Announcement: Speakers Confirmed for the Iraq Conference

Announcement: Speakers Confirmed for the Iraq Conference

The following speakers have now been confirmed to speak at  the forthcoming conference ‘Iraq 10 Years – Examining a Decade of Turbulence’ on the 8th of April 2013.

  • Wadah Khanfar – Director, The Sharq Forum (former DG of Al-Jazeera)
  • Clare Short – Former Minister for International Development
  • Jonathan Fryer – British writer, broadcaster and academic
  • Dr Basil Hussein – Expert on Iraqi politics
  • Professor Rosemary Hollis – City University; formerly with Chatham House
  • Professor  Norman Kember – Christian pacifist activist, held captive in Iraq in 2005
  • Ahmed al-Hemyari – Head of Public Relations, Al-Shaheed Al-Sadr Office, London
  • Professor Phil Marfleet – Director, Refugee Research Centre, University of East London

 

Places still available.  Please click here to register

 

For further information about the conference, please click here

The MENA Report – Analysis and Insights from the Arab World (Vol1 Issue 3)

The MENA Report – Analysis and Insights from the Arab World (Vol1 Issue 3)

Aimed at European and Western readerships, the MENA Report aims to provide impartial, accurate and authoritative content and analysis, through The Cordoba Foundation’s unique access to rare and highly important primary sources in the Middle East and beyond

The MENA Report seeks to unpick and unravel some of this, and provide objective and strategic insights into events and developments in the region.

This edition is a special report to coincide with the 10 year anniversary of
the invasion of Iraq by the United States, Britain and their allies

 

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Press Release: Iraq Conference – 10 Years of Turbulence

Press Release: Iraq Conference – 10 Years of Turbulence

The 9th of April 2013 will mark 10 years after the fall of Baghdad and in what was to be a symbolic justification for the intervention by Allied forces, the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Baghdad amidst televised scenes of ‘jubilation’.

Ten years on, Iraq continues to search for a unifying national identity. After 2003, Iraq’s different communities retreated to their sectarian and ethnic enclaves for protection and for the survival of their various cultures. Presently, the country is fast descending into de facto three separate entities.

A timely conference to be held on 8th April 2013 at The Commonwealth Club, organised by The Cordoba Foundation and The Sharq Forum will primarily review and examine the achievements and failures of a decade’s long intervention in Iraq by Western-led forces and regional powers. The conference will also examine the nature and shape of future international interventions in the region. Despite the huge cost to state and society, Iraq will continue to play a strategic role in the region provided it addresses its internal political and social challenges.

Speaking at the conference will be  a number of dignitaries including the Rt Hon Ms Clare Short, former minister for International Development; Waddah Khanfar, former Director-General of Al Jazeera & Director, the Sharq Forum; Professor Norman Kember, Emeritus Professor of Biophysics at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and a Christian pacifist activist, who was held hostage for four months after travelling to Iraq in 2005; Dr Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation, and, part of the team that successfully negotiated the release of Western hostages including Professor Kember in 2005; Mohamed al-Daini, former member of the Iraqi Parliament; and Professor Rosemary Hollis from City University, London, and former Director of Research at Chatham house.

The organisers hope that through this gathering of international stakeholders, it will help chart a course to a proper democracy and human rights, where all Iraqis feel safe, equal and enjoy the fruits of a real change.

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For more information about the event, please click here 

News Release: European roundtable on Religion and Belief – step in the right direction

News Release: European roundtable on Religion and Belief – step in the right direction

The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) helped organise a two-day event in Brussels, Belgium, from 19-20 March, consisting of discussion and debates concerning fair treatment for all in Europe.

The main organiser, European Network on Religion and Belief (ENORB), is being consulted by the European Commission (DG Justice) on the current 10 year review of implementation of the Directives on Equalities and Fundamental Rights – which cover Religion and Belief.

Legal experts from member states and academic institutions as well as from R&B (Religion and Belief) organisations and networks at grassroots level took part in the two-day event. Conclusions and recommendations from the event will be submitted to EU officials.

Abdullah Faliq (Head of Research) and Noridine Bendou represented TCF in Brussels. Day one kicked off with a roundtable where chief guest, László Surján, Vice-President of the European Parliament, spoke about the need for communities to understand each other better for better community cohesion. The second day consisted of discussions, presentations, workshops, networking as well as site-seeing.

Please click here for  a selection of pictures from the two-day event

 

 

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Notes to editors:
1. Picture credits: Noridine Bendou, The Cordoba Foundation
2. Abdullah Faliq (The Cordoba Foundation) is a founding member of ENORB.
3. To find out more about the work of ENORB, visit www.enorb.eu

Conference: Iraq 10 years – Examining a Decade of Turbulence

Conference: Iraq 10 years – Examining a Decade of Turbulence

Ten years on, Iraq continues to search for a unifying national identity. After 2003, Iraq’s different communities retreated to their sectarian and ethnic enclaves for protection and for the survival of their various cultures. Presently, the country is fast descending into de facto three separate entities.

