All posts by EPIC

ISHM: December 7 – December 13, 2018

This week’s top headlines: No progress on government formation in Baghdad; PUK, KDP and Gorran meet to discuss cooperation and government formation in KRG – On December 7, Alsumaria News reported that the negotiations to finalize the identity of the remaining eight members of Iraq’s Cabinet was halted without any clear restart date. On December 12, Rudaw News reported that a political rift between Sunni blocs in parliament widened over the nomination for the minister of defense. On December 11, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) held a joint-meeting to improve relations and cooperation between the two majority parties in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). On December 12, the KDP met with a delegation from the Gorran Movement to discuss Gorran’s role in the formation of the next Kurdistan Regional Government.

Interview with Yazidi Activist Hazim Avdal on Post-Genocide Peace and Justice

  In 2014, the Iraqi Yazidi community, a small ethno-religious minority residing mostly in the area of Sinjar, a mountainous region in Ninewa, northwestern Iraq, was subjected to a campaign of massacres, mass kidnappings and enslavement of women, boys and girls at the hands of ISIS. Between 2,000-5,000 Yazidis lost their lives and about 6,000 … Continue reading Interview with Yazidi Activist Hazim Avdal on Post-Genocide Peace and Justice

#36: Basra’s Water Crisis

Protests have become a seasonal phenomenon in Basra province, southern Iraq. To date, Baghdad’s change of regime has made little difference for Basra’s 4.5 million mostly Shia Muslim residents who are frustrated with government corruption and shortages of electricity, clean water, and employment opportunities.

“The Women We Help Simply Need someone Who Cares”

The holiday season is a good time to reflect on what we have accomplished in 2018 thanks to the generous support of donors, partners and volunteers like you. As the Education for Peace in Iraq Center prepares to expand our in-country humanitarian work in 2019, we wanted to highlight some of what we have done … Continue reading “The Women We Help Simply Need someone Who Cares”

ISHM: November 29 – December 6, 2018

Key Takeaways: Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi fails to secure confirmation of remaining ministers by Parliament – On December 4, Iraqi PM Adel Abdul Mahdi released the names of his final eight nominations for ministerial positions in the Iraqi Cabinet. The same day, the Iraqi Council of Representatives blocked the confirmations of the remaining eight ministerial … Continue reading ISHM: November 29 – December 6, 2018

#35: Mosul’s Recovery: A Dream Deferred

On this edition of IRAQ MATTERS, Rasha Al-Aqeedi, a native of Mosul and an acclaimed Iraq analyst, discusses Mosul’s 3 years under ISIS, ongoing challenges to the city’s security and recovery, the role of young people and civil society in the fight against intolerance, and Ninewa’s central importance for enabling peace in Iraq.

Learning to Better Treat Mentally Traumatized Patients in Iraq

This month, a group of Iraqi medical professionals, social workers and psychiatrists gathered in Mosul for three days to undergo intensive training on integrating the provision of mental health care in primary health care centers and hospitals. The professionals in this group work at 16 different facilities and organizations across Iraq, in Mosul, Sinjar, Baghdad … Continue reading Learning to Better Treat Mentally Traumatized Patients in Iraq

ISHM: November 9 – 15, 2018

This week’s headlines: U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah-Affiliated Individuals, Iraq to Trade Food for Iranian Energy and Gas – On November 11, Iraqi President Barham Salih called on the United States (U.S.) to rethink its sanctions against Iran, voicing concerns about how the decision will affect Iraq’s relations with Iran. On November 13, the U.S. … Continue reading ISHM: November 9 – 15, 2018

ISHM: November 2 -8, 2018

This week’s headlines: Iraq Is Granted Exemptions From Iran Sanctions, Protests Resume in Basra Province – On November 2, three Iraqi officials stated that the United States (U.S.) exempted Iraq from sanctions concerning the import of gas, food, and energy supplies from Iran after Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran’s oil sector. On November 2, protests … Continue reading ISHM: November 2 -8, 2018

