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IF is delighted to announce that Alsumaria television agreed to compile all 15 documentaries that ICP project teams have produced into one documentary about Iraq’s religious heritage and broadcast it on Alsumaria TV station. We are very thrilled and wanted to share these great news with you.

IF looks forward to sharing this film with you as soon as the documentary becomes available!

For more information, please visit the ICP Facebook group!

During the month of October and November, ICP teams screened their documentaries in the Iraqi provinces. Screenings took place in the Baghdad, Diyala, Salaheddine, Babil, Kirkuk, Erbil, Dohuk, Ninewa, Thi Qar, Basra, Maysan, Diwaniyya, and Muthanna governorates.

Each team held a total of three screenings of the documentaries in their respective provinces. The screenings aimed at showing that Iraq’s minorities are indigenous to Iraq and many of them are descendants of those who lived in ancient Assyria and had a continuous presence in the country ever since.

After the film screening, the filmmaking team talked about their experiences researching and documenting the sites and how they related to each other and what it meant to them to work together. Mixed panels of religious leaders and educators lead a discussion after the screenings on the implications of the documentary for the community and the value of public understanding of interfaith heritage.

The audience was drawn mostly from the local communities and included Parliament members, former ministers, civic leaders, media representatives, movie experts, academics, and students. Q & A sessions included interesting discussions about the provinces’ interfaith traditions and religious heritage and encouraging words about the value and the benefits of this creative initiative.

For more information, please visit the ICP facebook group!

Selected Photos:

ICP: 1st screenings/ Babil team:

 

 ICP: 1st screenings/ Baghdad team 1:

 

  

 

 

ICP: 1st screenings/ Erbil team:

 

 

ICP: 1st screenings/ Baghdad team 2:

 

 

 ICP: 1st screenings/ Salah Al-Deen team:

  

IF successfully conducted our 2nd Interfaith Cooperation Project (ICP) training from July 25 to 27, 2011 in IF-Baghdad Office. The training aimed at introducing participants from the 15 participating teams to the art of film-editing in order to enable them in editing their row-documentary films on religious locations. 18 participants physically attended the training due to the deterioration of the security situation, 1 participant from Dahouk team participated through Skype.

The participants benefited from the training, learning film-editing techniques and the use of popular editing software from Adobe. The training was conducted by Mr. Ahmed Wahid (Film Editor from Al-Sumariya Satellite Channel-Baghdad).

IF is thrilled with the cooperation and harmony between the diverse team members. Students are regularly updating IF’s ICP facebook with clips of their documentary films, photos, and writen accounts of their activities.

For more information, please visit the ICP facebook group!

Photos: ICP 2nd training (Film Editing training):  July 25 – 27, 2011:

During the month of June IF, in partnership with Al-Sumaria TV station, started the first training on the art of film-making and on Iraq’s long history as a religiously diverse community. The training is going very smoothly and the young participants are showing eagerness to learn and deliver. The trainers are very engaged and engaging and are covering both the technical aspect of documentary-making and the importance of Iraq’s diverse religious heritage. IF was very pleased to hear stories or inter-religious cooperation and it was very moving to observe that even during their first interaction, participating students from different religious faiths started mingling and building friendly relations.

Quote from the ICP project Facebook page:

“Diversity is the first step towards development… If we don’t recognize each other and respect each other… we won’t be able to overcome our underdevelopment and achieve big things. We have to capitalize on our (religious) diversity and make it a “positive” diversity as it will be a drive towards achieving growth and progression.”

Video by Al-Sumaria TV

During the month of June IF, in partnership with Al-Sumaria TV station, started the first training on the art of film-making and on Iraq’s long history as a religiously diverse community. The training is going very smoothly and the young participants are showing eagerness to learn and deliver. The trainers are very engaged and engaging and are covering both the technical aspect of documentary-making and the importance of Iraq’s diverse religious heritage. IF was very pleased to hear stories or inter-religious cooperation and it was very moving to observe that even during their first interaction, participating students from different religious faiths started mingling and building friendly relations.

Quote from the ICP project Facebook page:
“Diversity is the first step towards development… If we don’t recognize each other and respect each other… we won’t be able to overcome our underdevelopment and achieve big things. We have to capitalize on our (religious) diversity and make it a “positive” diversity as it will be a drive towards achieving growth and progression.”

Training participants on documentary filming

ICP participants in training session.

 

ICP participants practice documentary filming with the trainer.
 

 More photos on Facebook:

  http://www.facebook.com/groups/218861241492169?view=photos

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

Timeline: The History of Iraq

“A Tour of Iraq’s Ancient Sites”

Iraq’s past spans the breadth of history, giving rise to a unique  culture and multiplicity of beliefs.  From ancient Mesopotamia, Iraq is has been a major contributor to world civilization.  It is the starting point of countless prophets, including Abraham, revered by Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. From writing, accounting, science, art, culture and myriad religious influences and belief systems, Iraq is not merely the patrimony of one l nation but that of much of the modern world.

Today, Iraq’s religious differences, ethnic tension, and sectarian violence seem to overpower our popular conscience when trying to understand Iraq’s diversity.  Iraq has been an ethnically diverse country for millennia, with Kurds, Assyrians, and Turkmen representing the three largest non-Arab minorities in the country. It is also the home of many religions: while Islam is the religion of the majority, Christianity, Judaism, Mandeanism, found an even earlier home in Iraq.   Each group has a unique heritage and connection to Iraq.  There’s a multitude of religious sites across Iraq that attest to Iraq’s diversity and significance as a center of religious and ethnic diversity.

