Blog Archives

IF is pleased to announce the participation of President Rend al-Rahim in the UN Leaders’ Summit for Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism. The event highlights the cooperation of the US led coalition to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The event was headlined by President Obama and Prime Minister Abadi of Iraq.

 

Obama Abadi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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During February 2015 the five partner NGOs in Al-RASID provided 5 trainings for 344 stakeholders in the five provinces distributed as as follows: Erbil 86 (23 female and 73 male), Ninwa plain 60 (26 female and 34 male), Baghdad 41 (10 female and 41 male), Babil 93 (35 female and 58 male) and Basrah 65(31 female and 34 male).The participants represented women’s advocacy organizations, service providers, local community leaders and members of the judiciary and local law enforcement units.

 

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The Iraq Foundation congratulates Ms. Suhaila Al-Asadi, our senior Project Manager in Iraq, on 10 years with the Iraq Foundation. Ms. Al-Asadi, a lawyer, is an expert on women’s issues, and has successfully led many of IF’s women-related projects, as well as projects on constitutional and human rights, accountability, and the judiciary. Her professionalism and high level of performance have commanded universal respect and helped the Foundation excel. Thank you Suhaila, and we hope to work together for the next 10 years to serve Iraq.

Suhaila

The staff of the Iraq Foundation is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sayed Mohammed Bahrul Ulum. He was a true Iraqi patriot, a man of deep learning and enlightenment, and a wonderful story-teller who believed in friendship. His efforts to help lead Iraq towards a brighter future were an inspiration to many.

http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/070420151

One the 29th of March, 2015 the Iraqi Council of Representatives presented IF with an award recognizing its role in organizing a meeting of NGOs in the parliament during November 2014. IF would like to thank our Manager of Operations Dhefaf Al-Jarahi for her role in representing IF during the planning for the NGOs meeting and at the award ceremony.

Dhefaf & Mr. Sabah Al-Karboli

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Dhefaf - Dr. Sami - Dr. Saad

On March 15th, 2015 the Iraq Foundation’s Suhaila al-Assadi presented a statement during a hearing of the Council of Representative’s Committee for Religious Endowments and Religious Affairs on the topic “Moderation and Tolerance As Our Pathway to Stability and Security.” Consistent with the Foundation’s commitment to pluralism, inclusiveness, and celebration of diversity, Ms. Assadi’s statement calls for a return to the peaceful coexistence of Iraq’s past in order to combat the negative effects of the spread of violence and the rising influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. IF was one of only a few NGOs to be invited to give a statement. The following is a summary of Ms. Assadi’s statement.

Interfaith Coexistence

The Iraq Foundation (IF) thanks the Committee on Endowments for its decision to hold a hearing on the subject of peaceful coexistence and for inviting us to speak at the hearing. We hope that this meeting provides practical results and decisions that achieve progress towards a true rapprochement among religions. We value the role of the Council of Representatives (CoR) as a respected and honest mediator in reconciling differences and resolving disagreements through dialogue among people from different cultures and religions. We hope the CoR’s efforts will continue to strengthen Iraq. May God bless your steps and bring you success.

I am delighted to discuss a highly important theme regarding the unity of the Iraqi people and to highlight the moderate and real vision of Islam and other monotheistic religions, all of which teach tolerance and acceptance of others. We believe that interaction between members of differing religions is necessary. All religions are enriched by a level of interaction, exchange, and harmony with others; a religion cannot exist in isolation from the contextual effects of culture, environment, time, and history.

Iraq is the homeland of the most ancient civilizations, and diverse populations have lived and settled on its land. These populations participated in building Iraq’s civilization and establishing its successive states and identity. Specific circumstances, religious, educational, linguistic, and demographic, have helped to create a diverse society in Iraq including: Arabs; Kurds; Turkmen; Christians; Mandeans; Yazidis; Shabak, and others all of whom participated in creating the social and cultural heritage of Iraq. The historical record shows harmony and coexistence among the members of earlier Iraqi society, with peaceful community relations and mutual respect between religious and ethnic groups. In addition, from the earliest of times, our history shows active participation of outstanding individuals from all religions and ethnicities in building the state and strengthening academic, financial, and cultural institutions. Socially, Iraqis from different religions have participated in the religious celebrations of different groups in order to congratulate their neighbors; Iraqis also visit the shrines of other religious groups and sects. In fact, many shrines are common to several religions.

Iraqis accept this diversity because they strongly believe that all these religions were revealed by God’s prophets and beloved ones, and they believe that all of these prophets have spiritual and holy status. People from different religions are used to presenting vows at the shrines of other religious groups. This is because Iraqis believe that we are one people, encompassing all its members and constituents. However, today, the escalating level of violence and the deteriorating security situation represent the greatest threat facing Iraqis from different religious and ethnic backgrounds. It is necessary to reaffirm Iraq’s cultural

history of social and religious tolerance, and continue forwards in the direction of rationality, coexistence, and tolerance. By taking measures that call for reviewing our attitudes towards other Iraqis, we can ensure a return to logical thinking characterized by tolerance and coexistence in peace and security. At the same time, this will prevent the tarnishing of religions and ethnicities in a society that that includes multiple sects and ethnicities. The following points aim to support this objective:

• Commitment to the constitution

The Iraqi constitution provides the legal framework for the development of legislation against discrimination. Article 14 states that all Iraqis are equal before the law without discrimination, and Article 16 states that the state shall ensure equal opportunities for all Iraqis. Article 125 guarantees the administrative, political, cultural and educational rights of the various ethnicities, and Article 2 (c) prevents any legislation inconsistent with the rights enshrined in the constitution. Therefore, it is the duty of the legislature to enact legislation which ensures respect for, and implementation of, these provisions.