ISHM: October 26 – November 1, 2018

This week’s headlines: International Leaders Congratulate Mahdi on His Election to Prime Minister, Council of Representatives Rejects Federal Budget for 2019 – On October 26, Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, released a statement congratulating newly confirmed Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. On October 26, Iraqi Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi received … Continue reading ISHM: October 26 – November 1, 2018

ISHM: October 19 – 25, 2018

This week’s headlines: Adel Abdul Mahdi Confirmed as the New Prime Minister of Iraq, 14 Ministers Approved to Form the New Cabinet – On October 24, the Council of Ministers confirmed Adel Abdul Mahdi as the next Prime Minister of Iraq. Reuters reported that 14 Ministers were also sworn amidst disagreements with many political parties … Continue reading ISHM: October 19 – 25, 2018

Welcome to Our Fall Interns 2018!

  Three times per year, EPIC welcomes a new cohort of interns – young professionals seeking to add practical experience to their academic backgrounds in humanitarian affairs, international relations, security studies, political science, public relations, and beyond. We are grateful for their contributions to our research, action, and advocacy, and for the opportunity to connect them … Continue reading Welcome to Our Fall Interns 2018!

ISHM: October 12 – 18, 2018

This week’s headlines: While Negotiations to Form the New Iraqi Government Continue, Mahdi Announces 36,000 Citizens Applied for Ministerial Positions – On October 11, BBC News reported that 36,000 citizens applied for ministerial positions on a special government website as Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi is forming the next federal government. On October 13, Iraqi … Continue reading ISHM: October 12 – 18, 2018

ISHM: October 5 – 11, 2018

This week’s headlines: Yazidi Human Rights Defender Nadia Murad of Iraq Receives the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her Efforts to End the Use of Sexual Violence in Warfare and Seek Justices for Victims – On October 5, along with Dr. Denis Mukwege of the Congo, Nadia Murad, 25, was co-awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace … Continue reading ISHM: October 5 – 11, 2018

Marking World Mental Health Day in Iraq

Communities in Iraq are putting their lives back together after years of conflict. Amid efforts to physically rebuild Iraqi cities and towns that witnessed heavy fighting, Iraqi mental health professionals are beginning to address the less visible fallouts of the war – the trauma children and families continue to experience even as threats to their … Continue reading Marking World Mental Health Day in Iraq

ISHM: September 28 – October 4, 2018

This week’s headlines: Iraqi Parliament Elects Barham Salih as the New President of Iraq, Salih Designates Adel Abdul Mahdi as Next Iraqi Prime Minister – Amid tensions between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), on October 2, the Iraqi Parliament elected Barham Salih, PUK candidate, as the new President … Continue reading ISHM: September 28 – October 4, 2018

ISHM: September 21 – 27, 2018

This week’s headlines: Basra Governor Denies Rumors of Assassination Attempt, Human Rights Activist Suad al-Ali Killed in Basra – During the course of the week, several public figures were assassinated or victims of murder attempts. Basra Governor Asaad al-Eidani’s office denied on September 23 that he was the victim of an assassination attempt. On September … Continue reading ISHM: September 21 – 27, 2018

ISHM: September 14 -20, 2018

This week’s headlines: Parliament Elects Speakers and Two Deputies, Halbousi Receives Supports from Iraqi Parties and the International Community – After the first attempt on September 3, 2018 to designate a Speaker of Parliament and his two deputies failed, on September 15 the Iraqi Parliament elected Sunni lawmaker Mohammed al-Halbousi as the next Speaker of … Continue reading ISHM: September 14 -20, 2018

ISHM: September 7 – 13, 2018

This week’s headlines: Civil Unrest in Basra Province Continues, Protesters Storm and Set Fire to the Iranian Consulate – Violent protests continue in Basra Province, with demonstrators growing increasingly frustrated about the lack of services and safe drinking water, as well as widespread corruption. On September 7, Shafaaq News reported that 11 demonstrators have died … Continue reading ISHM: September 7 – 13, 2018

ISHM : August 31 – September 6, 2018

This week’s headlines: Violent Protests Erupt in Basra Province, Umm Qasr Port Operations Shut Down following Protesters’ Blockade of its Main Entrance – Demands for safe drinking water and improvement of basic services prompted the eruption of violent protests in Basra. On August 31, demonstrators tried to break into Basra Province government headquarters in the … Continue reading ISHM : August 31 – September 6, 2018

