The Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative invites you to a discussion on March 20, 2023, from 10:00 – 11:30 am ET with a number of young Iraqi civil society activists and prospective leaders to reflect on the 20th anniversary of the 2003 Iraq invasion.

The discussion will feature diverse viewpoints from young Iraqis, particularly those born after 2003. It will explore their future aspirations, the role of the US and the international community in shaping the country’s trajectories, and how their political identity was formed and redefined in the past two decades. The panel will also investigate the reasons behind the decline of sectarian and ethno-nationalistic affiliations among Iraqi youth and the rise of national movements that transcend tribal and cultural boundaries. The panel will examine the driving forces behind these movements and their implications for Iraq’s future in the decades ahead.

This conversation will take place at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters and be broadcast on Zoom, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Please register below to attend in person or to join us virtually. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to attend. The event is open to the press and on-the-record.

Introductory remarks

Abbas Kadhim
Director, Iraq Initiative
Atlantic Council


Nibras Basitkey
Program Assistant, empowerME, Middle East Programs
Atlantic Council

Shivan Fazil
Researcher, Middle East and North Africa Programme
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Hamzeh Hadad
Adjunct Fellow, Middle East Security Program
Center for New American Security

Murad Ismael
Co-Founder and President
Sinjar Academy


Hezha Barzani
Program Assistant, empowerME, Middle East Programs
Atlantic Council

The Iraq Initiative provides transatlantic and regional policy makers with unique perspectives and analysis on the ongoing challenges and opportunities facing Iraq as the country tries to build an inclusive political system, attract economic investment, and encourage a vibrant civil society.