Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) is dedicated to bringing together Iraqi and international civil societies through concrete actions to build together another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.

Join the 3rd Conference of the ICSSI – Erbil 2011

Join the 3rd Conference of the

Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

Erbil (Iraq), 8-9 October 2011

and the 1st International Marathon in Iraq, for Peace and Nonviolence

Erbil (Iraq), 7 October 2011

Another Iraq is possible, with peace and human rights!

Iraqi civil society members including labor unions, NGOs, independent media agencies and individual activists are organizing the third conference of the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative, to be held in Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan) on October 8-9, 2011. All international organizations and activists who stand in solidarity with the Iraqi people, and want to understand the Iraqi reality from the point of view of its civil society, are invited to participate.


The conference aims to provide an analysis of the current situation in Iraq, discussing the role of civil society and social movements in shaping a better Iraq – with social justice and real democracy – and an Iraqi Social Forum, building solidarity campaigns and cooperation projects with international partners.


After decades of war, sanctions and occupation that claimed lives and destroyed the infrastructure of the country, Iraqis keep struggling for freedom and dignity. They ask for the end of foreign occupation but also an end to corruption, nepotism and sectarianism of Iraqi institutions. They belive that freedom of expression and association will promote security for Iraqi people. They want to be free to demonstrate, go on strike, and speak in public. They are convinced that the Iraqi budget is sufficient to put an end to unemployment and poverty and they think that civil society should have a recognized role in building another Iraq.


The principles of the conference have been set by Iraqi organizers, and should be respected by all participants: there will be no discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender; participation will be independent from political parties and from religious or sectarian affiliations; we promote nonviolent struggle as the only way for change; we are committed to the fundamental importance of voluntarism and non-profit ethics; we advocate for an active, dynamic civil society to build a democratic Iraq, free of occupation and fascism.


Before the conference, the First Iraq International Marathon in Erbil will be organized    on October 7 by civil society organizations and the Iraqi Nonviolence Group (Laonf), under the theme “Let’s Run for Peace and Non-Violence”. Individuals and teams can sign up representing NGOs, Youth Clubs, Student and Workers Unions and other organizations, for the whole marathon or for shorter, non-competitive sections of the run.


Iraqi and international groups are working to organize these events, so please mark the dates on your agenda and reserve your flight to Erbil International Airport. The city is very safe for both Iraqis and internationals and a visa is not required for European and North-American citizens. Participants from the rest of the world will receive assistance for the visa process by Iraqi organizers.


Members of the ICSSI Conference organizing committee:

Name Organization Country E-mail
Abdullah Khalid al-Mesalla Iraq, Erbil
Abbas Khadim Engineering Professions Union Iraq, Basra
Adnan Rhymah Engineering Professions Union Iraq, Baghdad
Hassan Juma Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions Iraq, Basra
Suzan Aref Women Empowerment Org. Iraq, Erbil
Ibrahim Ismaeel Iraqi Laonf Group Iraq
Salar Ahmed Iraqi Laonf Group Iraq, Erbil
Dr. Ali Abbas Anbori Iraq 2020 Assembly,  Civic Observatory Iraq, Baghdad
Ahmed Malik

Al HamadweIraqi Institute for Economic ReformIraq, Abdulsattar YounisIraqi International Marathon and Laonf Group in KRGIraq, Ali Al  DujailiTammuzIraq, Adnan Al SaffarGeneral Federation of Iraqi WorkersIraq, Alya’a HusseinGeneral federation of agricultural unionsIraq, Oday HatemSociety for Defending Press FreedomIraq, Hashim Al AssafNGO Coordination Committee for IraqIraq, Shad Mihemed IsmaeelKurdistan Youth Empowerment Org.Iraq, Ann WardMennonite Central CommitteeIraq, Nida D. JarjeesUn ponte per…Iraq, Ismaeel DawoodUn ponte per…Italy, Martina Pignatti MoranoUn ponte per…Italy, PisaMartina.pignatti@unponteper.itNicola ViscontiBaghdad MarathonItaly, Annet HannemanHidden TheatreItaly, Felipe DazaNOVA – Centro para la Innovacion SocialSpain, Bashir Ahmed A. AliAlternativesCanada, Montrealbashir@alternatives.caFlorent SchaefferInitiatives Pour un Autre MondeFrance, Terry RockefellerSeptember 11 Families for Peaceful TomorrowsUSA,