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IRIS Hosts U.S. Consul General in Erbil, Ken Gross

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.

Iraq's Economy after ISIS: An Investor's Perspective

Iraq's potential as a post-conflict investment opportunity has slowly improved since the fall of Mosul in 2014, but political and legal obstacles must be overcome before the country can attract significant investment. In this report, IRIS non-resident fellow and Chief Investment Officer of AFC Iraq Fund,  Ahmed Tabaqchali, explains the history of optimism and pessimism over Iraq's investment environment, and future prospects and opportunities for attracting interest.

Water Resources Management in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

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.

Guest Lecture: State-building and Nationalism with Dr. Faleh Jabbar

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.

U.S. & Turkish Foreign Policy, Post-ISIS Iraq & the KRG Referendum on Independence

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.

Decentralized Rent-Seeking in Iraq's Post-ISIS Economy

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.

Qadiriyya in Iraqi Kurdistan: Religious continuity and change

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.