SRF Iraq Scholar Rescue Project – For Scholars

The Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) Iraq Scholar Rescue Project provides fellowship assistance to enable established scholars facing urgent security concerns in Iraq to resume their academic activities in safety. After fellowship awards are announced, Scholar Rescue Fund staff assist scholar-grantees to find temporary academic positions at institutions of higher learning in the Middle East and North Africa region. (Some exceptions may be considered for university positions in other world regions.) Scholar-grantees are expected to teach, research or publish at host institutions. While pursuing their academic work, scholar-grantees are expected to continue to educate Iraqi students within and outside of Iraq.

SRF fellowship funding provides assistance for initial relocation to the host institution, as well as a living stipend for a one-year period. Fellowships may be renewed for a second and final year. Fellowship awards are issued in three installments directly to the scholar upon arrival at the host institution. Fellowship payments are contingent upon confirmation of the scholar's continued fulfillment of the fellowship requirements and all obligations agreed upon between the scholar and the host institution.

To download a one-page information document on the Iraq Scholar Rescue Project please click here

Forms for SRF Iraq Scholars

To download the mid-term report please click here

To download the end of fellowship report please click here

TCG’s World Theatre Day 2013: Cuba, Iraq, Sudan | TCG Circle

TCG’s World Theatre Day 2013: Cuba, Iraq, Sudan

Post image for TCG’s World Theatre Day 2013: Cuba, Iraq, Sudan

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre and home of the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute (ITI-US), invites all theatres, individual artists, institutions and audiences to celebrate the 51st annual World Theatre Day today, March 27, 2013. Each year, a renowned theatre artist of world stature is invited by ITI Worldwide in Paris to craft an international message to mark the global occasion. This year the message was written by Italian Nobel Prize-winning playwright, director and actor Dario Fo, and has been translated into more than 20 languages to reach tens of thousands in the international theatre community.

To celebrate the power of theatre to strengthen cultural exchange and mutual understanding across borders, TCG/ITI-US has participated in a book donation to theatre artists inIraq, and organized delegations of theatre artists to Cuba and Sudan.

  • Cuba Exploratorium: From March 15-22, 19 U.S. theatre-makers journeyed to Cienfuegos, Cumanayagua, Santa Clara and Havana to engage with the cultural life of Cuba. The itinerary included performances, tours, classes and meetings with Cuban theatre companies and cultural workers. Exploratorium attendees will report out on their experiences here on the TCG Circle.
  • Iraq Book Donation: With support from the U.S. Embassy inBaghdad, donations of hundreds of theatre books were shipped to theatre and educational organizations in Iraq to advance cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Iraqi an dU.S. theatre artists. TCG collaborated with the following organizations to facilitate this gift: Theatre Without Borders; the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center, CUNY/City University of New York; the Acting Together Project, a Theatre Without Borders collaboration with the Peacebuilding and the Arts Program at Brandeis University; and the Theater and Performance Studies Program at Georgetown University. Stay tuned for photos and more information here on the Circle.
  • Sudan Delegation: TCG and the Universes theatre company will lead the U.S. Delegation to the 13th Albugaa International Festival in Khartoum, Sudan. Launching on World Theatre Day, March 27, the festival will bring together theatre artists from across the world, including Morocco, Germany and Nigeria, for a series of performances, panels and cultural exchanges. Delegation attendees will report out on their experiences here on the TCG Circle.

“TCG’s mandate is to empower theatre people through knowledge-building and peer-exchange,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “These delegations, and the book donation, embody that mandate on an international level, and speak to the spirit of World Theatre Day and TCG’s core value of global citizenship.”