• Commitment to a unified position.

Progress must be made towards the unification of religious discourse which calls for rapprochement and coexistence between members of the different communities in one society.
We urgently need to frame a code of honor that will be adopted by various sects and religions which emphasizes maintaining the unity of the national fabric, renouncing extremism, denouncing sectarian rhetoric, and fostering a spirit of tolerance

• Adopting open dialogue and building bridges of trust
We must intensify efforts to establish communications and dialogue between religious leaders. These efforts should include a code of honor in order to assist in finding solutions, exchanging ideas, unifying shared visions, and addressing misunderstandings resulting from a lack of communication.

• Encouraging the role of civil society organizations in the promotion of a culture of coexistence between religions
The role of civil and international organizations in strengthening and promoting dialogue, coexistence, and identifying the roots of discord between groups must be strengthened.

• Rejecting exclusion and marginalization

All monotheistic religions call for peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding between different races and cultures without exclusion for sectarian or ethnic affiliation, to achieve peace and trust in society. Additionally, they call for the adoption of dialogue that leads to increased unity of humanity. We need to promote inclusion as part of our value system through education, culture, and the media to root it in society.

The Iraqi High Judicial Council, in cooperation with the Iraq Foundation and with the support of the US Department of State – Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), has launched a mobile application that provides several services including news updates, investigative journalism, Federal Supreme Court decisions and Cassation Court decisions. This application comes as part of IF’s HEWAR project to boost the HJC’s communication with stakeholders and citizens. To download the application please use the following links:

iTunes
Google Play Store

IF is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sayyid Shakir Sayyid Mahmood Al-Sumaidaie, the father of our board member Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie, and head of the Sumaidaie clan. Our thoughts are with his family as they go through this time of loss. We extend to them our sincerest condolences.

On Jan. 24, 2015, in an extraordinary move by the  modern founders and activists in  Iraqi civil society, the first Civil Society Leaders Conference was held in the Oil Cultural Center.  The conference honored 50 activists and civil society organizations, from all of Iraq’s provinces, who have contributed to Iraq’s civil society for more than 10 years. The Iraq Foundation was one of the first organizations to be honored, as well as a number of organizations which founded the core of  Iraqi civil society after  2003. The event also honored activists  like Umaia Aljibara,  lawyer Saadia Lami, and others who have sacrificed their lives in order to advance Iraq’s civil society. The conference was held in the presence of hundreds of organizations working in Iraq as well as members of the House of Representatives, the Baghdad Provincial Council, and the Commission on Human Rights.

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Generous donations have had a two-fold impact on internally displaced persons in Iraq, as it has allowed for the immediate distribution of aid by our partner NGO’s, as well as financing needs assessment for these partner organizations to address the humanitarian situation among IDPs.

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In Ninawa, IF and its partner, Corporation of Child Rights and Family Protection provided food baskets to 730 people in Maskalat-Alqoush, over 100km from Erbil. Diverse communities have benefited from our aid, including Christians, Muslims, Yazidis and Shabak, who have been deprived of aid due to their proximity to ISIS-controlled territories. The food baskets included staples such as rice, cooking oil, beans, tomato paste and other items, and went to those displaced from Tilkeef, Singar and Mosul. In addition, the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization utilized IF-raised funds to supply IDP communities in Bartalla with food, water and medicine for children.

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IF and its partner, Alrafidain NGO for Community Development and Reconstruction, distributed baskets of food and non-food items to 75 IDP families. These families had been displaced from Anbar, Salah Aldin, Beji and Samara to Yahyawi camp and temporary shelters in Lailan, Kirkuk. The items distributed included flour, blankets, pillows and mattresses.

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Donations also allowed IF and its Ninawa and Kirkuk-based organizations to conduct needs assessment to show the basic needs among displaced populations. In Maskalat-Alqoush, it found that IDPs are in desperate need of food items, core relief items, health services, clean water and sanitation. In a final assessment in Kirkuk, it was discovered that there are 180 families living in temporary shelters and 360 families living in the Yahyawi camp, all of whom are living under very difficult circumstances due to cold weather and rain.

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As this humanitarian crisis continues to unfold and winter has come to these northern areas of Iraq, IDP families will be in even greater need of shelter, medication for children and adults, blankets, food, heaters, and heating oil. For this reason, The Iraq Foundation is renewing its appeal on behalf of IDPs, and we hope that you will respond to this call to alleviate their suffering. Every dollar donated to this appeal will be 100 percent directed towards providing desperately needed humanitarian aid. Additionally, contributions to The Iraq Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) organization, may be tax deductible. Please consult an accountant.

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Please make donations through the Iraq Foundation’s click and pledge account or using our main website and clicking “Donate” in the top right corner. Please indicate that your donation is for Iraqi IDPs under the “Comments on your donation” box. Please consider helping The Iraq Foundation in assisting the Iraqi people whose livelihoods have been disrupted and threatened by violence; we cannot do it without your support. We thank you in advance for your generosity.