ISHM: August 24 – 30, 2018

This week’s headlines: Security Operations against ISIS Continue, ISIS Strikes Security Checkpoint in Anbar Province – While Iraqi efforts to clear Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants from the country continue, ISIS perpetrated a deadly attack on a security checkpoint in Anbar Province on August 29, killing eight and injuring 12. On August … Continue reading ISHM: August 24 – 30, 2018

ISHM: August 17 – 23

This week’s headlines: The Federal Supreme Court Announces the Ratification of Election Results, Major Parties Announce the Formation of a National Majority Bloc – On August 19, Iyas al-Samouk, spokesman for Iraq’s Supreme Court, announced the Supreme Court’s ratification of the outcome of parliamentary elections, which took place on May 12, 2018. In response, Iraqi … Continue reading ISHM: August 17 – 23

ISHM: August 10 – 16

This week’s headlines: IHEC Announces Results of Recount, Negotiations for the Formation of the New Government Begin – After announcing the end of the ballot recount process, on August 10, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) revealed the results of manual recount. With the Sairoon Alliance led by Muqtada al-Sadr retaining the lead, Prime Minister … Continue reading ISHM: August 10 – 16

ISHM : August 3 – 9

This week’s headlines: IHEC Is Accused of Ignoring Vote Counting Machine Concerns, IHEC Announces the End of Election Ballots Recount – The process of election ballot recount was concluded, while the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) was criticized for allegedly ignoring concerns over electronic vote counting machines. According to an August 5 report by Reuters, … Continue reading ISHM : August 3 – 9

ISHM : July 27 – August 2

This week’s headlines: While demonstrations continue throughout Iraq, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued several directives to address protesters’ demands- On July 27, demonstrators in Baghdad called for the formation of a new government, while in Maysan Province protestors gathered to demand more jobs and the provision of basic services. On July 28, Abadi issued directive … Continue reading ISHM : July 27 – August 2

ISHM: JUNE 29 – July 12, 2018

This week’s headlines: Parliamentary Elections Ballot Recount Continues to Fuel Controversy ▪ Water Shortage Curtails Oil Refinement, Prompts Crop Limitations ▪ Demonstrator Killed in Basra amid Ongoing Protests ▪ Turkish Military Continues to Hit PKK Targets in Northern Iraq ▪ ISIS Insurgent Activity Continues to Challenge Security Forces ▪ Hemorrhagic Fever Sparks Health Scare ▪ Construction Begins at New US Consulate in Erbil

ISHM: JUNE 22 – 28, 2018

This week’s headlines: Abadi, Sadr Negotiate Alliance as Government Formation Process Continues ▪ Baghdad Calls for PKK Disarmament; Turkish Airstrikes Continue ▪ ISIS Continues to Harass Security Forces in Diyala, Kirkuk, Anbar ▪ Protesters Demand Reliable Electricity ▪ Water Shortage Threatens Iraqi Agriculture ▪ Iraq Oil Ministry Agrees to OPEC Oil Production Increases ▪ Pence Confirms “US Commitment to Middle East” in Call with Abadi

ISHM: JUNE 15 – 21, 2018

This week’s headlines: Negotiations Continue to Form an “Inclusive National” Government ▪ Angelina Jolie Visits Western Mosul, Highlighting Ongoing Reconstruction Challenge ▪ Diyala Security Deteriorates; Counter-ISIS Operations Continue ▪ Clashes Erupt Between Iraqi Security Forces and Popular Mobilization Units ▪ Turkish Military Strikes PKK Positions in Northern Iraq ▪ Water, Electricity Shortages Prompt Protests

ISHM: June 1 – 14, 2018

This week’s headlines: Judicial Council Appointed to Oversee Recount of Ballots, Sidelining IHEC ▪ Warehouse Fire Destroys Untold Number of Ballots Slated for Recount ▪ Sadr, Amiri Declare Alliance, Pushing the Blocs Closer to a Majority ▪ Turkish Dam Exacerbates Iraq’s Water Crisis ▪ Sporadic ISIS Attacks Continue Despite Improved Security ▪ Turkey Continues to Target PKK in Northern Iraq

Welcome to Our Summer 2018 Interns!