Dario Fo’s World Theatre Day message can be found on ITI Worldwide in Paris’ website: Additional ways to celebrate World Theatre Day can be found on the TCG website:

Dario Fo is an Italian satirist, playwright, theatre director, actor, composer and recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature. Fo and his wife, the actress Franca Rame, founded the Campagnia Dario Fo–Franca Rame in 1959, and their humorous sketches on the television show Canzonissima soon made them popular public personalities. In 1968 Fo and Rame founded another acting group, Nuova Scena, and in 1970 they started the Collettivo Teatrale La Comune.Fo has written about 70 plays, coauthoring some of them with Rame, including Morte accidentale di un anarchico (1974; Accidental Death of an Anarchist) and Non si paga, non si paga! (1974; We Can’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!), Mistero Buffo (1973; Comic Mystery), Tutta casa, letto e chiesa (1978; All House, Bed, and Church; Eng. trans. Adult Orgasm Escapes from the Zoo), Clacson, trombette, e pernacchi (1981; Trumpets and Raspberries), Female Parts (1981), Coppia aperta (1983; The Open Couple—Wide Open Even), L’uomo nudo e l’uomo in frak (1985; One Was Nude and One Wore Tails), and Il papa e la strega (1989; The Pope and the Witch).

His plays have been translated into 30 languages, and upon awarding him the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature, the committee called Fo a writer “who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.”

The first World Theatre Day international message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962. Succeeding honorees include Arthur Miller (1963), Ellen Stewart (1975), Vaclav Havel (1994), Ariane Mnouchkine (2005), Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi (2007), Augusto Boal (2009), Dame Judi Dench (2010), Jessica A. Kaahwa (2011) and John Malkovich (2012).

Women in Action, Erbil, Iraq – International Conference November 25-27, 2011

Women in Action, Erbil, 25-7 November 2011

Women in Action
Erbil, Kurdistan Iraq, 25-27 November 2011

A 3 day International Conference

This International event and public participatory programme comprises a symposium, workshops, presentations and an exhibition of contemporary art by female Iraqi artists including performance, installation, video,  film,  photography,  painting and sculpture.  The exhibition will also feature handicrafts made by women in very disadvantaged circumstances; women living in shelters or prison and women attending centres for the disabled. 

Our aim is not to separate women from men, but to raise their voice and profile nationally and internationally because they live in a society where women have a lack of rights.  Conferences dealing with human rights issues have taken place in Iraq since 2003 mainly organised with political motivation.

What makes this conference different is that it will be the first Conference to examine issues of women's human rights through Arts, Culture and Education. The programme will bring national and international female artists, activists and academics together to discuss the possibilities of  how Arts and Culture can address the particular issues of women in Iraq.

The conference Women in Action will open with keynote speakers on International Elimination of Violence against Women Day, 25th November 2011 

– Hivos, Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries
– Goether – Institut/Verbindungsbüro Erbil – Irak
– ETTC, European Technology & Training Centre
– Kurdistan Regional Government





Iraq 'Day of Rage' protests followed by detentions, beatings‏

Waleed Shamil reports that one of his theatre students from University of Baghdad was taken in and tortured.
He is back now and reporting on his experience.  His name is Hadi Al-Mahdi.  He is a theatre director.
Iraq 'Day of Rage' protests followed by detentions, beatings

By Stephanie McCrummen
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, February 26, 2011; 1:34 PM

BAGHDAD – Iraqi security forces detained hundreds of people, including prominent journalists, artists and intellectuals, witnesses said Saturday, a day after nationwide demonstrations brought tens of thousands of Iraqis into the streets and ended with soldiers shooting into crowds.

Four journalists who had been released described being rounded up well after they had left a protest at Baghdad's Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and th
reatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit.

"It was like they were dealing with a bunch of al-Qaeda operatives, not a group of journalists," said Hussam al-Ssairi, a journalist and poet, who was among a group and described seeing hundreds of protesters in black hoods at the detention facility. "Yesterday was like a test, like a picture of the new democracy in Iraq."

Protesters mostly stayed home Saturday, following more than a dozen demonstrations across the country Friday that killed at least 29 people, as crowds stormed provincial buildings, forced local officials to resign, freed prisoners and otherwise demanded more from a government they only recently had a chance to elect.

