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IF Holds Screening in DC

On October 9, 2012, IF hosted a screening of the film, “Interfaith Dialogue in Mesopotamia,” at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. The screening was held in cooperation with the Global Politics and Religion Initiative and the Middle East Studies Program of SAIS.

Dr. Leila Austin, Co-Director, Global Politics and Religion Initiative, SAIS provided opening comments and welcomed attendees to SAIS. Rend Al-Rahim, Executive Director of the Iraq Foundation provided an introduction of the Iraq Foundation (IF), the film and welcomed Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Mr. Posner discussed the importance of freedom of religion and religious diversity in Iraq and in the Middle East region. His Excellency, Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie commented on the history of religious coexistence in Iraq.

The screening aimed to capture Iraq’s thriving belief cultures and foster understanding among a U.S.-based audience of Iraq’s long history as a country where religious diversity has flourished. To achieve this goal, the event showcased a film, produced in cooperation with AlSumaria, based on documentaries produced by the participants of the Interfaith Cooperation Project (ICP), which aims to deepen public knowledge and promote dialogue about Iraq’s diverse religious heritage and to enhance religious freedom, interfaith cooperation, trust and mutual respect among faith communities. As part of this project, IF sponsored a nationwide documentary film competition and selected teams of young Iraqi men and women from different religious backgrounds and provinces who came together to produce 15 documentaries on significant historic religious sites across Iraq. The 5 best documentaries were edited and broadcast on national television. Documentaries cover historic shrines of all religions and a special emphasis on religious sites that are ‘shared’ by many different faiths and religious sites in close proximity, demonstrating how different faiths can live and worship side by side. Project participants held 63 discussion-based screenings of the documentaries in 15 provinces, reaching an audience of over 8,000 people. Documentaries were broadcasted on five national Iraqi TV stations. It is estimated that one in four Iraqis has seen at least one of the documentaries.

Selected photos of event:

Dr. Leila Austin, Co-Director of SAIS’ Global Politics and Religion Initiative, welcomed audience to SAIS.

Rend Al-Rahim, Executive Director of the Iraq Foundation, provided introductory comments.

Assistant Secretary of State, Michael Posner, discussed religious diversity in Iraq and the region.

His Excellency, Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie, Former Ambassador of Iraq to the United States discussed the film’s themes.

The screening aimed to capture Iraq’s thriving belief cultures and foster understanding of Iraq’s long history as a country where religious diversity has flourished.

Last Update: Wednesday, October 31, 2012

 
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