Three times per year, EPIC welcomes a new cohort of interns – young professionals seeking to add practical experience to their academic backgrounds in humanitarian affairs, international relations, security studies, political science, public relations, and beyond. We are grateful for their contributions to our research, action, and advocacy, and for the opportunity to connect them to Iraq … Continue reading Welcome to Our Summer 2018 Interns!

ISHM: May 11 – 17, 2018

This week’s headlines: Abadi, Party Leaders Congratulate Sadr on Election Victory ▪ Fraud Accusations Roil Kirkuk ▪ Party Headquarters Attacked in Sulaimania on Election Day ▪ Polling Stations See Some Irregularities ▪ Despite US Embassy Caution, Polling Stations Remained Safe on Election Day ▪ Second Attack in Two Weeks Hits Tarmiyah ▪ Iraq Condemns US Embassy Move in Israel

ISHM: May 4 – 10, 2018

This week’s headlines: Sporadic Attacks on Candidates in Lead-Up to Elections ▪ Several Candidates Withdraw Before Vote; Integrity Commission Head Resigns ▪ Curfews, Closings Announced Ahead of Election Day ▪ Accusations of Slow Voter Card Distribution; Voting Underway for Iraqi Forces, Expats ▪ Iraq Continues Airstrikes on ISIS Positions in Syria ▪ Iraq Condemns Trump’s Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord

Information for Iraqis in the U.S. Interested in Voting in May 12 Elections

  This information is reposted from our friends at the Iraqi-American Young Professionals for Iraqis in the U.S. interested in voting in Iraq’s May Parliamentary elections: Iraqis living in the U.S. who are interested in voting in the May elections can do so May 10 and May 11. Make sure you have everything required, but … Continue reading Information for Iraqis in the U.S. Interested in Voting in May 12 Elections

ISHM: April 27 – May 3, 2018

This week’s headlines: Candidates, Election Officials Targeted Ahead of May 12 Elections ▪ ISIS Claims Responsibility for Attack North of Baghdad ▪ U.S. Closes Land Component Headquarters, Shifting More Responsibility to ISF ▪ World Bank Program Supports Job Creation; IOM Releases Report on Social Cohesion Challenges ▪ Washington Post: Intercepted Messages Detail Qatari Ransom Payments to Militias

ISHM: April 20 – 26, 2018

This week’s headlines: Election Official Assassinated; Two Officials Kidnapped in Unrelated Incidents ▪ Campaign Coverage: Video Scandal, Fake News, Abadi Visits Kurdistan, and a Sunni President? ▪ Iran-Backed Militias in Syria Target US Troops, Raising Concern Over PMUs in Iraq ▪ Iraq Conducts Airstrikes on ISIS Positions in Syria ▪ Oil Ministry Awards New Contracts; 1991 Gulf War Reparations to Kuwait Resume

ISHM: April 13 – 19, 2018

This week’s headlines: Iraqi Foreign Minister, Protesters Condemn U.S. Airstrikes on Syrian Government Targets ▪ Candidates for Parliament Attacked in Basra, Baghdad, Kirkuk, Anbar ▪ Arab Summit Calls for Turkey to Respect Iraqi Sovereignty ▪ World Bank Forecasts Positive GDP Growth in Iraq for 2018 ▪ Campaign Spending Criticized ▪ HRW, NYT Report on Sham Trials of Suspected ISIS Sympathizers

ISHM: April 6 – 12, 2018

This week’s headlines: Attack on Political Party Headquarters in Anbar Prompts Conversation on Election Security ▪ Diyala Security Chief Transferred to Basra Amid Protests ▪ Baghdad Security Tightened During Shia Pilgrimage ▪ Peshmerga Return to Disputed Areas Remains in Dispute; Trump, Abadi Speak About Syria ▪ UNAMI, UNICEF Issue Humanitarian Response Plans for Iraqi Kurdistan

Run or walk “In Their Shoes” with EPIC!