"I have demands!" Salma Mikahil, 48, cried out from Tahrir Square on Friday, as military helicopters and snipers looked down on thousands of people bearing handmade signs and olive branches signifying peace. "I want to see if Maliki can accept that I live on this," Mikahil said, waving a 1,000-dinar note, worth less than a dollar, toward Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's offices. "I want to see if his conscience accepts it."

The protests – billed as Iraq's "Day of Rage" – were intended to call for reform of Maliki's government, not revolution. From the southern city of Basra to northern cities of Kurdistan, protesters demanded the simple dignities of adequate electricity, clean water and a decent job.

As the day wore on, however, the demonstrations grew violent when security forces deployed water cannons and sound bombs to disperse crowds. Iraqi military helicopters swooped toward the demonstrators in Baghdad, and soldiers fired into angry crowds in the protest here and in at least seven others across the country.

And in that way, the day introduced a new sort of conflict to a population that has been targeted by sectarian militias and suicide bombers. Now, many wondered whether they would have to add to the list of enemies their government.

Ssairi and his three colleagues, one of whom had been on the radio speaking in support of protesters, said about a dozen soldiers stormed into a restaurant where they were eating dinner Friday afternoon and began beating them as other diners looked on in silence. They drove them to a side street and beat them again.

Then, blindfolded, they were driven to the former Ministry of Defense building, which houses an intelligence unit of the Iraqi army's 11th Division, they said. Hadi al-Mahdi, a theater director and radio anchor who has been calling for reform, said he was blindfolded and beaten repeatedly with sticks, boots and fists. One soldier put a stick into Hadi's handcuffed hands and threatened to rape him with it, he said.

The soldiers accused him of being a tool of outsiders wishing to topple Maliki's government; they demanded that he confess to being a member of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. Hadi told them that he blamed Baathists for killing two of his brothers and that until recently he had been a member of Maliki's Dawa Party.

Hadi said he was then taken to a detention cell, his blindfold off, where he said there were at least 300 people with black hoods over their heads, many groaning in bloody shirts. Several told him they had been detained during or after the protests.

Hadi, who comes from a prominent Iraqi family, and his colleagues were released after their friends managed to make some well-placed phone calls.

"This government is sending a message to us, to everybody," he said Saturday, his forehead bruised, his left leg swollen.

Although the protests were primarily aimed at reform, there were mini examples of revolution all day Friday, hyperlocal versions of the recent revolts inEgypt, Tunisia and, in a way, Libya. Crowds forced the resignation of the governor in southern Basra and the entire city council in Fallujah. They also chased away the governor of Mosul, the brother of the speaker of parliament, who was there and fled, too.

The protests began peacefully but grew more aggressive. Angry crowds seized a police station in Kirkuk, set fire to a provincial office in Mosul and rattled fences around the local governate offices in Tikrit, prompting security forces to open fire with live bullets, killing four people. Three people were killed in Kirkuk.

Six people were killed in Fallujah and six others in Mosul, according to reports from officials and witnesses in at least seven protests. On Saturday, officials reported additional deaths: a 60-year old man in Fallujah; two people, including a 13-year old boy, in Qobaisa; and two in Ramadi, all in predominantly Sunni Anbar province.

The reports attributed most casualties to security forces who opened fire.

By sundown in Baghdad on Friday, security forces were spraying water cannons and exploding sound bombs to disperse protesters, chasing several through streets and alleyways and killing at least three, according to a witness.

Two people were also reported killed in Kurdistan, in the north.

The day's events posed a unique challenge for the Obama administration, which has struggled to calibrate its responses to the protests rolling across the Middle East and North Africa but has a particular stake in the stability o
f the fledgling democracy it helped usher in.

Analysts said Friday's developments were at best awkward for the United States.

