Staff + Fellow Publications

On the Ground, Collaborators With ISIS Could Be Its Big Weakness

The support of local Sunni Muslims has paved the way for the ISIS conquests in Syria and Iraq. They may yet be turned against it, but not by bombs and rockets.

Originally published in The Daily Beast by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn on August 30, 2014.

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For as long as anyone...

How the U.S.-Favored Kurds Abandoned the Yazidis when ISIS Attacked

Interviews with witnesses show the Kurds who are now getting weapons and air support from Washington left the Yazidis defenseless earlier this month.

Originally published in The Daily Beast by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn on August 17, 2014.

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Not the least of the cruelties inflicted by the so-called Islamic State that has...

Hanifa's Story: Her Five Sisters Taken by ISIS to Be Sold or Worse

Obama’s limited military help has raised hopes for some in Iraq. But Yazidi families despair as they begin to doubt they’ll ever find their sisters and daughters taken away by ISIS.

Originally published in The Daily Beast by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn on August 19, 2014.

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When word reached Hanifa and her family...

The Iraqi Kurdish ‘Winners’ of the Current Crisis Haven’t Won Quite Yet

So far, the Iraqi Kurdish have managed to carve the most benefit out of Iraq’s current security crisis. They have simply walked onto contested territory they’ve wanted for years, without firing a shot.…

Originally published in Niqash.org by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn (June 17, 2014).

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The government of the semi-autonomous Iraqi state of...

The Solution to Iraq’s Political Problems? Better Education

Iraq’s education system relies heavily on rote learning and answers online. American educator, Christine van den Toorn, who worked at the American University of Iraq between 2009 and 2013, argues that…

Originally published in Niqash.org by IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn (June 5, 2014).


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Last Saturday members of the third graduating class of the...

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