By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has hosted a workshop on investing in the tourism sector and hotels business in Iraq.

The event was prepared in cooperation with the US Department of Commerce and the US Embassy in Baghdad, and was attended by the heads of the five-star hotels in Baghdad and other provinces.

NIC Chairman Dr. Sami Al-Araji emphasised the importance of the tourism sector for the GDP of any country and especially in Iraq, which has religious shrines and archeological sites.

(Source: NIC)

A U.S.-Iraq Security Partnership: Avoiding the Pitfalls Just Ahead

The dust of last year’s final campaign to destroy the Islamic State “caliphate” had hardly settled before talk of expelling U.S. forces began to circulate in Iraq’s newly seated Council of Representatives (COR), according to a report from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy:

This percolating sentiment was unsurprising in a body that for the first time included substantial numbers of often deeply anti-American militia members. Yet it exploded into public view following White House moves that deeply agitated the hypersensitive strain of nationalism blooming within Iraq’s body politic.

“When a subsequent bid to demand that U.S. forces depart gained fifty signatures in parliament, it raised the specter of 2011, when nationalist antipathy was a major factor in dooming a bilateral agreement to keep a small U.S. military presence in the country.

“Whether that happens again depends on the near-term course of the COR’s nationalist sentiment, Iran’s ability to exploit that sentiment, and the tenor of Washington’s reaction.

Click here to read the full report.

(Source: Washington Institute for Near East Policy )

By John Lee.

A report from Bellingcat claims to have identified the source of a mysterious black sludge in Mosul Lake.

Analysis of open source satellite images suggest a combination of oil waste water, caused by either oil dumping or flooding of polluted rivers by the winter rains.

Click here to read the full report.

(Source: Bellingcat)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is rehabilitating 15,000 houses in West Mosul, bringing the total number of houses in its stabilization portfolio to more than 30,000 – the largest of its kind in Iraq.

The project in West Mosul covers 29 neighbourhoods that were hardest hit during the fight to liberate the city from the Islamic State, including the Old City where the militants declared their caliphate. It will enable 90,000 people to return home.

“This rehabilitation project is a critical step for families wanting to settle back into their homes in Mosul after three years of turmoil and hardship,” says Head of UNDP’s Stabilization programme, Dr. Mohammed siddig Mudawi.

“We know it works. Through our successful projects in Ramadi and Fallujah, as well as Bartella and Bashiqa in the Ninewa Plains, we’ve witnessed first-hand the transformative impact that our housing rehabilitation work has had on communities,” he adds.

Priority for housing is given to the most vulnerable – female-headed households, households run by a minor, people living with a disability, and households where the breadwinner has not had employment in the last three years.

Essential elements such as rebuilding and plastering walls, securing windows and doors, undertaking electrical work and restoring sanitation are incorporated into the rehabilitation, plus additional items for people living with a disability, such as ramps and seated toilets.

Neighbourhoods were selected in consultation with the provincial government and Mayor’s office based on numbers of returnees and level of damage sustained. All housing repairs are agreed to by the homeowner and the local Muktar prior to commencement, and work is monitored by government-appointed committees.

Rehabilitation of the first group of houses will be complete by end of March. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by November 2019.

Approximately 800 stabilization projects have been completed or are underway by UNDP in Mosul, including restoring water and electricity networks, rebuilding educational institutions and healthcare facilities, and providing employment for locals to clear rubble from streets.

Photos of the West Mosul housing project are available here to download. Contact Fay Daoud on the details below if you would like to use any photos.

(Source: UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is rehabilitating 15,000 houses in West Mosul, bringing the total number of houses in its stabilization portfolio to more than 30,000 – the largest of its kind in Iraq.

The project in West Mosul covers 29 neighbourhoods that were hardest hit during the fight to liberate the city from the Islamic State, including the Old City where the militants declared their caliphate. It will enable 90,000 people to return home.

“This rehabilitation project is a critical step for families wanting to settle back into their homes in Mosul after three years of turmoil and hardship,” says Head of UNDP’s Stabilization programme, Dr. Mohammed siddig Mudawi.