"Obama wants to convey that yes, Iraq has a number of problems that need to be addressed, but the country is on the right track," said Joost Hiltermann, deputy director for the International Crisis Group's Middle East program. "You can't possibly say, 'Iraq is in a crisis, and by the way, we're leaving.' "

The United States is set to complete the withdrawal of all its troops from Iraq by the end of the year.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad played down Friday's violence, as well as the draconian measures Maliki took to stifle turnout.

Iraq's security forces "generally have not used force against peaceful protesters," said Aaron Snipe, an embassy spokesman. "We support the Iraqi people's right to freely express their political views, to peacefully protest and seek redress form their government. This has been our consistent message in Iraq and throughout the region."

The turnout Friday appeared to surprise many of the demonstrators, coming as it did after a curfew on cars and even bicycles forced people to walk, often miles, to participate. There were also pleas – some described them as threatening – from Maliki and Shiite clerics, including the populist Moqtada al-Sadr, to stay home.

Sadr, whose Mahdi Army is blamed for some of the worst sectarian violence of the war, is now part of Maliki's governing coalition and attempting to position himself as both insider and outsider. Sadr's power lies in his rare ability to call hundreds of thousands into the streets, and analysts said he is perhaps concerned about losing his impoverished urban followers to the new and still only vaguely unified protest movement .

By mid-morning in Baghdad, people were walking toward Tahrir Square along empty streets fortified with soldiers in Humvees, snipers on rooftops and mosque domes and checkpoints with X-ray equipment that might reveal a suicide vest.

Young and old, some missing legs and arms, some chanting old slogans of the Mahdi Army, the protesters passed crumbling high-rise apartment buildings webbed with electrical wires hooked to generators. At times, the air smelled like sewage.

"Bring electricity!" they shouted. "No to corruption!"

By afternoon, several thousand people were milling around the square, which is next to a bridge leading to the heavily guarded international zone housing the government's offices. Overnight, security forces had hauled in huge blast walls to block the bridge from protesters, who nonetheless managed to hoist a rope around one of them and pull it down.

"As you can see, they are hiding behind this wall!" shouted Sbeeh Noman, a white-haired engineer who said he walked 12 miles to reach the square and was now heading for the bridge. "The government is afraid of the nation. They have found out that the people have the real power." Special correspondents Ali Qeis and Aziz Alwan contributed to this report.

Re: Iraq’s education ministry bans theatre & music classes from Al‏


Iraq’s new education minister has re-opened music and theater classes in art institutes in the country, thwarting his predecessor’s ban on the classes.

Mohammed Tamim who was inaugurated as Iraq’s new education minister late December 2010, told Alarabiya that prior the closure of the music and theatre classes, the decision was studied by his predecessor, Khudhair al-Khuza’i.

But now as Iraq’s new education minister, Tamim said that he became the decision-maker.

 I rejected the closure of the music and theatre classes, and I ordered that they should continue 

Mohammed Tamim, Iraq's education minister

“I rejected the closure of the music and theatre classes and I ordered that they should continue,” he said.

The ex-education minister did not disclose the reason of the ban, but most of the students and the teachers in Iraq's art institutes speculated religion as the reason.

One of the teaching staff in Baghdad’s Fine Art Institute told Al Arabiya that during one of his previous media interviews he criticized the ban imposed on music and theatre classes.

He said that he was interrogated by the police afterward, but now due to the new announcement of re-opening the classes the “probe” against him was overturned.

Al-Khuza’i has also called for the removal of statues found at the entrance of Baghdad’s Fine Art Institute for its questionable permissibility in Islam.

Iraqis who were against the ban agreed that music, theatre and statues do not violate religion and that the ban is against freedom of expression.

Tamim belongs to the secular al-Iraqiya list led by Iyad Allawi and has worked as Karkuk’s university’s dean in 2003 and 2004. Later he became a member of the House of Representatives for two consecutive cycles.

