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Coming Events

Afghan Voices
Tuesday, February 15, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Northern Lights United Church

Lia Gladstone spent 2009 as Professor of English and Drama at American University in Kabul. Afghan Voices is a multi-media presentation about her experience of teaching, traveling and working with a human rights group doing theater in Afghanistan. The program features excerpts from the writing of Afghan students.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Iraqi Political Analyst to Speak in Juneau Monday, April 27th

"Beyond Occupation: The Future of US-Iraq Relations"
7:00 pm at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center, 
350 Whittier Street in downtown Juneau

Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi political analyst for the American Friends Service Committee, will travel to Alaska to speak about the American occupation in Iraq.  Jarrar’s speaking tour is a joint effort by local organizers from four communities. The Juneau People for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace Chapter 100, and Northern Light United Church Mission Committee are sponsoring his visit to Juneau. He will also speak in Haines, Anchorage, and Fairbanks.

Raed Jarrar was born and raised in Iraq. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in architecture from the University of Baghdad and a Master's Degree in post war reconstruction from the University of Jordan. While he was in grad school in Jordan, Jarrar’s close friend Salam Pax started a blog to stay in touch with him. “Where is Raed” became the most widely read blog originating from Iraq during the war. Pax described events from Baghdad and Raed contributed from Jordan.

After returning to Iraq in 2004, Jarrar worked as the country director of CIVIC, the only door-to-door Iraqi casualties survey. He then founded Emaar (Arabic for “reconstruction”), an Iraqi grassroots organization that operated in 10 Iraqi cities. It provided aid to Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs). Emaar delivered medicine and food as well as helped initiate micro-enterprise projects for IDPs. Additionally, Emaar engaged in political advocacy on behalf of displaced populations. During this time Jarrar posted eyewitness stories and opinions on the blog “Raed in the Middle” where he continues to provide valuable insights on the humanitarian and political status of Iraq.

In 2005 Jarrar moved to the United States. He is currently the Iraq consultant to the American Friends Service Committee based in Washington, D.C. Last year he leaked and translated the only publicly accessible draft of the US-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA), which formally addressed withdrawal of US troops. It was a document that proved to be vital to congressional hearings and in public debate across America. With Jarrar’s assistance, the AFSC was able to arrange two Iraqi parliamentary delegations to participate in official congressional briefings about the SoFA.

He (together with the American Civil Liberties Union) recently won a settlement from JetBlue in the case involving the TSA and the airline's refusal to allow Mr. Jarrar to board a plane at John F. Kennedy Airport until he agreed to cover his t-shirt, which read "We Will Not Be Silent" in English and Arabic script. See details at: http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/gen/jarrar.html and http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/gen/38225prs20090105.html

For more information about Mr. Jarrar go to http://www.afsc.org/ht/d/ContentDetails/i/2891

And for more information on the SoFA and the president's plan to end the Iraq Occupation see the American Friends Service Committee’s Statement at http://www.afsc.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/76010/pid/450