Iraq is naturally of great importance to the Muslim world and is home to many significant religious sites, such as r the Al ‘Askari and the Al-‘Abbas Mosques in Samarra and the Gailani Mosque in Baghdad. But from its extreme north to its extreme south, every region of Iraq harbors historical sites revered by other religions: Christians, jews, Yezidis, and others. Nenawa province abound in early Christian churches, and a Christian church dating to the 5th century CE has been found near the Shi’a ciry of Kerbala. Some religious are venerated by more than one religious group. For example, Al-Kufl in the province of Babil is both a Jewish and a Muslim historic site. The tomb of the prophet Younes (Jonas) in Mosul is visited by Christians, Muslims, and Jews faiths.  Many of Iraq’s minority faiths can also trace their origins to locations in Iraq. The holiest Yazidi shrine, for example, is that of Sheikh Adi, located at the necropolis of Lalish outside of Mosul.
Sadly, these groups have not enjoyed equal status with the majority Muslim population in recent years. Fanaticism and violence in the name of Islam has often been the causes of oppression of religious minorities in Iraq. Although the Iraqi constitution ensures religious freedom and bans discrimination based on religion, religious minorities have been deprived of their civic and religious rights by extremists.   The Yazidi Bombing on August 14, 2007, for example, was the most deadly car bombing attack in Iraq, killing 796 and wounding 1,562 people, according to the Red Crescent.

To highlight the diverse religious heritage that lives on in modern Iraq and build understanding between Iraq’s diverse religious and ethnic communities, the Iraq Foundation proposes an innovative project to capture Iraq’s thriving belief systems and foster understanding of Iraq’s long history as a religiously diverse community.  The Iraq Foundation will commission video documentaries that highlight religious sites in Iraq.  These documentaries will be created by groups of religiously and ethnically diverse students and youth, telling the story of Iraq’s significance to religious heritage and the many faiths and sects that call Iraq home.

 

In March, IF concluded the Empowering Iraqi Widows to Thrive (EIWT) project!

The project was implemented in four cycles at seven training centers in five provinces. The direct results of the projects were as follows:

  • 28 educational training programs and vocational training programs were implemented at seven centers in 5 locations
  • 1,112 widows trained over the course of four training cycles on citizenship and women’s rights, life skills education, including family health and well-being topics and  interpersonal skills
  • 1,112 widows developed personal goals and an action plan to achieve those goals; and 1,112 widows received vocational mentoring (832 widows over the targeted number without exceeding the project budget)  to enable them to begin generating income locally
  • 694 widows received vocational training (414 widows over the targeted number without exceeding the project budget)
  • identified 491 job opportunities
  • connected 209 widows with small grants and several other resources that provided them with the means to generate income and thus become economically self-sufficient

IF requested a no-cost extension for the project, from October 1, 2012 through February 28, 2013.  IF request was approved by the Funder on September 26, 2012.

As a direct result of the no-cost extension:

  • 50 widows received marketing training to craft sustainable strategies for their businesses
  • 15 widows received tailored coaching to access loans and help their businesses succeed
  • 25 widows received mini grants to start their own businesses
  • 15 widows received assistant in accessing job banks and increasing their visibility with private employment agencies

IF started a follow-up plan with EIWT grantees and widows who received loans. IF staff and partner NGOs conducted three visits per widow, distributing surveys while trying to measure success.

Widows in Maysan:

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Widows in Baghdad:

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IF grantee-EIWT widow Iqbal Jasim – Risafa Center-Baghdad
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IF grantee-EIWT widow Majida Kadhum Mohammed–Risafa Center-Baghdad
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IF grantee-EIWT widow Zahra Abbas Ma’ala – Risafa Center-Baghdad
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IF grantee-EIWT widow Wijdan Qasim – Risafa Center-Baghdad
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IF grantee-EIWT widow Wafaa Sabah – Risafa Center-Baghdad
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IF grantee-EIWT widow Iqbal Raihan – Karkh Center-Baghdad

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IF grantee-EIWT widow Fatima Abbas – Karkh Center-Baghdad
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IF grantee-EIWT widow Sundis Najim – Karkh Center-Baghdad
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IF grantee-EIWT widow Karima Abdul Karim – Karkh Center-Baghdad
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IF grantee-EIWT widow Nahla Salman Abbas – Karkh Center-Baghdad

IF awarded 25 mini-grants to selected widows to launch their micro businesses in Baghdad, Maysan and Basra.

Dr. Sadoon Chithir, Marketing experts, and Baghdad University helped 50 widows looking for income generating opportunities as part of the project activities, to craft sustainability strategies that enabled them to access loans and support their businesses’ long-term success.

IF is also pleased to report that IF EIWT staff and partner NGOs connected 3 more widows with small grants and several other resources,  which provided them with the means to generate income and thus become economically self-sufficient. Widows used these grants to establish small businesses based out of their homes, aimed at providing services for their community. They join 206 other widows from previous EIWT cycles who also benefited from EIWT’s vocational and entrepreneurial training.

IF in collaboration with Women for supporting Women Association (WSW) in Baghdad followed up with EIWT widow Madina Hussien, who started a housekeeping job at Sama Al Khaleej.  She is making ID 400,000 ($340)/month.

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Madina Jasim, EIWT widow, started a housekeeping job in a private company

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Dr. Saadon Chithir, Marketing expert, meeting with EIWT widows in Basra

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IF grantees – EIWT project- Maysan

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Dr. Saadon Chithir, marketing expert, meeting EIWT widows in Maysan

EIWT widows, Siham Mutair, Bnjat Mutashar and Majida Kadhum, discussing their loan terms of ID1,000,000($850) each to develop their own businesses.

EIWT widow Forqan Kadhum receiving Red Cross grants to start her sewing project out of her home.

IF in cooperation with our partner, Women for Supporting Women Association, held mentoring session for the widows with successful businesswomen.

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