VFI, founded in 2015, is an independent, charitable 501 (c)3 organization dedicated to development in Iraq focusing on the areas of education, the maintenance of ecology and the preservation of cultural heritage. VFI also seeks to promote a culture of democracy and tolerance within Iraq, and to increase understanding of Iraq in the United States especially through increased interaction between individuals and institutions of the two countries.
VFI constitutes a medium conveying theoretical and technical visions for planning a positive future for Iraq. Realistic proposals will assist in rebuilding Iraq to be a democratic and inclusive society. To that end, VFI will avoid politics and politicians, concentrating, instead, on dialogue between cultural and educational leaders of the United States and Iraq, as well as the general public. VFI looks to be a bridge that brings together experts and practitioners in relevant areas to help them inform decision-makers of both countries.
To ensure commitment to VFI’s mission, its members will interface with the Iraqi-American community and other groups concerned with the Iraqi landscape. Thus, community members can gain experience in their roles as informal ambassadors of democratic practice and educational advancement. Additionally, VFI will reach out to bi-national participants in education and culture, including intellectuals, technocrats, professors, and, ultimately, students to influence Iraqi society and examine the role that could be played by the United States to support and guide Iraq in relevant areas.
These efforts will lead to strengthened relationships and deep-rooted understanding between the two countries. By using social marketing programs in Iraq and the United States, we can help people modify their attitudes and behaviors toward critical issues of national importance.
VFI will initially focus its attention on four key objective areas: Education, Democracy, Culture, and Ecology. To achieve specific goals in these four areas, VFI strives to open direct channels with Iraqi scholars, journalists, academics, archaeologists, and subject-matter experts in order to identify constructive ideas and proposals, and then allow them to share meaningful dialogue with like-minded American counterparts.
VFI’s activities will include: conducting public discussion groups, forums, panels, lectures, utilizing social media, and other similar projects. The organization aims to make use of both Iraqi and American members’ experience and expertise to lay a solid foundation for advances leading to a culture of democracy for Iraq and its citizens.
We are a forum for ongoing exchanges of news, ideas, and ideals that motivate understanding and cooperation between our two countries in the above mentioned areas. We are also a catalyst for a spectrum of activities that will highlight the best of Iraqi society and culture. Our enthusiasm and love for Iraq will add a powerful, upbeat voice to the general mood of pessimism that pervades current media coverage of Iraq.
Voices for Iraq will operate on a number of platforms to bring people together to achieve its goals. Through lectures, concerts, and artistic exhibitions, VFI will gather people for discussion and enjoyment of the best that Iraq has to offer in art and academic thought. By its online presence, (http://voicesforiraq.org/home,) and social media to disseminate information on Iraqi developments in the fields of its interest, and encourages contacts between relevant individuals and institutions. VFI will reach its audiences in Arabic and English. All are welcome to participate with their positive news and express their opinions free from the language of politics and in a spirit of the shared goal of restoring Iraq’s once-excellent image in the United States and globally.