Read the full article here:

J.J. El-Far

Iraq’s education ministry bans theatre & music classes from Al‏

2010مالثلاثاء 01 محرم 1432هـ – 07 ديسمبر

Without giving any reasons over the decision

Iraq’s education ministry bans theatre & music classes


The Iraqi Ministry of Education has banned theatre and music classes in Baghdad's Fine Arts Institute, and ordered the removal of statues showcased at the entrance of the institute without explaining the move, but some of the students mull religious reasons as the real motive. “Prohibiting theatre and music in the institute for its so called “violation” of religion is only an individual opinion touted by some people hailing from religious parties, but it is contradictory to the opinion of most religious clerics and scholars,” said Dhaya al-Shakarchi, a writer and a politicians, told Students have also fears that the ban will extend to include other arts such as photography, directing, sculpting, and drawing.

“Those individuals have a mentality that is against the spirit of creativity, art, freedoms, and even happiness in society, because they misunderstand religion, and if they went back to religious references, they won't find consensus that these arts are of violation to religion, “said al-Shakarchi.

Some religious parties have also opposed reviving the Babylon Festival that used to occur every summer in Iraq’s Hilla province, an hour drive from Baghdad, saying that music and dance are prohibited while observing the birthday of a religious figure which coincided with the festival's timing.

Religious parties have also closed down clubs. This snowballed in protests by Iraqi intellectuals to condemn tightening of freedoms, and one conspicuous slogan appeared during their marches was “Baghdad is not Kandahar”.

"The zealously banning of freedoms won't be long in Iraq. There are Iraqis that reject such moves," al-Shakarchi said, adding, "the voices of intellectuals, and freedom and creativity lovers will be louder to reject all of this."

(Translated from Arabic by Dina al-Shibeeb)

جميع الحقوق محفوظة لقناة العربية © 2010

Subversion on stage: can theatre change the world? | Stage |‏

"Then, as reported in yesterday's Noises Off, the education minister of Iraq has banned the study of theatre altogether in Baghdad's institute of fine arts."

Sent to us at Theatre Without Borders by Prof. Waleed Shamil, Baghdad University.

Subversion on stage: can theatre change the world?

Recent events in Hungary, Belarus and Iraq show that governments find theatre dangerous enough to think it's worth banning. So what should we be doing in response?

belarus free theatre Enemy of the state … Belarus Free Theatre's production of Being Harold Pinter. Photograph: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images

In the past month, three rather serious things have happened to what could loosely be called "the world's theatre community". In Hungary – the country that has just assumed presidency of the EU, folks – a law has been drafted that, as well as enabling the government to censor newspapers, would give it the power to ban theatre performances, while the country's parliament looks set to sack the director of its national theatre on the grounds that his work is "obscene, pornographic, anti-national, and anti-Hungarian". In Belarus, Natalia Koliada, the artistic director of the country's only free theatre company, has, following the "re-election" of Alexander Lukashenko, been forced to go into hiding, threatened with rape and torture. Then, as reported in yesterday's Noises Off, the education minister of Iraq has banned the study of theatre altogether in Baghdad's institute of fine arts.


Of course, Britain's theatre culture has its own problems, faced with a government that seems determined to turn the arts into a glossy pastime through a mix of condescension, "philanthropic giving" and sheer stupidity.


And while it's instructive, for example, to compare British media coverage of protesting students with its far less equivocal condemnation of police brutality in Belarus – apparently a savage police force is easier to spot if it's in eastern Europe – it's hard to say that problem is here .


It's hard not to feel a sense of powerlessness (both ours and theirs) in the face of these attacks on theatre around the world. The spectacle of massive, often violent, state power being wielded against the arts is a bleak one. At the same time, there is something faintly optimistic in the idea there are still places that actually find theatre dangerous and subversive enough to think it's worth banning.


