Blog Archives

As part of the Hewar project funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), IF in with Strategic Communication Consultancy (S2C) successfully concluded the “Second Media Follow up Workshop” for the High Judicial Council (HJC) in Beirut, Lebanon for the period August 24 – 28, 2014. The workshop was attended by high-level members of the HJC headed by Chief Justice His Excellency Judge Medhat al Mahmood.

The workshop focused on how communication can help the HJC accomplish its mission. The workshop also gathered participants’ feedback and garnered consensus surrounding the Communication Strategy & Outreach Plan developed in the “Communication Strategy Workshop” held in Sulaimaniyah in January 2014 and the “First Media Follow-up Workshop” held in May 2014 in Beirut. To this end, participants heard presentations and case studies coupled with highly interactive discussions which have led to a full endorsement of the objectives and content of HJC’s future Communication Strategy & Outreach Communication Plan.

The workshop also tackled media related topics, such as conveying concise and strong messages, crisis communication & media relations and social media networks.

Chief Justice, Judge Medhat Al-Mahmoud presented a speech praising HEWAR’s efforts in raising the citizens awareness with their legal rights.

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As part of the Hewar project supported by INL, IF concluded its workshop in Beirut on August 28, 2014. We were honored to have present with us the Head of the Judiciary Branch (High Judiciary Council) His Excellency, Judge Medhet al Mahmoud, and a delegation of senior judges.

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IF would like to recognize the efforts of Ms. Suaad Allami, a human rights lawyer and a longtime partner of IF. She was recently honored at the 13th Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Award, attended by Hillary Clinton and held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. IF leveraged her legal expertise to provide support for PEACE and WEL (Women for Equitable Legislation). See below a photo of Suaad.

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photo courtesy of Inclusive Security

To read more about her story, please click here.

 

With refugee camps  in Dohuk, Erbil, and others of the country already past capacity, aid organizations struggling to provide basic services to victims of ISIS  are ill-prepared to serve the new influx of IDPs.

  • Christians in Mosul have been targeted by ISIS fighters. Despite an initial promise that they could remain if they paid a special tax for non-Muslims, reports indicate that those who have chosen to stay are being stripped of their possessions and killed.
  • An IDP camp in the Shekhan district of Ninewa province has doubled in size in the last two weeks, straining limited resources and placing immense pressure on aid workers to increase the rate of tent construction.
  • In Kirkuk province, local authorities estimate that a further 16,000 families have been displaced in the previous two weeks.

The worst conditions are faced by Yezidis fleeing Sinjar.  Having faced the atrocities of rape and summary execution, they have taken refuge  in mountains with little access to basic necessities. Assyrian inhabitants of Baashiqa have also fled into the mountains .

The Iraq Foundation is working closely with local humanitarian organizations with which we have established long-term relations to provide essential needs to IDPs through a fundraising campaign. To date, IF has raised $7,250, and we hope you will generously support this effort. Hammourabi Human Rights Organization (HHRO) in Ninawa has received IF-raised funds and  provided food, water and children’s health supplies to IDP communities in Bartalla (Ninawa province) in acute need of water, shelter, and health provisions. Pictures below indicate some of the work we have done so far:

In the past month, a new wave of 200,000 internally displaced persons from Ninawa province  have fled the onslaught of ISIS. Following ISIS takeover of Sinjar, hundreds of Yezidi men were summarily executed, women were raped, and thousands of Yezidi families have fled to the mountain, where they face thirst and hunger in blistering heat. Their need for water, food, and shelter is critically urgent.

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Your contribution to the Iraq Foundation may be tax deductible under section 501(C)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Please consult your tax adviser. The Iraq Foundation’s tax identification number is available on the click and pledge page.

 

An article from “Y-News – Baghdad”

July 21, 2014:

I am Christian-A message from Iraqi Muslims against violence

In the al-Ghadeer region east of Baghdad, dozens of Muslim civilian activists gathered at Saint George’s Church in solidarity with Iraqi Christians. These Christians have been forcibly displaced by ISIS militants acting in the name of a so-called Caliphate State. Entering the church on Sunday, one could not differentiate between Christians and Muslims.  Everybody gathered focused only on speaking of peace.

The atmosphere in the church sent a message to the world saying that there is no difference between Christians and Muslims in this country: Iraq belongs to us; there is no place for terrorism in it. Christians and Muslims stood together, the former reciting verses from the Bible while the latter recited Surat Al-Fatihah from the Quran. The Bible and the Quran were wrapped with the Iraqi flag, the Iraqi Flag was mediating the audience, who stood in the courtyard of the church. Attendees’ faces mixed together, reflecting the unity of Iraq. The Christians at the Church welcomed their supporters with smiles for their solidarity.  Civic activists placed a banner at the entrance of the church, reading “No for displacement any Iraqi, I am Iraqi…I am Christian.

Mr. Yousif Al-Tamimi, organizer of this solidarity activity with the Christians, said to “Y-News”: “This solidarity demonstration expresses the discontent of Iraqis regarding the forced displacement faced by the Christians in the northern city of Mosul. We are a group of civic activists who insist on our Iraqi citizenship and nothing else. We have left all other affiliations behind us.”

 

He added that “the suffering that the Christians are facing in Mosul embodies the ugliest pictures of violations against humanity.  The aim of ISIS is to return back the situation in Iraq to the days of ancient tribal judgments.”

