As the Muslim community prepares to celebrate Eid al-Adha, my family is making a gift to the Education for Peace in Iraq Center.
For nearly 20 years, EPIC has fought to raise awareness and understanding of the needs in my native Iraq. In the 1990s, that meant organizing protests against sanctions that crippled the Iraqi economy, left average citizens to suffer, and did nothing to stop Saddam Hussein’s regime.
In the lead-up to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, EPIC was among the earliest (and loudest) voices who questioned the rush to war. And in the years that followed, EPIC supporters lobbied Congress and the Bush and Obama administrations on the importance of civilian protection, humanitarian aid, and sustained commitment to reconstruction.
More recently, EPIC has provided tens of thousands of dollars to assist Iraqi children and families displaced by ISIS violence, and is one of the only organizations in Washington solely committed to Iraq’s peace and development.
EPIC educates the American public about the realities in Iraq, monitors the crisis to inform smarter public policy, and EPIC’s latest initiative – with support from the National Endowment for Democracy – connects the Iraqi diaspora in the U.S. with civil society needs in Iraq. These are just a few of the reasons our family supports EPIC’s ongoing work.
I hope you will join us by supporting EPIC, too. A safe and joyous Eid al-Adha from our family to yours.
Hussein Al Baya