Looking for a fun excuse to get outside this spring? Then join us on Saturday, May 5th for the Iraqi Children Foundation‘s annual “In Their Shoes” 5k! Enjoy Iraqi music, food, and family-friendly activities! Invite your friends to take part and sign up before this Saturday to take advantage of the reduced registration fee – and be sure to select ‘Team EPIC‘ when you … Continue reading Run or walk “In Their Shoes” with EPIC!

ISHM: March 23 – 29, 2018

This week’s headlines: PKK Withdraws from Sinjar, Erdogan Continues to Threaten Turkish Intervention ▪ Kurdistan Teachers, Civil Servants Demand Salary Payments ▪ Candidates, Coalitions Sign ‘Electoral Charter of Honor’ Ahead of May Elections ▪ Interior Ministry Touts Improvements in Baghdad Security ▪ Iraq, Saudi Arabia Sign Air Transportation Agreement

ISHM: March 16 – 22, 2018

This week’s headlines: Baghdad Pays Kurdish Salaries; Kirkuk-Erbil Road Reopens ▪ Turkey Continues Attacks on PKK in Northern Iraq, Erdogan Threatens Escalation ▪ Yazidi MP: Sinjar Children Still Held by ISIS in Syria; Missing Indian Laborers Identified ▪ Seven U.S. Servicemembers Killed in Helicopter Crash Near Qa’im ▪ FIFA Lifts Ban on Official Soccer Matches in Iraq ▪ World Bank Assists in Reconstructing Mosul’s Bridges, UAE Offers to Rebuild al-Nuri Mosque

ISHM: February 23 – March 1, 2018

This week’s headlines: Integrity Commission Issues Arrest Warrants for Ninewa Governor, Others ▪ According to Foreign Minister, Iraq Considering Purchase of Russian Defense System ▪ Rumors Cause Alarm in Kirkuk; KRI Airports Will Remain Closed ▪ IRC Publishes Report on IDP Returns ▪ Oil Drilling Resumes in KRI; Bidding for Majnoon Discussed at Iraq Petroleum Conference

ISHM: February 16 – 22, 2018

This week’s headlines: Popular Mobilization Units Attacked Near Hawija ▪ Russian Tanks Delivered to Iraq While the U.S. Wants Theirs out of the Hands of Militias ▪ Flooding in Diyala Raise Concerns of Water-Borne Illness ▪ UNOCHA Releases 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan; Kubis Addresses UN Security Council ▪ Fewer Candidates Campaigning Than in 2014

ISHM: February 2 – 8, 2018

This week’s headlines: U.S. Begins Drawing Down in Iraq, Encourages Greater Role for NATO ▪ UNAMI Launches Recovery Program, International Community Presses Private Sector Investment Ahead of Kuwait Conference ▪ Electricity Minister Questioned by Parliament ▪ Three Kurdish MPs Suspended Amid Budget Impasse ▪ Security Forces Target “White Flags,” ISIS in Hamrin Mountain Region ▪ France Will “Intervene” if French Citizen ISIS Members are Sentenced to Death

ISHM: January 26 – February 1, 2018

This week’s headlines: Demonstrators, KRG Condemn Turkish Action Against Syrian Kurds ▪ Political Alliances Develop Ahead of Election; Dep Sec Sullivan Visits Iraq ▪ Federal Budget Stalls Without Kurdish Support ▪ Coalition Airstrike Blamed for Friendly Fire Fatalities ▪ Sistani’s Representative Attacked in Karbala ▪ Disappointed at Davos, Abadi Looks Ahead to Kuwait Pledging Conference

Welcome to Our Spring 2018 Interns!

Three times per year, EPIC welcomes a new cohort of interns – young professionals seeking to add practical experience to their academic backgrounds in humanitarian affairs, international relations, security studies, political science, public relations, and beyond. We are grateful for their contributions to our research, action, and advocacy, and for the opportunity to connect them to Iraq … Continue reading Welcome to Our Spring 2018 Interns!

