historical context that frames the debate over the role of women in Iraqi society.

“In my opinion, I think that women may be the biggest losers in what is happening now inIraq,” declares Ali. “Looking historically at other struggles, wars and conflicts, I think women too often were told, ‘Let’s liberate the country first, and then we’ll look at women’s issues.’ It didn’t work this way inIraq, and now it might be too late.”

Ali touches on a range of issues related to Iraqi women, including the role of women in civil society, perceptions of Iraqi women in theU.S.and theU.K., and the work of Iraqi women living outside of their homeland. But at the heart of her interview is a genuine concern for the future prospects and well-being of the women ofIraq.

“I’m really worried about women inIraqin the long term,” admits Ali. “The longer the occupation goes on, the more difficult it will be to unravel the damage that’s been done.”

Spokespersons available for comment:

Nadje Al-Ali, PhD, a Senior Lecturer at University of Exeter (UK) and noted expert and author on women and gender issues inIraq.

Erik Gustafson, EPIC Director and veteran of the 1991 Gulf War. Gustafson visitedIraq in 1998 and 2000 and saw firsthand the impact of Saddam Hussein and UN sanctions.

About the Organization

The Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) has worked to advance peace, human rights and democracy inIraqsince 1998. Along with a membership of 25,000, EPIC works closely with Iraqi Americans, veterans, aid workers and others who have served or lived inIraq.



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