Blog Archives

During the month of August, IF Staff worked hard to promote transparency and accountability in Iraq. As part of the Provincial Accountability and Transparency Project (PAG), IF formed 15 Integrity Monitoring Groups (IMGs) to promote a dialogue on transparency, identify areas that need improvement, and work with local officials to implement an agreed upon Agenda for Change. To facilitate the IMGs’ work, IF arranged meetings in each of the 15 province to discuss difficulties encountered, work updates, and coordinate with local provincial councils. In addition, the IMGs conducted visits to their local provincial council to discuss the draft Agenda for Change in their provinces. Each IMG also conducted a local radio talk show with provincial council officials. During these programs, IMGs described the steps that need to be taken to fight corruption in their local province.

In addition to this exciting work, IF PAG staff in Baghdad met with new U.S. Embassy anti-corruption officials on August 9th. The next day, IF staff in Baghdad participated in a U.S. Embassy strategy meeting to discuss Iraqis anti-corruption policy.

On October 9, 2012, IF hosted a screening of the film, “Interfaith Dialogue in Mesopotamia,” at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. The screening was held in cooperation with the Global Politics and Religion Initiative and the Middle East Studies Program of SAIS.

Dr. Leila Austin, Co-Director, Global Politics and Religion Initiative, SAIS provided opening comments and welcomed attendees to SAIS. Rend Al-Rahim, Executive Director of the Iraq Foundation provided an introduction of the Iraq Foundation (IF), the film and welcomed Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Mr. Posner discussed the importance of freedom of religion and religious diversity in Iraq and in the Middle East region. His Excellency,Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie commented on the history of religious coexistence in Iraq.

The screening aimed to capture Iraq’s thriving belief cultures and foster understanding among a U.S.-based audience of Iraq’s long history as a country where religious diversity has flourished. To achieve this goal, the event showcased a film, produced in cooperation with AlSumaria, based on documentaries produced by the participants of the Interfaith Cooperation Project (ICP), which aims to deepen public knowledge and promote dialogue about Iraq’s diverse religious heritage and to enhance religious freedom, interfaith cooperation, trust and mutual respect among faith communities. As part of this project, IF sponsored a nationwide documentary film competition and selected teams of young Iraqi men and women from different religious backgrounds and provinces who came together to produce 15 documentaries on significant historic religious sites across Iraq. The 5 best documentaries were edited and broadcast on national television. Documentaries cover historic shrines of all religions and a special emphasis on religious sites that are ‘shared’ by many different faiths and religious sites in close proximity, demonstrating how different faiths can live and worship side by side. Project participants held 63 discussion-based screenings of the documentaries in 15 provinces, reaching an audience of over 8,000 people. Documentaries were broadcasted on five national Iraqi TV stations. It is estimated that one in four Iraqis has seen at least one of the documentaries.

Selected photos of event:

Dr. Leila Austin, Co-Director of SAIS’ Global Politics and Religion Initiative, welcomed audience to SAIS.

Rend Al-Rahim, Executive Director of the Iraq Foundation, provided introductory comments.

Assistant Secretary of State, Michael Posner, discussed religious diversity in Iraq and the region.

His Excellency, Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie, Former Ambassador of Iraq to the United States discussed the film’s themes.

The screening aimed to capture Iraq’s thriving belief cultures and foster understanding of Iraq’s long history as a country where religious diversity has flourished.

In July 2012, IF implemented 7 documentary screenings of ICP-teams.  After each screening of these documentaries, an overview about the Iraq Foundation and its projects was presented. Descriptions of each screening can be found below.

Baghdad Team-3 presented 4 of these screenings to showcase their documentary, “Atter Al-Sama’a (Fragrance of the Sky)”. A total of 310 audiences attended the 4 screenings, and 201 of them answered the questionnaires.  Audience members included: university professors, students, engineers, journalists, artists, and civil society activists.  These screenings took place in Baghdad Province at the following locations: Authors Union’s Hall, the Hall of Assyrian National Movement, Al-Bayt Al Thakafi (The Culture House), and at the Hall of the Socialist Party.  These screenings were implemented on July 13, 18, and 28.

On July 7, Kirkuk Team implemented the 4th screening of their documentary, “Hatharatun Tarwyha Judran Samiytah (A civilization narrated by silent walls)”.  About 100 audience members attended, including college students, film-directors, theater experts, members from the Journalists Union, members of the Cultural House, actors, media persons, and community members. The screening was held at Nawrouz Hall in Kirkuk Province. 39 audience members answered the screening questionnaire.  A discussion on the film followed the screening.

On July 18, Baghdad Team-1 implemented a 5th screening of “Hamamaton Hatat Huna (A pigeon landed here)”. 150 audiences attended the screening, including: Mr. Liwa’a Samisem (The Tourism Minister), Mr. Kais Hussein Rasheed (Head of the Archeological Committee), employees, journalists, Contracts-Supervisor of IRD, authors, students, and civil society activists.
All audience members expressed their admiration for the documentary.  They expressed their appreciation towards the Iraq Foundation and the documentaries, which aim to reject sectarianism and spread peaceful coexistence among religions in Iraq. In an expression of gratitude, Mr. Rasheed (the Head of the Archeological Committeepresented a word of praise and thanks to the Iraq Foundation and to Ms. Rend Al-Rahim (The Executive Director of the Iraq Foundation).  As an expression of his gratitude, Mr. Rasheed presented a gift to Ms. Rend Al-Rahim, which is a plaque showing the famous Malwiya Minaret of Samara in addition to four books issued by The Archeological and Heritage Committee.  The Tourism Minister also presented a gift to the coordinator of Baghdad Team 1.

