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IRIS

IRIS Panel Examines Iraq's Economy and Reform Efforts

  The Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) hosted a symposium titled "Evaluating Iraq's Economic Reform Agenda" on September 22, 2021.   IRIS Director Dr. Mac Skelton moderated the panel, which included Ahmed Tabaqchali, Senior Fellow, IRIS; Dhuha Mohammed, Director General for electronic payments, Central Bank of Iraq; Hamzeh Al-Shadeedi, Policy Researcher, IRIS; and Ahmed Haji Rashid, Parliamentarian, Government of Iraq.   The event examined topics including Iraq's banking and cash systems, currency devaluation, and economic reforms in the central bank, in addition to the federal budget and relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government.   The event was the first public in-person panel hosted by IRIS since February 2020.

IRIS hosts symposium on issues facing Basra

  The Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at AUIS hosted a symposium and panel discussion titled "Rebuilding the Iraqi State: Spotlight on Basra," co-hosted with the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) on Tuesday, April 16 in the AUIS Conference Hall.    "Over the last few years, Iraqis have chosen to make their views heard at protests rather than at the ballot box. In 2018, regular summer protests in the southern province of Basra escalated into an unprecedented degree of social unrest, which was met by violent repression from state and allied forces," said an IRIS announcement detailing the event. "Was this period in Basra a one-off, or does it suggest we are entering a new era of protests is emerging? How have relations evolved between the new government in Baghdad and the province in the last year? Has the new government effectively addressed grievances, or will the upcoming summer see more protests?"   The Iraq Initiative from Chatham House partnered with IRIS to convene the high-level panel of experts who explored the case of Basra and what it means for the ongoing process of re-building of the Iraqi state. Speakers included Renad Mansour (Moderator), Chatham House & IRIS; Jasim Al-Helfi, Iraqi Communist Party; Belkis Wille, Human Rights Watch; Ali Al-Madan, Basrawi Researcher & Writer; and Hanaa Edwar, Iraqi Al Amal.  

Rebuilding the Iraqi State: Spotlight on Basra

      The Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) would like to invite you to a panel discussion entitled "Rebuilding the Iraqi State: Spotlight on Basra," co-hosted with the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) on Tuesday, April 16 at 4:00PM in the AUIS Conference Hall.    Over the last few years, Iraqis have chosen to make their views heard at protests rather than at the ballot box. In 2018, regular summer protests in the southern province of Basra escalated into an unprecedented degree of social unrest, which was met by violent repression from state and allied forces.    Was this period in Basra a one-off, or does it suggest we are entering a new era of protests is emerging? How have relations evolved between the new government in Baghdad and the province in the last year? Has the new government effectively addressed grievances, or will the upcoming summer see more protests? The Iraq Initiative from Chatham House partners with the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani to convene a high-level panel of experts who will explore the case of Basra and what it means for the ongoing process of re-building of the Iraqi state.     Speakers will include:   - Renad Mansour (Moderator): Chatham House & IRIS - Dhia Al-Asadi: Former Minister and MP (Ahrar Bloc) - Jasim Al-Helfi: Iraqi Communist Party - Belkis Wille: Human Rights Watch - Zmkan Saleem: IRIS & AUIS - Ali Al-Madan: Basrawi Researcher & Writer - Hisham Al-Hashimi: Iraqi Facilitators Network - Hanaa Edwar: Iraqi Al Amal    

Discussion with Mosul-based photographer Ali Al-Baroodi

IRIS invites the AUIS community to a discussion with Mosul University lecturer and photographer, Ali Al-Baroodi, who has gained international attention for his photography of Mosul in the aftermath of the recent ISIS war. Mr. Al-Baroodi will display a selection of photos and lead a discussion with the AUIS community on Thursday, November 15, at 11:30 AM in the Boardroom, located on the 2nd floor of A Building. 

