Iraq Program Updates

Speeches Shim

Last updated: June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

Zeena Maher is a 39-year-old seamstress and mother of four from Tamim City in western Iraq. When ISIS occupied Ramadi, her sewing shop was destroyed and she lost her only source of income. 

June 22, 2021

Peshang, 21, is a Software Engineering student at Salahuddin University in Erbil. During the lockdown, he saw Iraqi businesses moving their operations online. Many businesses were able to operate virtually, except for the fitness sector. Seeing this gap, and given his academic background in software engineering, he decided to create GymHok – the first online fitness platform in Kurdistan. 

June 22, 2021

Since she was a little girl, Zinah, 32, has loved scents and perfumes -- she even made her first eucalyptus scent at 9-years-old. In 2014, Zinah turned her favorite hobby into a profession when she opened Ishtar, where she sells natural, handmade soaps scented with her own fragrances. Zinah also wanted to make sure her business supports women in her community.  “I wanted to make a business where I can use my talent to make products that smell good, but also only hire women in need so that every dollar we make can go to the right place,” said Zinah. 

U.S. Ambassador Tueller stands with Mr. Kaldo Ramzi Oghna, Director of the Syriac Heritage Museum on Monday, June 21st, 2021.
June 21, 2021

The United States today announced a new program to provide assistance through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to the Syriac Heritage Museum, to help preserve and protect the rich cultural heritage of the Syriac community. The assistance was announced by U.S. Ambassador Matthew Tueller during a visit to the Syriac Heritage Museum today. This assistance will establish a new digitization lab and exhibitions in the Museum, and support the preservation of ancient manuscripts, artifacts, and cultural traditions.

May 28, 2021

From fleeing ISIS at the age of 7, to taking on the role of second care-giver when her father was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Fadia always put her family's needs before her own. "My daughter took on difficult responsibilities at a young age. She went with her father to his medical appointments and was with him during his treatments. She was under a lot of pressure," said Fadia's mother. Caring for her family left any time for 14-year-old Fadia to practice hobbies or spend time with friends, which left her feeling isolated and helpless. "My family's difficult situation made me sad.