“We know it works. Through our successful projects in Ramadi and Fallujah, as well as Bartella and Bashiqa in the Ninewa Plains, we’ve witnessed first-hand the transformative impact that our housing rehabilitation work has had on communities,” he adds.

Priority for housing is given to the most vulnerable – female-headed households, households run by a minor, people living with a disability, and households where the breadwinner has not had employment in the last three years.

Essential elements such as rebuilding and plastering walls, securing windows and doors, undertaking electrical work and restoring sanitation are incorporated into the rehabilitation, plus additional items for people living with a disability, such as ramps and seated toilets.

Neighbourhoods were selected in consultation with the provincial government and Mayor’s office based on numbers of returnees and level of damage sustained. All housing repairs are agreed to by the homeowner and the local Muktar prior to commencement, and work is monitored by government-appointed committees.

Rehabilitation of the first group of houses will be complete by end of March. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by November 2019.

Approximately 800 stabilization projects have been completed or are underway by UNDP in Mosul, including restoring water and electricity networks, rebuilding educational institutions and healthcare facilities, and providing employment for locals to clear rubble from streets.

Photos of the West Mosul housing project are available here to download. Contact Fay Daoud on the details below if you would like to use any photos.

(Source: UNDP)

By John Lee.

NIC Hosts Franchise Workshop which Aims to Expand the Activities of International Commercial Brands in Iraq

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC), in coordination with the US Department of Commerce and the US Embassy in Baghdad, has hosted a franchise granting workshop over four days for the Iraqi private sector to expand the activities of international commercial brands in Iraq.

Dr. Sami Al-Araji, NIC Chairman, said in his opening speech that Iraq is on its way to opening up its services sector by providing support to the Iraqi private sector, adding that obtaining the licenses of international commercial brands can provide important economic revenues represented by the opening up of the big world companies towards Iraqi Market and creating many job opportunities all over Iraqi provinces.

The US Counsel said that US franchisers are looking to Iraq as “a unique key market“.

Ms. Mays al-Ebosy, the coordinator of the US Department of Commerce and the and the supervisor of the session, invited the attendees to open discussions to listen to the obstacles that face the Iraqi private sector. The second and third days of this workshop were dedicated to the provincial investment commissions (PICs) and promoting investment in provinces, while the fourth day focused on hotel investments to Iraq.

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

NIC Hosts Franchise Workshop which Aims to Expand the Activities of International Commercial Brands in Iraq

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC), in coordination with the US Department of Commerce and the US Embassy in Baghdad, has hosted a franchise granting workshop over four days for the Iraqi private sector to expand the activities of international commercial brands in Iraq.

Dr. Sami Al-Araji, NIC Chairman, said in his opening speech that Iraq is on its way to opening up its services sector by providing support to the Iraqi private sector, adding that obtaining the licenses of international commercial brands can provide important economic revenues represented by the opening up of the big world companies towards Iraqi Market and creating many job opportunities all over Iraqi provinces.

The US Counsel said that US franchisers are looking to Iraq as “a unique key market“.

Ms. Mays al-Ebosy, the coordinator of the US Department of Commerce and the and the supervisor of the session, invited the attendees to open discussions to listen to the obstacles that face the Iraqi private sector. The second and third days of this workshop were dedicated to the provincial investment commissions (PICs) and promoting investment in provinces, while the fourth day focused on hotel investments to Iraq.

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

NIC Hosts Franchise Workshop which Aims to Expand the Activities of International Commercial Brands in Iraq

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC), in coordination with the US Department of Commerce and the US Embassy in Baghdad, has hosted a franchise granting workshop over four days for the Iraqi private sector to expand the activities of international commercial brands in Iraq.

Dr. Sami Al-Araji, NIC Chairman, said in his opening speech that Iraq is on its way to opening up its services sector by providing support to the Iraqi private sector, adding that obtaining the licenses of international commercial brands can provide important economic revenues represented by the opening up of the big world companies towards Iraqi Market and creating many job opportunities all over Iraqi provinces.