So what should we be doing by way of response? On the one hand, it seems self-evident that theatres in Britain should be loudly declaring their solidarity with persecuted Belarusians, threatened Hungarians and newly banned Iraqi professors. On the other hand, what help, beyond making a comforting, self-important noise, will our solidarity offer? Democratic western "solidarity" will presumably leave a sour taste in the mouths of Iraqis, who have a government we voted for to thank for freeing up the clerics who have demanded this ban in the first place.


In his most recent blogpost, writer and director Chris Goode argues that "theatre can change the world, [and] is already doing so". Clearly the governments of Hungary, Belarus and Iraq share his belief. Clearly the challenge the British theatre-makers face in 2011 is to prove that they are right: that theatre is indeed a force to be reckoned with, rather than something that is politely paid lip-service, patted on the head, then quietly cut and ignored.

Secularists, Islamists Clash In Iraqi Culture War : NPR (with thanks to Waleed Shalim, Baghdad University for sending to us)‏

Secularists, Islamists Clash In Iraqi Culture War

An Iraqi man holds a sign reading "Baghdad will not be Kandahar" in Arabic as he takes part in a protest in Baghdad.

Enlarge Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

An Iraqi man holds a sign reading "Baghdad will not be Kandahar" in Arabic as he takes part in a Dec. 3 protest in Baghdad organized by poets and intellectuals against the closure of nightclubs and a ban on alcohol sales.

An Iraqi man holds a sign reading "Baghdad will not be Kandahar" in Arabic as he takes part in a protest in Baghdad.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

An Iraqi man holds a sign reading "Baghdad will not be Kandahar" in Arabic as he takes part in a Dec. 3 protest in Baghdad organized by poets and intellectuals against the closure of nightclubs and a ban on alcohol sales.

text size A A A

December 23, 2010

Iraq's political battles have subsided with the announcement of a new government, approved by Parliament this week. But the country's culture war continues unabated.

The fight is between religious political parties — the Islamists — and secular Iraqis, long part of the country's social fabric. It is a struggle to define the country's identity.

A few days ago, hundreds of billboards appeared, unannounced, across Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.

Nezar Hussein, a 30-year-old filmmaker, translates the messages: "Baghdad won't be Kandahar," "Music is the universal language, "Say no to separating boys and girls in school" and "Religion for God and country for everybody." On all the signs, the messages are preceded by the headline "Liberty First."

The billboards are simple, white with black Arabic script.

"It's a just a simple little message … it doesn't have to be complicated," Hussein says. "It's the first time to see that kind of campaign in Baghdad."

'Serious And Dangerous Signs'

Iraqis are Muslims, the vast majority are Muslims, but they don't like to have religion imposed on them.

– Maysoon al-Damluji, a politician with the secularist Iraqiya party

For the first time, Iraq's secular community is feeling strong enough to fight back in public against what it sees as religious excess. "I guess it's important to send a message to them that we can say, 'No,' " the filmmaker says.

There have been street demonstrations against the Baghdad municipal government's recent ban on alcohol sales and the shuttering of nightclubs.

Now, a publishing company — Al-Mada House, whose head, Fakhri Karim, is a senior adviser to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani — has sponso
red the billboard campaign.

The messages reflect the growing alarm over recent measures to banish music and dance from the curriculum at Baghdad's Fine Arts Academy, remove statues at the college deemed indecent, and shut an annual arts festival in Babylon (in present-day Babil province, about 55 miles south of Baghdad) and an international circus in Basra.

These moves give "serious and dangerous signs," says Maysoon al-Damluji of Iraqiya, a political party than ran on a secular agenda in the March elections and won enough votes to secure top Cabinet seats in the new government.

"Iraqis are Muslims, the vast majority are Muslims, but they don't like to have religion imposed on them," she says.

Secularists Fight For Soul Of The Country

Who is doing the imposing is a matter of debate. The minister of education, who banned drama and music studies, has been replaced by a minister from the Iraqiya party who is known for his secular outlook. The prime minister allowed bars and nightclubs to reopen in 2008, but he didn't overrule the latest decision by the Baghdad municipal government.