ISHM: January 19 – 25, 2018

This week’s headlines: Court, Parliament Finalize Date for National Elections ▪ IEDs Continue to Pose Risks to Returning IDPs ▪ Attacks by ISIS Insurgents Lead to Change in Tactics, More Training ▪ Turkish Action in Syria May Leave Border Vulnerable ▪ Barzani, Abadi Meet on Sidelines at Davos in Show of Cooperation ▪ German Woman Sentenced to Death in Iraq for Supporting ISIS ▪ Sandstorm and Bird Flu Contribute to Regional Health Problems

#34: Corruption and Reconstruction – Lessons Learned

On this edition of Iraq Matters, Stuart Bowen examines the lessons learned during his ten years as Special Inspector-General for Iraq Reconstruction and how those lessons should be applied to the next phase in Iraq’s post-ISIS recovery.

ISHM: January 5 – 18 , 2018

This week’s headlines: Suicide Attacks Roil Baghdad ▪ Concern Over Forced IDP Returns Mounts Ahead of Election Date Decision ▪ KRG, Federal Government Begin Negotiations ▪ Federal Budget Still Without Consensus as Kurds Boycott Parliament ▪ Sporadic ISIS Attacks Linger, Despite Territorial Losses ▪ U.S. and Germany Lead Funding Ahead of Kuwait Pledging Conference ▪ U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq Unrelated to Combat

ISHM: December 15 – 21, 2017

This week’s headlines: Violent Anti-Government Protests in the Kurdistan Region Result in Dozens of Casualties ▪ German Government Makes Aid Contingent on Resolution of Baghdad-Erbil Conflict ▪ Sistani Calls for PMUs to Merge with ISF; U.S. Troops in Iraq ‘Long-Term’ ▪ Mosul Civilian Casualty Counts Still Underestimated ▪ Minimum Wage Increased; Personal Status Law May Be Reintroduced Next Year

Inspiration to Give on #GivingTuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday – the non-profit world’s version of Black Friday – when we ask all of our supporters to give generously to causes that inspire them and encourage their friends and family to do the same. This past summer, EPIC’s Executive Director Erik Gustafson was in Mosul shortly after the last of the ISIS militants were driven … Continue reading Inspiration to Give on #GivingTuesday

#33: What is next for Iraqi Kurdistan?

On this edition of Iraq Matters, Iraqi Kurdistan expert Bilal Wahab explains the implications of the September 25 referendum and answers crucial questions on what comes next for the region.

ISHM: November 17 – 22, 2017

This week’s headlines: Federal Supreme Court Annuls Referendum Results; Abadi May Be Open to More Funding for KRI ▪ Rawa Cleared of ISIS ▪ Vehicle Bomb Targets Tuz Khurmatu Market, 83 Casualties Reported ▪ NY Times: Airstrikes Killed More Civilians in Mosul than Reported ▪ Abadi Pledges Elections Will Be Held on Schedule, Despite Pushback from Ninewa MPs

Giving Thanks in 2017

  Every year at this time, Americans reflect on what it is we are most grateful for as we celebrate the season of Thanksgiving. At EPIC, we are blessed with staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to enhance understanding of Iraq’s story, monitor the crisis to inform smarter policy, and provide relief to those who need it most. But we are most thankful … Continue reading Giving Thanks in 2017

ISHM: November 10 – 16, 2017

This week’s headlines: ISIS Territory “Down to the Last One Percent” as Security Forces Move Toward Rawa ▪ Kurdistan Parliament Affirms Federal Court Ruling on Independence; KDP MPs Return to Baghdad ▪ Earthquake Hits Along Iran-Iraq Border ▪ Kirkuk KRG Office Relocates to Erbil; Ousted Governor’s Case Dismissed ▪ Iraqi Foreign Minister Visits Qatar

ISHM: November 3 – 9, 2017

This week’s headlines: Abadi, Speaking in Qa’im, Declares City Cleared of ISIS Militants; Operations in Anbar Continue ▪ Suicide Attacks Roil Kirkuk; Sadr Orders PMU to Withdraw ▪ Federal Court Ruling, Budget Woes Further Erode KRG Leverage ▪ VP Nujaifi Sets Conditions for May Elections in Speech at USIP; Denies Report He Asked U.S. to Arm Sunni Militias ▪ ISIS Atrocities During Mosul Battle Detailed in UN Report

Calling Iraqi-Americans!