When he gave his speech during Sunday mass, the Patriarch of the St. George’s Church expressed his gratitude towards the civil activists for their support, and said: “Just as you raised the banner that said ‘I am an Iraqi…  I am Christian,’ so will I say ‘I am an Iraqi…I am Muslim.’”

He also said that “Iraq is undergoing a dangerous time now…where some entities are trying to disturb the unity of our society.  And those who are displacing the Christians now do not represent Islam at all. True Islam is what you have come with.  It is when you expressed your rejection for any human rights violation that may affect any Iraqi, where Islam is a religion of love and peace.”

The Patriarch addressed the youth civilian activists who attended the church, saying, “You are the hope of Iraq, you will build this country, your message is a humanitarian one, devoid of any affiliations, where Iraq have gathered us all together.  I thank you for your support, which will remain known through history.”

This was followed by a statement from the civil activists’ representatives, in which he condemned the forced displacements against the Christians in Mosul, while indicating that the government must take responsibility for protecting the Christians. Finally, he described the role of civil society organizations as resisting what the suffering of the Christians.

–Mustafa Saadoun

Translation by Iraq Foundation staff

 

Additional Reading:

Muslims show solidarity with Iraqi Christians in Baghdad rally

Concern and Support for Iraqi Christians Forced to Flee Mosul

Iraqi’s Waterless Christians: The Campaign to Expel a Religion

 

Best wishes from the Iraq Foundation for Ramadan Mubarak.

It is with the deepest regret that the Iraq Foundation mourns the death of Ms. Omaia Al Jabara, head of the Arab and Iraqi Women’s Organization in Salah Al-Din. Ms. Jabara served as the partner of the Iraq Foundation on several projects. She was a lawyer and advisor to the governor of the province. She was died with courage, loyalty and love for her country.

The staff of the Iraq Foundation greets this news with the deepest regret and sorrow. We have lost a partner and woman distinguished for her practice of freedom and democracy. We express our utmost condolences to those martyred, to the province of Salah Al-Din, legal jurists and civil society for this great loss.

We condemn violence in Iraq as it prevents the practice of democracy, a functioning civil society and violates human rights.

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ. فَرِحِينَ بِمَا آَتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَيَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ أَلَّا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ (آل عمران 170،196

بمزيد من الاسف والاسى ينعى المعهد العراقي الشيخة امية الجبارة ، الفقيدة هي رئيسة منظمة المرأة العراقية والعربية في صلاح الدين ، وهي شريكة للمعهد العراقي في اكثر من مشروع ، بالاضافة لكونها محامية ومستشارة لمحافظ صلاح الدين ووجه مشرف من وجوه المحافظة ومشهود لها بالشجاعة والوفاء وحب الوطن.

واذ يعرب المعهد العراقي عن بالغ حزنه واسفه لفقدان شريك نسوي مميز على درب الحرية والديمقراطية، يتقدم بخالص عزائه لذوي الشهيدة ولمحافظة صلاح الدين والحقوقيين والمجتمع المدني العراقي بهذا المصاب الجلل، سائلين المولى عز وجل ان يتغمد الشهيدة برحمته الواسعة ويلهم ذويها الصبر والسلوان.

الرحمة والخلود لشهداء العراق الأبرار والخزي والعار لكل من يريد السوء بأرض العراق وشعبه

In the recent elections, Iraqi women won 22 seats in the Council of Representatives outside the quota system. This figure is indicative of the growing leadership of women in Iraq and increasing confidence of the electorate in women candidates!

January – March 2014: The national coalition continued their efforts to publish and disseminate the National Charter through local print and social media to raise awareness among local and national government decision-makers about the recommendations of the National Charter.

The Task Force members worked closely with government officials and other international workers to implement the first recommendation of the national Charter which encourages the government to make a workplan to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325. These efforts  have paid off! The government declared on February 6, 2014 that they will launch the National Action Plan on UNSCR (2014-2018). Iraq became the first country in the Middle East and North Africa Region to launch such a program.

The Task Force held 3 hearing sessions in Erbil, Babil and Basra for women impacted by violence. The National Coalition and Task Force also worked closely with the partner NGOs, and with local and national governments to support and inform any current or future peace-building initiatives to be inclusive of women.

The Task force member are continuing their efforts to implement the other 9 recommendations of the National Charter which aim to empower and ending violence against women in Iraq.

The task force members continued interacting with religious leaders and emphasizing on their role in ending the violence against women in Iraq. This fruitful effort resulted dedicating part of religious clergy’s speeches to talk about violence against women and means to end it.

Baghdad Task Force Members attending the National conference for launching work  plan to implement 1325 UN resolution


IF staff and Baghdad Task Force meeting At Al-Sadir city council to assess the progress in implementing the 10 recommendations/terms of the national charter 

 


Basra Task force Members holding hearing session

Babil Task Force efforts working with local government to  get the support for the National Charter

Clergies in Babil dedicating part of their speeches to talk about violence against women and means to end it as a result for Babil Task Force efforts to implement the 3rd recommendation of the National Charter
 

Introducing the national charter and the efforts the task force is making in Dayla towards ending violence against women                    

 


Iraqi novelist, Ahmed Saadawi, won the Literary Booker Prize for his novel, “Frankenstein in Baghdad.”

Read the Arabic article, here.

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