Actors Samir Qahtan and Mustapha al-Taweel gather at Hewar Art Gallery to protest against religious excess.

Enlarge Deborah Amos/NPR

Actors Samar Qahtan (left) and Mustapha al-Taweel are among the Iraqi secularists who gather at the Hewar Art Gallery in Baghdad to protest what they consider Iraq's religious excess.

Actors Samir Qahtan and Mustapha al-Taweel gather at Hewar Art Gallery to protest against religious excess.
Deborah Amos/NPR

Actors Samar Qahtan (left) and Mustapha al-Taweel are among the Iraqi secularists who gather at the Hewar Art Gallery in Baghdad to protest what they consider Iraq's religious excess.

Hundreds of supporters of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr marched — and new posters appeared — to thank the Baghdad council for saving the city from indecency.

While some Iraqis wonder who is trying to impose conservative Islamic codes, Damluji sees Iran's hand in the recent crackdown. "I think this is all flexing of muscles by neighboring countries who are taking advantage of the withdrawal of American troops and showing they are in charge of Iraqi politics," she says.

On most nights, a group of men gathers at the Hewar Art Gallery in Baghdad, around an open fire pit where river fish are roasting. These meetings are a form of political protest, they say, just the like the street demonstrations they attend against those who aim to curb their freedoms.

This collection of Iraq's most famous artists comes to recite bawdy poetry, sing traditional songs, and drink arak, Iraq's signature milky white cocktail.

Qasim Sabti, the gallery owner, presides over these dedicated secularists who want to fight for the soul of the country.

"We know it's fighting between the religious foolish man and the civilization man. We know we are fighting like Gandhi, and this is a new language in Iraqi life," Sabti says. "We have no guns. We do not believe in this kind of fighting."



25t October

ArtRole CE Adalet R. Garmiany invited as speaker to talk on REBUILDING

SOCIETY AFTER VIOLENT CONFLICT by Theatre Without Borders / La MaMa in

partnership with Coexistence at Brandeis University at ACTING TOGETHER ON


CONFLICT ZONES, New York City, in association with 651 Art/Africa Exchange,

7 Stages, Atlanta, Brown University, Fordham University, The Lark Play

Development Centre, New York University, The Romanian Cultural Institution of New


6-8 October NYC Iraqi Voices Amplification Project

ArtRole CE Adalet R. Garmiany will be a special guest working with the team on the

project No Place Called Home during the previews and throughout the opening night

at Wild Project. Project Intersections International will present a reading of a new

play No Place Called Home, written and performed by Kim Schultz, Directed by

Sarah Cameron Sunde, shown in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria.

23rd Sept To 9th Oct, during his visit New York City

ArtRole CE Adalet R. Garmiany, will meet with galleries, museums, arts schools,

artists & curators to discuss possible collaborations between U.S.A & Iraq on art &

culture exchange programmes, including Columbian University, Theater

Communication Group (TCG), New Museum, Theater Without Borders (TWB),

National Endowment for the Arts (N.E.A) and ArteEast,

Friday 22 October 3pm Whitechapel Gallery London

ArtRole CE Adalet R. Garmiany invited to join artists and curators to consider the

causes and impact of the flourishing cultural dialogues between artists from the

Middle East, including curator Samar Martha, ArtSchool Palestine.

End of October,

ArtRole CE Adalet R. Garmiany will move from UK to live & work in Iraqi Kurdistan.