The US Counsel said that US franchisers are looking to Iraq as “a unique key market“.

Ms. Mays al-Ebosy, the coordinator of the US Department of Commerce and the and the supervisor of the session, invited the attendees to open discussions to listen to the obstacles that face the Iraqi private sector. The second and third days of this workshop were dedicated to the provincial investment commissions (PICs) and promoting investment in provinces, while the fourth day focused on hotel investments to Iraq.

(Source: NIC)

Basrah Museum Opens New Sumer, Assyria And Babylonia Galleries

The official opening of three new galleries in the Basrah Museum on March 19th marks the completion of a project to refurbish all major exhibition space at the complex.

It is a further important milestone in the creation of a major hub for the protection and celebration of the rich cultural heritage of Southern Iraq.

The Sumer, Assyrian and Babylon Galleries will be opened by the end of March and will showcase objects tracing the history of Iraq from c. 3000 BCE to 550 BCE, including statues, cylinder seals, tablets, jewellery, statues, glassware and pottery from many eras from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad and from the Basrah Museum’s original collection. This is the first time that the majority of the exhibits have been on public display in Basrah.

The project to open the new galleries is led by the Director of Antiquities and Heritage of Basrah Qahtan Al Abeed and supported by UK-based charity Friends of Basrah Museum. It includes training and development programmes in labelling, visitor services and museum techniques for staff and volunteers, as well as the creation of an education room for school parties and other young visitors.

The opening will be a tribute to the efforts, dedication and scholarship of leading archaeologist and FOBM Trustee, Lamia Al Gailani Werr who died unexpectedly in Jordan in January this year. Lamia was an unstinting supporter of the Basrah Museum and shared her experience and wisdom generously with cultural heritage specialists in Basrah and Baghdad as the project evolved.

This latest phase of the project was financed by the Cultural Protection Fund, managed by the British Council. It follows the opening of the Museum’s first gallery in 2016. The Basrah Gallery is devoted to the cultural heritage of the city and its environs. It was funded principally by a major grant from UK oil and gas company BP.

A grant extension funding the final phase of the project has been awarded by the Cultural Protection Fund and will focus on the opening of a museum library at the complex for students and academics and members of the public. This phase is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

(Source: Friends of Basrah Museum)

Basrah Museum Opens New Sumer, Assyria And Babylonia Galleries

The official opening of three new galleries in the Basrah Museum on March 19th marks the completion of a project to refurbish all major exhibition space at the complex.

It is a further important milestone in the creation of a major hub for the protection and celebration of the rich cultural heritage of Southern Iraq.

The Sumer, Assyrian and Babylon Galleries will be opened by the end of March and will showcase objects tracing the history of Iraq from c. 3000 BCE to 550 BCE, including statues, cylinder seals, tablets, jewellery, statues, glassware and pottery from many eras from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad and from the Basrah Museum’s original collection. This is the first time that the majority of the exhibits have been on public display in Basrah.

The project to open the new galleries is led by the Director of Antiquities and Heritage of Basrah Qahtan Al Abeed and supported by UK-based charity Friends of Basrah Museum. It includes training and development programmes in labelling, visitor services and museum techniques for staff and volunteers, as well as the creation of an education room for school parties and other young visitors.

The opening will be a tribute to the efforts, dedication and scholarship of leading archaeologist and FOBM Trustee, Lamia Al Gailani Werr who died unexpectedly in Jordan in January this year. Lamia was an unstinting supporter of the Basrah Museum and shared her experience and wisdom generously with cultural heritage specialists in Basrah and Baghdad as the project evolved.

This latest phase of the project was financed by the Cultural Protection Fund, managed by the British Council. It follows the opening of the Museum’s first gallery in 2016. The Basrah Gallery is devoted to the cultural heritage of the city and its environs. It was funded principally by a major grant from UK oil and gas company BP.

A grant extension funding the final phase of the project has been awarded by the Cultural Protection Fund and will focus on the opening of a museum library at the complex for students and academics and members of the public. This phase is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

(Source: Friends of Basrah Museum)