Category Archives: Iraq Matters Podcast

#15: The Changing Landscape of Iraq in Crisis

How is Iraq's deepening crisis changing the landscape of northern Iraq? What happened to the Iraqi Security Forces in Mosul? Will Kurdistan declare independence? To answer these questions we talk with Christine van den Toorn, an American researcher based in Iraq who has witnessed the unfolding crisis. Also featured: updates on PhotoVoice and TentEd and the latest news from Washington, D.C. and Sinjar Mountain.

#14: Can Civil Society Save Iraq?

Since the fall of Baghdad, the international community has invested millions in empowering an active civil society in Iraq. What is the state of that society today? How are community organizations and activists adapting to the fall of Mosul, the mobilization of militias, and other recent developments? What are they doing to advance government accountability, help vulnerable populations, empower youth and protect women’s rights? Tune in as we talk with Sarhang Hamasaeed of the U.S. Institute of Peace.

#13: Preventing a “Lost Generation” of Syrian children

Imagine growing up in a refugee camp far from the only home (and school) you’ve ever known. We feature a conversation with Zack Bazzi, a veteran returning to Iraq’s conflict zone to carry out a rapid response initiative to help Syrian refugee children, and the Musings on Iraq blogger, Joel Wing, for a special, post-election Iraq update. You can also listen to the extended version of Zack Bazzi's interview here.

#12: Our BIG Season Finale: Celebrating Why Iraq Matters

They’re smart. And they want to create a better world. They are the young participants of Iraq’s first PhotoVoice project. We talk with EPIC’s director about the concept and practice of PhotoVoice, and what we can all learn by looking at the world through their eyes. Then we celebrate the end of our first season by taking you on a journey to the heart of why Iraq matters, with excerpts from our most memorable interviews.

#11: Bridging Cultures through Higher Education: The Iraqi Student Project

How did two people start a movement that would change the lives of many young Iraqis? This week’s episode features interviews with the founders and participants of the Iraqi Student Project, a grassroots non-profit that succeeded in securing higher education for 60 Iraqi students. Also, EPIC’s founder and director, Erik Gustafson, offers insight into the President’s State of the Union address and Musings on Iraq blogger, Joel Wing, gives an Iraq Update.

#10: Is Peace in Iraq Possible? The Story of “Little Iraq”

Can Iraq’s diverse communities ever live together peacefully? To answer this question, we talk with Christine van den Toorn who tells us the story of “Little Iraq”, a town called Bashiqa. Also included is excerpts from Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq’s recent remarks on the need for the US to be more engaged in promoting national reconciliation and an Iraq Update with Musings on Iraq blogger, Joel Wing.

#9: Making a List and Checking it Twice

To mark the two year anniversary of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, we talk with Kirk Johnson, author of To Be A Friend is Fatal and founder of The List Project, an organization dedicated to helping the Iraqis America left behind. Also included: a new Iraq Update with Ahmed Ali, a spotlight of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, and Part 2 of our interview with the groundbreaking Iraqi-American journalist Yasmeen Alamiri, who discusses the contributions that resettled Iraqi refugees are making to communities in America today.

#8: A Conversation with Yasmeen Alamiri

By the age of 23, Yasmeen Alamiri was a White House correspondent. As a young Iraqi American woman who has covered two administrations, what have the past five years been like? How does she view the Obama administration on Iraq? What are her hopes for the future? Tune in as Iraq Matters reports the latest news on Iraq including a special humanitarian update on Syrian refugees, your letters, and a conversation with “a voice driving the media conversation,” the groundbreaking Al-Arabiya journalist and producer Yasmeen Alamiri.

#7: Veterans’ Perspectives on Iraq

Today, Iraq Matters sits down with three Iraq veterans to discuss their unique perspectives gained while deployed in Iraq. All three have made the commitment to continue their mission in Iraq. In addition, Erik Gustafson, EPIC’s director and also a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, delivers the first Iraq Matters commentary on EPIC's recommendations for the Obama administration's relationship moving forward with Iraq.

#6: Maliki’s Meeting with Obama

Today, Iraq Matters sits down with Ahmed Ali, Iraq analyst from the Institute for the Study of War, to discuss today's meeting between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Obama. This is the first time in nearly two years these two men last sat down together. Ahmed Ali talks about what PM Maliki hopes to achieve and the opportunity that it presents for the Obama administration to reset US-Iraq relations in support of genuine peace efforts and improvements in governance.