November 9, 2015

Representative addresses ‎the question of Kurdistan Under Pressure

Washington, DC, USA ( – The Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the United States‎ addressed the question of Kurdistan Under Pressure in a speech and panel discussion this month at a leading Washington university.20151109_102039 (1)

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman spoke at the Johns Hopkins ‎ University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) on the complex of crises facing Kurdistan and the KRG.

She outlined the two phases of her country’s recent history, the first being the decade after 1991 in which there were the first free elections and the establishment of the Parliament and government, and the second being the decade after 2003 in which Kurdistan’s culture, economy, society and democracy flourished. She said that Kurdistan was now embarking on a third phase which began with a series of shocks in 2014: the denial of the region’s budget by Baghdad, the attacks by ISIS, the flood of refugees and displaced people and the fall in oil prices. Ms Abdul Rahman said that every political party in Kurdistan recognized the need for reform and that this new phase ahead of her country would not be easy but showed Kurdistan’s resilience and commitment to democracy.

Other speakers on the panel were Dr Daniel Serwer Senior Fellow and CTR-SAIS Director at SAIS Conflict Management Center, Dr Nusseibeh Younis, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and Yael Mizrahi, a graduate student at SAIS Middle East and Conflict Management. The discussion was moderated by Sasha Toperich, Senior Fellow and Director of the Mediterranean Basin Initiative at SAIS.

They presented different views on the political, humanitarian and economic situation in Kurdistan.

Ms Abdul Rahman said she welcomed the debate on Kurdistan and the interest of academic institutions in the region’s development.
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