Iraq is going through a transition phase where calls for political reform and the opening of the democratic space are underway. During this phase, it is crucial that Iraqi people of all walks of life are given a voice in shaping the political scene in their country.
To assist this process of transition, WFD supported a project that aimed to contribute to the development of civil society in post-Saddam Iraq through building a network of Iraqi and West and Central European activists. In the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution in 1989, activists from Central Europe used to organise daily meetings in the “Magic Lantern” theatre in Prague to discuss the future of their country. These meetings were open and inclusive of anyone (ordinary citizens, politicians, etc.) who wanted to take part in the debates. These activists will now come together with their Iraqi counterparts to share their experiences and bring the “Magic Lantern” to Iraq.
Recently, a meeting was held in Cairo which moved dialogue beyond the airing of differences and declarative statements, to a point where people are now committed to working together. Participants, sometimes from opposing ends of the political spectrum, have established and maintained informal working relationships with each other, despite their differences on a number of issues. There are now plans to develop a Citizens’ Forum in which people can come together to discuss critical national matters.
For more information on our work in Iraq, please contact Dina.Melhem@wfd.org