This timely conference organised by The Cordoba Foundation and The Sharq Forum  will primarily review and examine the achievements and failures of a decade’s long intervention in Iraq by Western-led forces and regional powers. As a result, the conference will also examine the nature and shape of future international interventions in the region. Despite the huge cost to state and society, Iraq will continue to play a strategic role in the region provided it addresses its internal political and social challenges.

Looking to the future, the conference seeks to chart a direction where all Iraqis feel safe, equal and enjoy the fruits of a real democracy.

Date and Time: Monday 8 April 2013; 9.30am – 5.45pm

Venue:  The Commonwealth Club, 18 Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5AP (Closest Tube: Embankment or Charing Cross). Please click here for a map and directions to the venue

Limited Places!! Registration is strictly by invitation or application only!!

To apply, please send an email  to be assured of a place at the conference.

The MENA Report – Analysis and Insights from the Arab World (Vol1 Issue 2)

The MENA Report – Analysis and Insights from the Arab World (Vol1 Issue 2)

Aimed at European and Western readerships, the MENA Report aims to provide impartial, accurate and authoritative content and analysis, through The Cordoba Foundation’s unique access to rare and highly important primary sources in the Middle East and beyond

The MENA Report seeks to unpick and unravel some of this, and provide objective and strategic insights into events and developments in the region.

This edition follows events that have led to the change
of western policy towards the Arab Spring and the new
governments that followed.

 

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News Release: Commemorating World Interfaith Harmony Week

News Release: Commemorating World Interfaith Harmony Week

The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) commemorates the UN designated World Interfaith Harmony Week which takes place annually in the first full week of February.  The week provides a platform from which all people of goodwill can recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh the differences they have, and thus provide a strong dosage of peace and harmony to their communities

Commenting on this, the Chief Executive of TCF, Anas Altikriti said ‘The start of 2013 has been marred  with inter and intra faith clashes  across much of the world.  More initiatives that can allow people to come together and  acknowledge each other’s  uniqueness whilst working for the common good needs to be encouraged’.

Now more than ever is the need to move towards a sense of peace and mutual respect for people of faith and no faith. Religious scriptures all envision a pluralistic world, mutual understanding and religious tolerance, emphasising love of the Creator and love of the neighbour in contributing towards meaningful peace around the world.  This has to be realised in reality so that we treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

Thus we need to collectively work to restore empathy and compassion to the forefront of our initiatives such that breeding violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate.  We need to ensure that our youth are given accurate information about other traditions, religions and cultures.  We need to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity.  We need  to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings.

Whilst recognising this week as a platform for dialogue leading to respect and understanding, TCF calls for multi-faith action that produces  tangible outcomes for communities in the front line and that also engages practically with faith leaders in order to resolve and avoid conflict and bring about peace, tolerance and harmony at the grass roots.

TCF calls for the creation of more organised response mechanisms at all levels and the support of existing initiatives such as the Interfaith Harmony Week  or The World Parliament of Religions in order to build momentum that can educate people about each other and that can condemn all forms of discrimination, intolerance and oppression against ethnic and religious minorities.

There is a need to speak out and stand for justice in the spirit of the following verse from the Quran “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” Surah An Nisa 4: 135

It is only with this type of attitude that the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community is possible.

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Notes:

1. If you are doing some events to celebrate this week, please do share your stories and photographs with us, so we can put it on our website.

Launch of a New Report Series on the Middle East and North Africa

Launch of a New Report Series on the Middle East and North Africa

The Cordoba Foundation launches, The MENA Report, the first in a series of monthly reports, providing insights and analysis of events and developments in the Middle East and North Africa. Aimed at European and Western readerships, the report provides impartial, accurate and authoritative content and analysis, through The Cordoba Foundation’s unique access to rare and highly important primary sources in the Middle East and beyond.

Head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at The Cordoba Foundation, Dr Fareed Sabri described the Middle East and North Africa an ancient place were religions, sects, communities and empires have risen, ruled, withered and passed over the past 7000 years. “Each historic experience, war, religion and rule carved its mark on the human topography of the region. Nowadays, democracy has become the rallying cry for the masses and the elite. It is not uncommon to hear the most ardent of dictators in the region talking about the democratic way of life, free expression and participatory politics making it very difficult and tricky to separate truths from deception and inaccuracy. The MENA Report seeks to unpick and unravel some of this, and provide objective and strategic insights into events and developments in the region.”

The first issue of The MENA Report focuses on some of the salient issues and developments in the region, including crises facing the new governments in Egypt and Tunisia; the situation on the ground in Bahrain and the role of Gulf countries; the Israel-Palestine conflict and the recent French operations in Mali.

Anas Altikriti, Chief Executive of The Cordoba Foundation, explained the launch of the new report as “being part of The Cordoba Foundation’s ever-expanding work, namely in the fields of research and publications. Our in-house experts and researchers are acquainted with the region’s traditions, its socio-political and cultural mosaic as well as the many layers of society. We hope to fill the void of academic and political analysis of events in the region through this new series.”

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To download the report please click here

 

To order hard copies of the report, please click here

 

To offer feedback or to contribute to the report, please click here

 

For further information on this and the MENA program of The Cordoba Foundation, please click here