The Education for Peace in Iraq Center’s Connection Initiative brings together members of the Iraqi diaspora living in the United States and civil society organizations in Iraq who need contributions of time and talent. Over the past several months, we have reached out to dozens of Iraqi NGOs working on the front lines of government accountability, minority protection, youth empowerment, … Continue reading Calling Iraqi-Americans!

ISHM: October 27 – November 2, 2017

This week’s headlines: KRG President Barzani Steps Down as Kurdish Parties Clash ▪ Unaided by Rumors, ISF, Peshmerga Tensions Continue Over Border Control ▪ Date Fixed for National Elections ▪ Tillerson: U.S. Will Stay in Iraq Until ISIS is Defeated ▪ ISF Make Measured Progress in Western Anbar ▪ Amid Growing Need, World Bank Approves Aid Package; Ninewa Governor Ousted

ISHM: October 20 – 26, 2017

This week’s headlines: Allegations and Rhetoric Confuse Situation as ISF Take Over Disputed Territories ▪ Reports of Casualties and Looting Amid ISF, Peshmerga Clashes ▪ Kurdish Elections ‘Suspended’ for Eight Months; Referendum Results ‘Frozen’ ▪ Abadi Dismisses Tillerson Comments on PMUs, Seeks Regional Cooperation ▪ ISF “Coming to Liberate You” in Anbar ▪ Lack of Planning in Mosul Causing “Chaos” as Funding Urgently Needed

ISHM: October 13 – 19, 2017

This week’s headlines: Iraqi Security Forces, PMUs Move Quickly Into Disputed Territories ▪ Political Fallout Over Referendum Continues: Barzani Loses Leverage, Kirkuk Governor Ousted, Kurdish Elections Postponed ▪ Thousands of IDPs Move Through Disputed Territories Amid Unreliable Reporting ▪ U.S. Colonel Says There is “Work to Be Done” After ISIS is Cleared ▪ Extreme Hardship Remains in Western Mosul

A Truly EPIC Happy Hour!

On Thursday, November 16, join EPIC staff, Board Members, and our Host Committee at A Truly EPIC Happy Hour in support of Iraq’s future. All proceeds go to further EPIC’s mission of humanitarian action for peace. Meet new friends interested in making Iraq safe and prosperous again and reconnect with colleagues who have spent time in the region. Enjoy … Continue reading A Truly EPIC Happy Hour!

ISHM: September 29 – October 5, 2017

This week’s headlines: Referendum Tensions Relax, For Now, Aided By Calls from Sistani ▪ Iraqi Security Forces, Peshmerga Continue Cooperation Toward Hawija ▪ Revered Former President Jalal Talabani Dies at 84 ▪ Despite Saber Rattling, Iran and Turkey Await Next Steps for the KRI ▪ New Reports Released on Toll of Operations in Mosul ▪ Airstrikes Continue Over Anbar

EPIC Joins PBI for First Annual Assembly

On Sunday, September 24, Professionals for a Better Iraq (PBI) held their First Annual Assembly in northern Virginia where 60 Iraqi-American professionals came together for the opportunity to network and contribute to a shared vision for Iraq’s future. PBI is EPIC’s implementing partner on our Connection Initiative which aims to link members of Iraq’s talented diaspora … Continue reading EPIC Joins PBI for First Annual Assembly

Welcome to our Interns Brennan and Yaniv!

Three times per year, EPIC welcomes a new cohort of interns – young professionals seeking to add practical experience to their academic backgrounds in humanitarian affairs, international relations, security studies, political science, public relations, and beyond. We are grateful for their contributions to our research, action, and advocacy, and for the opportunity to connect them to Iraq … Continue reading Welcome to our Interns Brennan and Yaniv!

