Posts tagged iraq
Posts tagged iraq
Scene from a Friend’s Morning Walk.
Italian bounding anti-personnel fragmentation mine in southern Iraq, near the border with Iran, not far, “from the purported Garden of Eden.”
The Valmara 69. Know your weapons. And how they linger. These are remnants from the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988.
Portrait of Ayat from The Cluster Project.
This short animation is an incredibly moving portrait of a young Iraqi girl and a cluster bomb. Go to The Human Kind for other animations in this series.
Dirty Tricks: Disabled Teacup Bomb, a.k.a. “A Bomb for Fools.”
We met today in Baghdad with a few bomb disposal supervisors as part of research for a project in works. After the first talks, our hosts invited us upstairs to a room with some of the local collection. They said each of these items had been an actual IED. We can’t vouch for that. We can say it was an interesting and thought-provoking display. There were several samples of victim-operated IEDs, including a few that looked straight from the pages of the old USG Special Forces manuals from the 1960s, which became part of the foundation of al Qaeda manuals. This booby-trapped tea set, arranged so some of the electrical contacts can be seen, caught our eye. More later. Busy now. Via Instagram.
The Humpty Dumpty Institute in partnership with the Iraqi Independent Film Centre (IIFC) conducted a workshop for 13 young Iraqi filmmakers in Baghdad from May 1-10. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad funded the workshop with additional support coming from Iraq Al-Rafdin and Human Film UK/NL. The training was part of the International Film Exchange, a program of the Humpty Dumpty Institute that trains filmmakers with special promise from around the world and helps them use the power of film and television to highlight important social issues. In addition, the IFE raises awareness in the U.S. film industry about the struggles of promising filmmakers abroad when attempting to document those issues.
The theme of the Baghdad workshop was “Telling the Story”. It was designed to build upon a series of training activities conducted by IIFC beginning in January under the leadership of Iraqi’s most important filmmaker, Mohamed Al-Daradji (“Son of Babylon”). The workshop’s instructor, Bill Megalos, is a California-based filmmaker with more than 30 years experience producing and directing feature films and documentaries. Seven of the workshop participants are slated to travel to Los Angeles in June to take part in an intensive ten-day program at the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television. Participants in the UCLA program will receive a stipend allowing them to produce a short film of their own upon returning to Iraq.
Nearly one million Iraqi children are affected by the presence of landmines with hundreds having been maimed or killed by exploded cluster bomblets since 1991, a UN statement acknowledged.
A statement issued by the United Nations mission to Iraq on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action calls for more progress to eliminate the threat of landmines to the people of Iraq.
“It is tragic and unacceptable that children continue to have their lives forever damaged by the presence of landmines,” stated Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq. Nearly one million Iraqi children are affected by the presence of landmines with hundreds having been maimed or killed by exploded cluster bomblets since 1991, a UN statement acknowledged.
“With determined effort, all landmines and unexploded ordinance in Iraq can be eradicated; we call on all actors – the Government of Iraq, international community and private sector – to coordinate to permanently eliminate this threat from the lives of Iraqi children and their families.”
TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian semi-official news agency reports an explosion from a land mine left over from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s has killed six people and injured one.
The Sunday report by Mehr says the explosion happened on Saturday, during a minesweeping operation near the town of Marivan, some 300 miles (490 kilometers) southwest of Tehran.
The Frequency of Weapons From Iraq Inside Syria.
Syrians fighting to overthrow Bashar al-Assad are woefully under-equipped with arms. Unsurprisingly, these are conditions in which black markets proliferate. Many of the arms that are making it into the country have come from Iraq - a fact documented on The New York Times and the At War blog. We’ve been working to take a slice of what’s in circulation, the results of which we’ll publish with time on At War. But one item is in view with the several fighting groups we’ve worked beside — the Iraqi version of the Kalashnikov, known as the Tabuk, made during the time when Saddam Hussein’s military had its own Kalashnikov plant.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS
Factory markings on the Tabuk. From the Hisham Haboub Battalion in the Idlib governorate. By the author. A few days ago.
Brian Castner served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1999 to 2007, deploying to Iraq to command bomb disposal units in Balad and Kirkuk in 2005 and 2006. Joey Campagna/Courtesy of the author
Brian Castner arguably had one of the most nerve-wracking jobs in the U.S. military. He commanded two Explosive Ordnance Disposal units in Iraq, where his team disabled roadside IEDs, investigated the aftermath of roadside car bombings and searched door to door to uncover bomb-makers at their homes.
"We would disassemble the IEDs when somebody else found them; we would go on route-clearance patrols with the engineers to trip the ambushes before they would hit our convoys; and we would do the post-blast investigations," Castner tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. “Hopefully we would find weapons caches and dispose of a lot of this bulk ordnance before it would be used as an IED. … But there was no getting rid of all of the bombs.”
Sometimes those bombs would go off and Castner’s team would be responsible for investigating the gruesome aftermath.
Often when nonpractitioners think of post-conflict recovery in states emerging from war, they think of rebuilding physical infrastructure: roads, bridges, power grids, etc. However, anyone who has worked with a country transitioning out of conflict realizes that institutions and especially knowledge must also be nurtured and reconstructed. In this spirit a JMU team of faculty and staff traveled to the city of Erbil in Northern Iraq in order to share its expertise on topics crucial to developing and maintaining an effective college of business and finance. The team, composed of JMU College of Business professors Dr. Paula Daly, Dr. Marion Owyar-Hoessini and Bob Eliasson, and CISR Associate Director Dr. Suzanne Fiederlein, conducted several information sessions and workshops for faculty and administrators from the College of Administration and Economics of Salahaddin University in Erbil.
Founded in 1968 in the city of Sulaymaniya and transferred to Erbil in 1981, Salahaddin is the oldest university in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. The university’s vision statement is, “To be a world-class teaching university, leader in the pursuit of knowledge, research and skills development. We want to network people worldwide for the purpose of academic excellence and mutual achievement.” As an implementing partner of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Iraq Financial Development Project, JMU/CISR received a grant to help Salahaddin University achieve that vision by developing its business and financial education programs. The JMU project, to be conducted over a two-year period, also will provide some guidance to the College of Administration and Economics at Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad.
Sessions conducted by JMU faculty included round-table discussions on accreditation requirements of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and on the role of Business Advisory Councils, a workshop on developing an integrated curriculum, and a presentation on Centers for Entrepreneurship. The project’s overall goal is to give the targeted universities stepping stones on which to start the path to AACSB accreditation with the intention that future graduates will be better able to contribute to stabilizing and rebuilding the Iraqi economy ravaged by years of war and sanctions.
Although the training workshops were all business, the JMU CISR-COB team members felt warmly welcomed by Salahaddin University and admired their Iraqi colleagues’ dedication and commitment to learning. Dr. Daly commented, “It was an honor and a privilege to work with Dean Wasfi and the faculty members at the College of Administration and Economics at Salahaddin University. We were given a warm and enthusiastic welcome, and spent four wonderful days discussing issues, exchanging ideas, and talking about exciting future possibilities for the college. The entire JMU team is already looking forward to our next visit to Erbil, and to the opportunity to spend more time with our new colleagues at the CAE.”
Edward Lajoie joined the CISR staff in April 2011 as an assistant for CISR’s Senior Managers Course and is now an assistant project manager and research specialist for CISR. Lajoie graduated from James Madison University in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a concentration on the Middle East.