On July, 18, the Salah Al-Deen Team implemented a 4th screening of their documentary, “Afya’a Wtan (In the Country’s Shadow)”.  This screening was held in The Sports and Youth Directory in Salah Al-Deen Province, and was attended by more than 130 audience members, which included members from Salah Al-Deen Province, media experts, writers, and students.  130 audience members answered the screening questionnaire. Q&A Session followed the screening.  The screening was also well-covered by the media, specifically Al-Rasheed Satellite Channel and Salah Al-Deen Satellite Channel.

Selected Photos:

Baghdad Team-3 pictures of screenings:

Kirkuk Team-screenings:

Baghdad 1 Team-screenings:

Salah Al-Deen Team-screenings:

UPDATED APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 25, 2011!

IF is now accepting applications for youth to participate in the newly awarded Interfaith Cooperation Project (ICP) documentary film contest!  Interested youths group teams between the ages of 18 – 25 from throughout Iraq are encouraged to submit video proposals that highlight religious and locations with religious or spiritual significance for more than one faith in their local communities.  IF will select 15 winning teams based on the quality of the proposals submitted by mixed religious and ethnic youth groups comprised of 4 – 5 members.  Winning teams will have the chance to produce their documentaries, screen them throughout Iraq, and the top five entries will be produced and broadcast on Iraqi television!

Announcement

ICP Application Form

ICP Recommendation Form

Contact:

majeed@iraqfoundation.org

hr_if@yahoo.com

07705310640

07805945321

07805945321

The“Women Leaders in an Era of Change” conference was held by IF in collaboration with Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (WWICS) at the Marriot Hotel in Amman/ Jordan from May 30 to June 1, 2013. The conference how Iraqi and other women parliamentarians in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) can take advantage of opportunities given the regional changes resulting from the Arab Awakening. This conference, organized by the Iraq Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, was the second to pair Iraqi women parliamentarians (IWPs) with women members of parliament (MPs)from the region, following the “Women’s Political Participation” conference in June 2012.

These reports were shared on December 31, 2013 with all Iraqi and regional women MP participants in the 1st and 2nd Regional Meetings.

On December 31, IF shared by email, the “Women In The Council Of Representatives Lessons Learned and Case Studies Report” with all Iraqi, Regional Women MPs participants in the Incoming Women Parliamentarians Program (IWPs) of the PEDP and with participants in the 1st and 2nd Regional Meetings for Women MPs from the MENA Region.  The report serves as a best practices and case study report.

Resource CD

IF produced the first report assessing the Iraqi government’s transparency and accountability as well as its ability to safeguard the full spectrum of civil and political liberties. A diverse group of Iraqi experts and activists pooled their talents to undertake a first-of-its-kind assessment to examine several key spheres of governance. The locally-based group of civic leaders representing the fields of law, human rights, press freedom, women’s rights, and other areas of civic life, identified three fundamental areas to assess: political parties, parliament and press freedom. Through interviews with other experts and policy makers, analysis of current law and the degree of their implementation, and other first-hand inquiry, they undertook an extensive research process to produce the report. Iraq Foundation and Freedom House provided mentoring in research and writing as well as full editorial review of all reports

Democratization in Iraq Report 1

IF is pleased to announce that during the month of march, Ms. Suhaila Al-Asady, IF’s Baghdad-based Program Manager, was awarded the distinguished woman medal from the Iraqi bar association medal for her professionalism and enthusiasm as a dedicated lawyer. A photo of her award is available below.

During the month of March, IF worked on preparing for upcoming bill drafting workshop in early April. The workshop will train participants on drafting legislation to respond to the specific needs of Iraqi society and within the Iraqi constitutional framework. The workshop will also train participants on advocacy strategies to win support for their reforms in Parliament.

Throughout the month, WEL staff conducted preparatory meetings with the Her Excellency Ibthal Kasid Al Zaidy, the Minister of Women, and  Judge Salim Rawdan, Member, Higher Judicial Council. Meetings were chaired by IF’s Executive Director, Ms. Rend AlRahim. Other preparations for bill drafting workshops were carried out in coordination with Judge Rawdan and included activities such as: identifying trainers and participants, preparing a draft agenda according to the suggestions of trainers, gathering instructional material from the trainers, and sending invitations, the agenda and any other related materials for the workshop to the participants.

IF continue to perform follow up on the roundtable meetings and Judge Radwan will coordinate with the legal experts, who will provide their research in their area of expertise.

Selected Photos:

wel_report_thumbnail

WEL Reforms

Below are links to the 15 Agendas for Change, which were created in partnership with local Provincial Council officials and IF’s Integrity Monitoring Groups in each of the 15 provinces. The documents are in MS Excel and translated into English.

Anbar, English

Babil, English

Baghdad, English

Basra, English

Diwania, English

Diyala, English

Karbala, English

Maysan, English

Mousel, English

Najaf, English

Salah Al-Din, English

Samawa, English

Tameem – Kirkuk, English

Thi Qar, English

Wasit, English