ISHM: September 15 – 21, 2017

This week’s headlines: Tensions Mount in Kirkuk as Kurdish Independence Referendum Looms ▪ Governor of Kirkuk Disputes Ouster ▪ Attack in Nasiriya Results in Mass Casualties ▪ Mass Displacement from Hawija Expected as Operations Begin ▪ Encouraged by Improved Security, More IDPs Return to Eastern Mosul ▪ “Hundreds” of ISIS Militants Killed in Western Anbar ▪ Kurdish Parliament Reconvenes Without Gorran

ISHM: September 8 – 14, 2017

This week’s headlines: Kurdish Parliament to Reconvene as Tension Mounts Over Referendum Participation ▪ ISIS Militants Surrender in Sharqat, Flee Hawija Ahead of Operations ▪ Iraq Considers Options for Foreign ISIS Fighters, Families ▪ Village Near Tal Afar Cleared Again; Commission Releases Mosul Report ▪ Security in Western Anbar Remains Tenuous

ISHM: August 25 – 31, 2017

This week’s headlines: Abadi Declares Tal Afar “Liberated” from ISIS ▪ Despite Military Success, More Displacements and Abuse of Tal Afar Civilians ▪ Hawija May Be Next for Security Forces as Atrocities Continue ▪ IEDs Roil Baghdad ▪ Forced Returns to Anbar Province; Jordanian Border Reopens ▪ Kirkuk Provincial Council Votes to Participate in Kurdistan Region Independence Referendum ▪ Militia Storms Diyala Provincial Council Over Attempts to Dismiss Governor

ISHM: August 18 – 24, 2017

This week’s headlines: As Tal Afar Operations Begin, PMU Participation Remains Uncertain ▪ Tal Afar Civilian Protection Poses Challenges for UN, Aid Agencies ▪ Kurdish Flag Flies in Kirkuk as Calls to Postpone Independence Referendum Widen ▪ Aid Finally Reaches Western Mosul; U.S. Moves to Assist with IED Removal ▪ PKK Pushes for Greater Authority in Sinjar ▪ Airstrikes Continue in Western Anbar, Despite Some Objection

Launching Our Project with the Iraqi Diaspora

We are thrilled to announce the addition of Ayad Amin to the EPIC team! Ayad will be coordinating our newest program, the Connection Initiative. In partnership with Professionals for a Better Iraq and with funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, EPIC’s Connection Initiative will seek to connect members of the Iraqi diaspora living in the United States with civil society organizations in their native … Continue reading Launching Our Project with the Iraqi Diaspora

#32: Yazidi Women and Conflict in Northern Iraq

On this edition of Iraq Matters, noted British writer and journalist Cathy Otten explains the situation facing Yazidi families – particularly women and girls – as ISIS is driven out of their homeland in northern Iraq.

ISHM: July 28 – August 3, 2017

This week’s headlines: Civilians Flee Tal Afar as Security Forces Prepare to Clear the City ▪ Orphaned Children and IEDs in Mosul’s Aftermath ▪ HRW, UNHCR Condemn Abuse of Civilians ▪ Security Operations, Airstrikes Ramp Up in Anbar ▪ Saudi Rapprochement Continues with Sadr Visit; Baghdad Strikes Oil Deal with Iran ▪ State Department Urges KRG to Postpone Independence Referendum

ISHM: July 21 – 27, 2017

This week’s headlines: Destruction, IEDs, and Lack of Goods Leave Few Options for Mosul IDPs ▪ National Strategy to Address Child Health Needs Unveiled; Schools Reopen Despite Dangers ▪ Military Operations Planned for ISIS Centers of Tal Afar, Hawija ▪ Pockets of Militants Targeted in Anbar, Diyala ▪ Ammar al-Hakim Leaves ISCI; Gorran Movement Elects New Leadership ▪ Iraq Signs Security MoU with Iran; Maliki Meets with Putin in Moscow

ISHM: July 14 – 20, 2017

This week’s headlines: Airstrikes Continue and Leftover IEDs of Concern in Western Mosul ▪ Abuse, Summary Executions Eroding Confidence in ISF in Mosul ▪ Funding Shortages, Long Term Displacement May Plague Mosul ▪ Next Steps for ISF Remain Uncertain Amid Expected Displacement from Tal Afar, Hawija ▪ Christian Militias Lightly Spar Near Qaraqosh; Christian Mayor Ousted by KDP ▪ Implications Loom for September Kurdish Independence Referendum