22/09/2015 4:27 AM
March 12, 2015
2401 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20037
On March 12th, 2015, TOFIQ convened for the first time in Washington, D.C. to share ideas on addressing Iraq’s Current Humanitarian Crisis. With the main objective of helping the Internally displaced people (IPDs).
The conference was attended by 109 attendees with 9 more through the video conferencing. The conference was supported by the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, DC.
The conference began with remarks from Dr. A Hadi Al Khalili, President of TOFIQ on the organization; its ambitions and the importance of utilizing the expertise among its members with their eagerness to help Iraq. Dr. al-Khalili emphasizes was on the current humanitarian crises.
Ambassador Faily spoke about the current crises in Iraq and the need for support the great efforts of Iraqis in Iraq to combat terrorists and stabilize Iraq while developing Iraq to serve the people of Iraq.
Mr. James Jeffrey, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, addressed the conference with emphasis on the importance of Diaspora help to their home countries, which can help in reforming the future of the country. He cited the Greek Diaspora and how they help Greece as an example.
The first panel was moderated by Dr. Adil Shamoo. Prof. Jennifer Brinkerhoff of George Washington University talked about her experience with the diaspora in many countries. She specifically elaborated on the Ethiopians and Chad Diasporas with many success stories where investments in these countries amounted in the billions of Dollars.
After the break, the second panel began with Dr. Ali Al Attar as the moderator. Three panelists were on the stage; Manuel Lannaud, Operational Advocacy Advisor, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ivana Vuco, Regional Advisor, Middle East, Europe and Central Asia, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Francois Stamm, Head of Regional Delegation, United States and Canada, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The presentation was focused on the need they saw among Iraqi IPDs and what they have offered.
This was followed by presentation by Dr. Adil Humadi about his trip to Iraq followed by a presentation by Dr. Aryan Jaff (presented by Dr. Joane Jaff) on his training opportunity at NYU neurosurgical department.
Dr. Majeed Al Sikafi gave the closing remarks and urged the conference attendees to support TOFIQ financially and materially.
Dr. A Hadi Al Khalili gave the final remarks.
During the whole conference Dr. Hani Haider organized and managed the online video conferencing overcoming many technical difficulties with participants from different parts of the U.S., Iraq and Canada.
One clear outcome of the conference was a shared enthusiasm among the attendees to engage in helping Iraq and especially among the young generation.
While the conference generated a wealth of ideas and debate, it is clear that there a lot to do in formulating priorities and means of implementing our tangible goals for now and on the long term.
There were some differences of opinions as how to approach our goals but in the near future with additional new members, we hope to be on firmer grounds to achieve our goals.