The 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq by U.S. and British forces was a momentous event for Iraq, the region, and the world. Iraq has experienced political instability, corruption, deteriorating public services, economic decline, ISIS terrorism, and several protest waves. A new government was formed in May 2020 but protests continued, and the country now faces health challenges on top of economic, environmental, and security threats. This webinar will examine the structural and institutional defects that have generated citizen frustration as well as civil society initiatives. Introduced and moderated by MAPA Board member Val Moghadam, the webinar’s speakers will be political scientist Shamiran Mako and documentary filmmaker Terry Kay Rockefeller.
Shamiran Mako is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies. The co-editor of a book on Iraq, she is also working on another book tracing the institutional legacies of ethnic conflict in Iraq, with a focus on how patterns of ethnic dominance and modes of inclusion and exclusion from state power shape mobilizing strategies of communal groups. She is also the co-author, with Valentine M. Moghadam of Northeastern University, of a forthcoming book explaining the divergent outcomes of the Arab Uprisings in seven countries of the region.
She will speak about:
• Iraq’s political and institutional set-up since 2003
• Challenges of the complex power-sharing arrangement
• Iraq’s regional and international relations
• US economic and military interests in Iraq
Terry Kay Rockefeller is a documentary film producer who had the great honor of working on Eyes on the Prize, a history of the civil rights and black power movements, and the NOVA science series, among other productions for public television. Terry’s sister, Laura Rockefeller, was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Since 2002, Terry has worked with September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows to honor her sister’s life and try to insure that other families throughout the world do not experience the violent deaths of their innocent relatives. Following the US-led invasion of Iraq, Peaceful Tomorrows began seeking ways to remain supportive of the Iraqi people, and today Terry works with the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative, a collaboration between Iraqi and international NGOs to support human rights, democracy, and anti-corruption activists in Iraq.
She will speak about:
• The protest movement in Iraq, from 2011 to the present, and especially the mass uprising that began in October 2019—the goals of the protests and the repression they have experienced.
• How Covid-19 is influencing the protests.
• Major initiatives of civil society in Iraq today: accountability for human rights violations of the protester, women’s rights, and environmental issues.
• Recent civil society efforts to build regional civil society solidarity on water issues.
• The need and potential for international solidarity with Iraqi civil society.
Sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action’s Middle East Working Group
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