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Citizens Leading the Way to Peace and Development in Iraq
A Conversation with Iraqi Civil Society Leaders
February 6th, 2012
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Busboys & Poets - 5th & K
1025 5th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001


Come to Busboys & Poets (5th & K, NW) on February 6th from 6pm – 8pm to hear four prominent leaders of Iraq’s growing citizen sector speak about the current challenges and opportunities for long-term transformation following the U.S. troop withdrawal. The speakers are deeply-rooted in the complex struggles and fears still weighing heavily on Iraqi communities, and are working through Iraqi nonprofit service organizations to prevent bloodshed and help their country forge a brighter future. This is an opportunity for people who support Iraqis in their search for peace to engage Iraqi citizen leaders in informal conversation.  

An opportunity to meet four extraordinary activists with extensive knowledge of the current Iraqi situation.
Ms. Hanaa Edwar
is the secretary general of one of Iraq’s largest and oldest NGO’s, the Iraqi Al-Amal Association, founded in 1992. She has been a Human Rights,

Ms Hanaa Edwar

woman’s rights, and democracy activist for more than 40 years. In 2011 she was awarded the Sean MacBride Peace Prize by the International Peace Bureau for her contribution "to the advancement of democracy and human rights,” and her "firm stand against violence and war.” Hanaa has led campaigns in Iraq for women’s equality, enhancing women’s role in decision-making positions and in the constitutional process. She was a founder of the "Civil Initiative to Preserve the Constitution,” which won an Iraqi Supreme Court lawsuit that forced the Iraqi Parliament to convene in late 2010. Hanaa holds a law degree from Baghdad University.
Mr. Hashim al-Assaf heads the Iraq office of the NGOs Coordination Committee for Iraq (NCCI), the main umbrella organization for Iraqi NGOs working in the country. As Iraq Coordinator of NCCI, Hashim works to enhance cooperation among NGOs and to strengthen civil society participation in public policy-making in Iraq. He and his staff at NCCI work to facilitate NGO relations with the Government of Iraq and are advocates for humanitarian work and the protection of human rights. Hashim has designed and implemented training sessions for Iraqi NGO staff on human rights, non-profit management, monitoring and evaluation, conflict resolution, and other topics.
Mr. Abdulsatar Younis is the coordinator of the Iraqi Kurdistan NGOs Network (IKNN), the voluntary association established as an umbrella network to support Kurdish and Arab NGOs registered with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). IKNN has helped shape the new KRG law regulating NGOs in the region. Abdulsatar is also the Erbil coordinator of the Iraq-wide "La Onf” (Non-Violence) network. He was the principle organizer of the October 2011 "First Iraqi International Marathon in Erbil for Peace and Nonviolence” sponsored by La Onf, which attracted hundreds of runners and received extensive coverage in the local media. During his five-year tenure at the head of IKNN Abdulsatar has also played a key role in election monitoring in Erbil.

Ms. Noof Assi

Ms. Noof Assi is a Baghdad activist who last year monitored and reported on the Arab Uprisings demonstrations in Baghdad. She has conducted human rights, citizenship, and conflict management training for Iraqi youth and women and taken part in advocacy activities on the problems facing Iraqi youth. Over the past four years Noof has participated in numerous training sessions offered by the National Democratic Institute in Iraq and other groups. She is also a former blogger and radio program presenter and has participated in the youth programs of the Beirut-based Arab Thought Foundation. Noof is currently working with Iraqi Al-Amal Association, one of Iraq’s largest and oldest NGOs.

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