On November 28, 2017, IRIS hosted the United States Consul General in Erbil, Ken Gross, at an event titled “Charting a Path Forward for the Kurdistan Region and Iraq” to discuss U.S., regional and local policies in the aftermath of the referendum and the war against ISIS. Consul General Gross spoke on a panel with AUIS professors, Drs. Akeel Abbas, Alan Noory, and Barin Kayaoglu, moderated by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn.
On November 16, 2017, IRIS hosted an informal discussion and Q & A session with entrepreneurs in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (“GEW”), a weeklong worldwide event hosted by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (“GEN”).
While water crises are commonly framed as natural hazards or the result of suboptimal economic outcomes, they are quite often the consequence of short-sighted political decisions. From this perspective, the IRIS fellow Alessandro Tinti engaged with government officials, environmental activists, and international experts in the water sector to identify pressing issues and priority areas.
On September 17, 2017, IRIS hosted a lecture by Dr. Faleh Jabbar on the topics of “State-building and Nationalism in the Middle East.” Dr. Jabbar focused on the historical evolution of nationalism and related it to recent events in the Kurdistan Region, including the upcoming referendum. Students and professors from many disciplines, including International Relations, Engineering, and Business Administration, attended the lecture.
On September 12, 2017, IRIS hosted a guest lecture on foreign policy perspectives of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) referendum for independence. Speakers included Dr. Denise Natali, Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University (NDU), Dr. Akeel Abbas, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at AUIS, and Dr. Barin Kayaoglu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at AUIS.
The two days workshop consisted of seven comprehensive sessions about Iraq’s financial laws and ways to decentralize financial management.
IRIS Non-Resident Fellow, Dr. Mark DeWeaver, an emerging-markets fund manager, ISX investor, independent economist and author, authored this IRIS Iraq Report (IIR) titled: “Decentralized Rent Seeking in Iraq's Post-ISIS Economy: A Warning from the Concrete Block Industry.” This report is based on fieldwork conducted in Iraq is March 2017, with the assistance of Shwan Lacky.
On July 6, 2017, IRIS hosted a symposium with Camilla Insom, anthropologist and Ph.D. candidate (Missione Archeologica Italiana nel Kurdistan Iracheno della Sapienza, Università di Roma & IsIAO), who met with AUIS students and faculty members to explore the historical transformation of Sufism in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), with a particular focus on the Sufi order of Qadiriyya. She has, since 2013, worked on documenting Sufi shrines in the region.
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