IRIS hosts workshop on 'The Kurds After the Caliphate'

  John Holland-McCowan, a research fellow with the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at AUIS, hosted a workshop on November 4, 2018 in relation to his recent publication, “The Kurds After the Caliphate: How the Decline of ISIS Has Impacted the Kurds of Iraq and Syria." Holland-McCowan delivered a presentation on post-ISIS developments among Kurdish groups in Iraq and Syria; and led a discussion among attendees on the effects of the years-long conflict on Kurdish populations in both countries. The full text of his report can be found here.

The Kurds After the Caliphate

  Join IRIS-ICSR Fellow, John Holland-McCowan, for a discussion on his recent publication, "The Kurds After the Caliphate: How the Decline of ISIS Has Impacted the Kurds of Iraq and Syria." This talk will take place Sunday, November 4 from 11:30-12:30pm in B-B1-11. It will be a great discussion for anyone interested in understanding post-ISIS developments among Kurdish groups in the Kurdistan Regions of Iraq and Syria. For the full text of the report, click here, and for John's bio, click here.

Open Discussion: The Rise of Populism in Europe

  The Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) will host an open discussion on Wednesday, September 12 from 11:30am-12:30pm titled, "The Rise of Populism in Europe," which will focus on populist trends across Europe and how they compare to those in Iraq and the KRI.   With the rise of anti-establishment parties all over Europe, 'populism' has become the catch-all term to define political phenomena stretching from Spain's left-wing Podemos to Germany's far-right movements. What do they all have in common? Is 'populism' a viable term for academic discussion on the evolution of European politics? How does populism in Europe compare to that in the Middle East and Iraq? Join IRIS Fellow Nicola Degli Esposti in AG-04 to find out.  

AUIS hosts event with Dr. Francis Fukuyama and others on global and local identity politics

  On Thursday, August 30, 2018, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) hosted a symposium titled ‘A Conversation with Dr. Francis Fukuyama: Today's Identity Politics, from Global to Local.’   Dr. Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and the Mosbacher Director of FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.   Fukuyama’s recently released book Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, and themes discussed in it featured prominently in the discussion with other speakers on the panel, who included Dr. Barham Salih, Iraqi Kurdish political figure and AUIS board of trustees member;  Abdulwahab Alkebsi, Managing Director for Programs at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE); and Erik G. Jensen who holds joint appointments at Stanford Law School and Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.   Fukuyama, Alkebsi, and Jensen were in Sulaimani for a week-long Leadership Academy for Development, Iraq (LAD-IQ) training at AUIS for Iraqi government officials, academics, and members the business community on the role of public policy in private sector development.   The discussion began with examples of rising populism worldwide, especially in the United States and other western countries, and brief case studies of societies witnessing identity politics to varying degrees.   Commenting on his recent book, Fukuyama said, “It’s about the way I believe world politics has currently evolved.” He continued,“The United States and western countries are becoming a little bit like the Middle East.”   Panelists further discussed ways in which identity politics have played out in the West, similar to in the Middle East with Dr. Barham Salih recalling ironic conversations in the United States on how Iraqis would need to move past identity politics to see development in the country.   The discussion was followed by a Q & A session with audience members who took the chance to add their voices to the conversation.    

AUIS hosts third Iraqi Leadership Fellows (ILF) workshop

  This third session marked the final training workshop for the 2017-2018 ILF cohort, which gathered for an inaugural session in Beirut, Lebanon in October 2017. Fellows began the session on June 22 with a review and evaluation of made on their individual  campaigns, followed by a discussion on lessons learned and areas of improvement. The cohort also analyzed potential effects of the recent Iraqi elections on their campaigns. Day two of the session largely focused on the Ladder of Inference, an examination of decision-making processes, as well as messaging related to the fellows’ campaigns. The session ended on June 24 with a final presentation of the fellows’ revised campaigns and distribution of certificates. The ILF Program equips young, engaged Iraqis with skills on campaigning, community organizing, and advocacy techniques through training workshops led by international instructors. Through the course of the program, the nearly two dozen fellows who represent various ethnicities, sects, and professional backgrounds have worked on individual campaigns under the supervision and guidance of mentors. The ILF Program is supported by Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the GPD Charitable Trust.    

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