Signs of Hope in the Middle East? Don’t Hold Your Breath

September 18, 2017

The optimistic view may be that the Middle East is six years into an era of political, economic and social change. Optimists see hopeful signs that the Middle East may be exiting from a dark tunnel of violence, civil war, sectarian strife and debilitating regional rivalries. The Islamic State...

It’s Time to Eradicate Corruption in Kurdistan’s Schools

Kurdistan’s education system is riddled with corruption. "The 9th grade math's exam sheets have been leaked," a friend of one of these authors wrote over Facebook. "Have you got any information about the leak out of the 12th grade exam?" said another friend a couple of hours later. Later...

To Prosper, Iraq Must Tackle Education

In this guest edition of The Interview, Aras Ahmed Mhamad talks to PhD candidate Maysa Jihad Alwan. Education is the most effective means of bringing about responsible people who believe in the values of cultural diversity and coexistence. Military conflicts and religious violence in the Middle...

A Sovereign Kurdistan Under International Law

March 16, 2016

What makes international law particularly relevant to Kurdistan is that in order to recognize one, we must recognize the other. The South China Sea is a contentious flashpoint for China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand, all of whom lay claim over the waters. If...

Woman-for-Blood Marriages Persist in Iraq

December 29, 2015

Iraq's decline into chaos has led to the reemergence of compensation marriages to settle disputes between tribes. The use of marriage as a means of averting blood-feuds and vendetta killings is ancient, found in texts from the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf to the 16th century Sharafnâma. In the...

The Endless Challenges of Translation

In this guest edition of The Interview, Aras Ahmed Mhamad talks to writer Jutyar Zhazhlaiy and lecturer Lona Mariwany. Translation is more than just transporting words or sentences from one language to another. It involves the translation of feelings, emotions and thoughts. The real challenge a...

A Kurdish State is Inevitable

February 02, 2015

Recent developments in Iraq make an independent Kurdistan seem all but inevitable. The leadership of all five major Kurdish political parties in the Kurdistan region of Iraq know, as democratically elected representatives, that the independence of Kurdistan is an uncompromisable demand and the...

Kurdish Voices on Iraq’s Future Must Be Heard

January 14, 2015

Aras Ahmed Mhamad speaks to Kurds about their views on the Iraqi conflict against the Islamic State.  The lighting advance of the Islamic State (IS) in June 2014 remains a direct threat to coexistence in Iraq. Sparking intensified religious conflict, and economic and political disintegration,...

What’s Life Like for Those Fleeing the Islamic State?

November 05, 2014

An inside look at the lives of refugees and internally displaced persons in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraq’s Kurdistan region is thought to be hosting approximately 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDP) and refugees. This number is expected to...

Education in Kurdistan: A Lost Cause?

September 30, 2014

From child education all the way to university level, the curriculum in Iraqi Kurdistan is outdated. A modern education system facilitates development, prosperity and peace. A good education raises awareness, increases tolerance and helps to create broadminded, creative and productive...

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