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26/28- [Baghdad] Iraqi Social Forum

Iraqi Social Forum (ISF)
International Call for Participants – Deadline 15th of August

Iraqi Social Forum 2013 – International Call for Participants

Another Iraq is Possible!
With Peace, Human Rights and Social Justice!

Dear Friends

We invite you to attend and seek your support for the first Iraqi Social Forum [ISF] to be held on September 26-28, 2013 in Baghdad, Iraq .

Active international solidarity is the need of this hour!

The Iraqi Social Forum is an extraordinary event that opposes decades of immense violence and destruction. It proposes a time and a space managed by civil society and social movements to build another Iraq based on peace, respect for human rights and social justice, in partnership with all those who adhere to the principles and charter of the WSF, adopted in Porto Alegre in 2001.

The loss of the lives of over one million people, the destruction of infrastructure, fatal and debilitating effects of depleted uranium and chemical weaponry used by the occupation forces cannot be forgotten, neither by the Iraqi people nor by the international movements who have been mobilizing against the war and the occupation.

The withdrawal of the US and occupation troops has opened the way to complete the struggle of Iraqi people for democracy and social justice, but the current Iraqi leadership has been built on sectarian lines, and does not guarantee the rights and safety of its citizens. Hundreds of thousands have protested in the streets of Iraqi cities since 2011 against corruption, for social services, for freedom of expression, and for an independent judiciary system. More than 2600 Iraqis have been killed since April 2013 in terrorist attacks, most of them in Baghdad. Still Iraqi civil society acts for change.

Now it is the time to all work together to build a way for hope to emerge, and to contribute to the desires of the Iraqi people for a civil, democratic society and State, based on respect for different cultures. The country is experiencing a political, economic and social crisis: this is the time to build partnerships, foster dialogue and cooperation, to find solutions to outstanding problems. Now is the time to end violence and terrorism for which the people of Iraq have paid, and continue to pay, a heavy price. These are the challenges of the Iraqi Social Forum, we believe that these are our shared challenges!

The WSF process is now well anchored in the region. Since 2008 we have witnessed successful regional social fora in the Maghreb/Mashreq, a World Education Forum in Palestine and the World Social Forum in Tunis earlier this year. These collective experiences provide a fertile ground for the Iraqi civil society to build the first Iraqi Social Forum as an open space for exchange of experiences and ideas, and to build a movement against neo-liberalism, for social change.

Iraqi civil society organizations will raise the following issues within the ISF: building a civic and democratic country; challenges faced by minorities; equitable distribution of wealth and social justice; trade unions, and peasant associations; rights of women, youth, children; economic, social, and cultural issues; nonviolence as a way of social, cultural, and economic change in Iraq; international solidarity campaigns with the Iraqi civil society. Sports Against Violence and Artistic activities will be associated to the forum.

The world witnessed huge demonstrations, unparalleled in the history, against the US invasion of Iraq. This international solidarity is now once again being convened in support of the Iraqi Social Forum. International participation in the Baghad ISF forum event will be limited in numbers for security reasons, but the ISF preparatory committee is looking for a venue in Baghdad safe enough for some internationals to attend. We strongly encourage your remote participation from your own country, via the “Extended Iraqi Social Forum”.

Please consider the following ways of joining us:

1) Be with us in Baghdad. Be aware that this entails a certain degree of risk, and that we will confirm international participation only in early September depending on the situation. Meanwhile, you need to register before the 15th of August in order to receive a letter of invitation and apply for the visa at the Iraqi Embassy in your country.

You will be contacted individually after submitting the application form here: http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/registration-form-iraqi-social-forum-2013

2) Extended ISF. Organize a solidarity event in your own country,

before or during the ISF, or a live exchange via Internet with a group in Baghdad , or a tele-participation in an activity held in Baghdad . A group of Iraqi volunteers is being trained to help connect with counterparts who want to exchange via Internet. Define with the local organizers which ISF activities will be enlarged for Internet participation, and build the corresponding connections.

You can learn more about the Extended forum and announce each of your extended collective participations in the ISF in a form accessible here: http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/extended-iraqi-social-forum-registration-form

Let us know if you are willing to participate!

The Iraqi Social Forum Organizing Committee

The International Solidarity Committee for the Iraqi Social Forum

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Member organizations of the Iraqi committee:
    Organization     City
    Women for Peace     Baghdad
    Tammuz Organization for Social Development     Baghdad
    Laonf Group     Basra
    AL Mesalla Organization for Human Resources Development     Erbil
    Kurdistan Youth Empowerment Organization     Erbil
    Information Center for research and development     Baghdad
    Iraqi council for peace and solidarity (ICPS)     Baghdad
    Al Amal Association     Baghdad
    General Federation of Iraqi Workers     Baghdad
    Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions     Basra
    Press Freedom Advocacy Association In Iraq     Baghdad
    Madarik for Studying Mechanisms of Conceptual Promotion     Baghdad
    Yazidi Solidarity and Fraternity League     Ninawa
    Engineering Professions Union     Baghdad
    Iraqi Democratic Future Network     Baghdad
    Ufoq Organization     Baghdad
    Iraqi Network for Social Media     Baghdad
    Institute for War and Peace Reporting     Baghdad

Members of the international committee:


Ismaeel Dawood     Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative     international
Martina Pignatti Morano     Un ponte per…     Italy
Judith Hitchman and Sergio Cordeiro     Support to “Iraqi Social Forum interpreters’ team”     international
Sabiha Ben Ammar     Confédération Générale Tunisienne du Travail (CGTT)     Tunisia
Feroz Mehdi     Alternatives International     international
Mireille Fanon-Mendes     Frantz Fanon Foundation     international
Elena Laurenti and Nicola Visconti     A.D. Sport Against Violence     Italy
Pierre George     Support to “Extended Iraqi Social Forum team”     France
Mboirick Mohamed     Gathering of Young Mauritania for Development     Mauritania
Olfa Mohamed     Tunisian League of Women Voters     Tunisia
Ahmad Jaradat     Alternative Information Center     Palestine/Israel
Gershom Kabaso     Zambia Social Forum     Zambia
Terry Kay Rockefeller     September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows     USA
Felipe Daza     NOVACT     Spain
Raffaella Bolini     ARCI     Italy
Hamouda Soubhi     Alternatives Forum in Morocco (FMAS)     Morocco
Muhanna Al-Shamary     Friendship and Peace International Organization     Denmark/Iraq
Alessandra Mecozzi     Italian Network for the World Social Forum     Italy
Gustave Massiah     Initiatives Pour un Autre Monde (IPAM)     France


Baghdad hosts the first Iraqi Social Forum and does not surrender to violence

When they started preparations, local organizers of the Iraqi Social forum were hoping to gather more than five thousand activists, between Iraqis and internationals, in the center of Baghdad. Their vision was to bring back, through this event, the image of civic peace and activism in a city that once upon a time was known as Dar Al-Salam (City of Peace). Many challenges have faced this group of activists but they are building a great event and preserving hope. They encourage internationals to come to Baghdad for this forum.


Articolo di Stefano Nanni su Osservatorio Iraq:


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