THE future of Iraq was under scrutiny on Saturday as Solihull residents were given a rare opportunity to discuss the country with Iraqi and British experts.
Christian Aid, which invested over £250,000 in humanitarian aid projects in Iraq last year, hosted the event which addressed the question ‘Iraq: Will poverty ever be eradicated?’ at the WI Centre on Union Road.
Dhiaa Al-Asadi, previously a teacher at Basra University and now a PhD student at Birmingham University, sat on the panel.
He said: “There is no system in place to help poor people understand their rights. There is no social security system. It is important to empower the non-governmental organisations to enable them to practice their rules of advocacy. We need to make poor people aware of their rights and educate people about the support they can get.”
Also speaking was Bekhall Qaradaxy, an Iraqi national who now lives in the UK and Dana Muhammad who has been working to create sustainable livelihoods for thousands of people in northern Iraq.
Lorely Burt, local Liberal Democrat MP, joined the panel as the voice of Solihull residents on a national level.
Those present capitalised on this rare chance to gain an insight into the reality of life in Iraq. Questions covered a range of topics, from the possibility of a future civil war, to the effectiveness of military measures in controlling religious conflicts. All who attended agreed it was an extremely informative event.
For more information on Christian Aid’s projects in Iraq visit www.christianaid.org