Bina Hussein

  • The Taste of Freedom, But at What Cost for the Kurds?

    While the Kurdistani people may have voted for independence, the practical application of the referendum, which was rejected by the Kurdistan region’s neighbors, remains uncertain. Depending on the fallout in the days, weeks, and months to come, the referendum could either prove an opportunity to improve regional relations, or leave a bitter aftertaste for all parties involved.

    September 25, 2017, was a historic day for the Kurds. In a referendum, close to 93 percent voted in favor of independence, a long-held dream for most Kurds. However, while many people in Kurdistan celebrated the outcome, the referendum was opposed by Iraq, its neighbors, and the international community. Further, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran responded by threatening to sanction the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq militarily or economically.

    Read More
  • Energy Security in Central & Eastern Europe: New Challenges and Opportunities Conference

    On June 7th, the Energy Diplomacy Initiative within the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center held a half-day conference on Energy Security in Central & Eastern Europe: New Challenges and Opportunities, which brought together government officials, business leaders, and experts to discuss the implications of the changing global LNG market, progression of the European Energy Union concept, and the priorities of the new US administration for Central and Eastern European energy security.


    Read More
  • Ocean Economy and Energy: Opportunities of Cooperation Between Portugal and the US – A Conversation with the Portuguese Minister of Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino

    On September 14, 2016 the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative hosted the Portuguese Minister of Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino. Minister Vitorino discussed the future development of the North Atlantic between the United States and Portugal as an energy and resource hub. Citing that offshore oil and gas, US LNG shipments, deep-sea mining, and ocean renewable projects will diversify Western Europe’s energy needs. Her presentation was followed by a moderated discussion with Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative Assistant Director, Bina Hussein. The discussion involved a series of issues:
    Read More
  • It’s Time for Iraq’s Kurds to be Entrepreneurial

    Dreams of economic prosperity and stability came crashing down in Kurdistan when the Iraqi central government ceased supporting the region’s budget, oil and gas prices hit rock bottom, and the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) flared up in other parts of the country—causing over 1.8 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to flee to Kurdistan. As a result, Kurdistan’s economy—thus far almost entirely dependent on the energy sector and support from Baghdad—collapsed and has been almost nonexistent for the past two years. The people of Kurdistan should not depend on Baghdad to rebuild build their economy; Kurds must take initiative by pursuing their own enterprises.

    Read More
  • As the ISIS Wars Uproot Millions, Iraq’s Kurdish Region Faces a Flood of Human Misery

    Of 2 Million Refugees in Kurdish Zone, Most Languish Outside Camps, With Little or No Aid


    Amid the world attention focused on 3.8 million Syrians uprooted by the violent spread of the ISIS Islamist army, a little-noted part of that crisis is the flood of perhaps 2 million refugees from both Syria and Iraq into Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

    As of November, Kurdistan had received more than 250,000 Syrians and 1.5 million Iraqis fleeing the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The office in the Kurdish regional capital that tracks displaced persons estimated 2 million of them in the region as of the end of the year. For the Kurdish region’s own population, estimated at 5-6 million, this is a crushing tsunami of human...

    Read More
  • To Confront ISIS, Get Arms and Emergency Help to Iraq’s Kurds

    US Has Declined to Arm Kurdish Forces, But That Now Must Change

    Iraq’s national army effectively has collapsed before the advance of the brutal guerrillas of the Islamic State, leaving only one effective fighting force – the Kurdish peshmerga – to confront them. As the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has seized much of northwestern Iraq, and as it threatens genocidal violence against minorities, including an estimated 40,000 people from the Yazidi sect now trapped on barren mountains, the peshmerga are doing the bulk of the fighting against this threat. Since early June, 150 peshmerga reportedly have been killed in the conflict.


    Read More