He will open an ArtRole office/hub in Erbil city to co-ordinate projects across the

country, build networks with UN, NGO’s, local arts communities, colleges and

schools across Iraq and with neighboring countries. ArtRole continues to work in the

UK. For any further information regarding ArtRole in the UK please contact ArtRole

board of directors:

Adam Knights ( Arts Projects Manager Visiting Arts) Director

Anna Bowman (formerly Education Curator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, co-ordinator

National Arts Education Archive ) Education and Projects Director

Mark Terry (Photographer) Media & Publicity Director

Manick Govinda (Co-ordinator: Head of artists' advisory services and an

artists’ producer at Artsadmin ) Director

The First NY Kurdish Film Festival: A Cinema Across Borders

The First New York Kurdish Film Festival:
A Cinema Across Borders
October 21-25, 2009

Featuring eight full-length filmsten short filmsdocumentariespost-show discussions with the film directors, and a keynote panel discussion with six prominent filmmakers from Iran, Iraq, Turkey and the diaspora.  

Many events are FREE. Ticketed events: $10 through or 212-868-4444

For more information and a complete schedule of screenings, please visit


Wednesday 10/21
7PM:  HALF MOON directed by Bahman Ghobadi  (NYU Cantor Film Center)

Thursday 10/22

8:30PM: CROSSING THE DUST directed by Shawkat Amin Korki  (NYU Cantor Film Center)

Friday 10/23
12:00PM: KURDISH VISUAL MEDIA (Book Signing & Reception) (NYU Kevorkian Center Library) with Susan Meiselas, Müjde Arslan and Kerim Yildiz—FREE


8:00PM: MY MARLON AND BRANDO  directed by Hüseyin Karabey (NYU Cantor Film Center)

Saturday 10/24
(NYU Kevorkian Center Library)—FREE   Please contact for details.

1PM: YOL direted by Yılmaz Güney/ 
Şerif Gören (NYU Kevorkian Center Screening Room)—FREE

Kurdish Directors in Conversation 
(NYU Cantor Film Center)—FREE
Filmmakers are Müjde Arslan, Bahman Ghobadi, Kazım Öz, Jano Rosebiani, Hiner Saleem, and Hisham Zaman.

7PM: THE STORM (US PREMIERE) directed by Kazım Öz (NYU Cantor Film Center)                    

Sunday 10/25
1PM: CLOSE UP KURDISTAN (DOCUMENTARY) directed by Yüksel Yavuz (NYU Kevorkian Center Screening Room)—FREE

3.30PM:  JIYAN directed by Jano Rosebiani (NYU Cantor Film Center)

5:30PM  BAWKE & WINTERLAND directed by Hisham Zaman (NYU Cantor Film Center)

7:30PM  VODKA LEMON directed by Hiner Saleem (NYU Cantor Film Center)

NYU Cantor Film Center
36 East 8th Street (just east of University Place), NY, NY

NYU Hagop Kevorkian Center 
50 Washingt
on Square South (at 255 Sullivan Street), NY, NY

NYU Faculty, Staff & Students: Contact Greta Scharnweber on 
212-998-8872 or

All other inquiries, please call 

212-868-4444 or visit


The First New York Kurdish Film Festival: A Cinema Across Borders is the first-ever film festival of Kurdish cinema in the United States.  Bringing together an exciting range of films and documentaries from across the Kurdish region and the Kurdish diaspora, the festival will feature ten short films, a documentary and eight feature films, including the US premiere of The Storm by Kazım Öz (Ax, Fotograf).  In addition, the festival will include a Filmmakers’ Panel with six prominent Kurdish filmmakers from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and the diaspora to connect directly with New York audiences, and post-film Q&As with the filmmakers, providing potential new routes for understanding and dialogue.  Situated in the heart of the Middle East, Kurdish cinema intersects with many of the great political conflicts of our age.  These diverse films provide powerful and unexpected insights into our common world through stunning cinematography, rich narratives, and deeply humane storytelling. 

The First New York Kurdish Film Festival: A Cinema Across Borders is directed by an independent organizing committee, presented by the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYUArteEast and The London Kurdish Film Festival and supported, in part, by the Center for Religion and Media at NYU,  the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the French-American Cultural Exchange, the Norwegian Film Institute and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.