Hiwaraat Conference Fuses Media and Academia to Explore the Iraq War’s Past and Future

Marking the 20-year anniversary of the war that changed the world, Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) is set to host the much-anticipated “The Invasion of Iraq: Regional Reflections” conference from September 14 to 16, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha. Joining an array of scholars, experts, and policymakers at the international gathering, media figures will lend their unique insights and perspectives in discussions on Iraq’s tumultuous past, and uncertain future.

Convened by GU-Q’s Dean, Dr. Safwan Masri, and the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at GU-Q, this public conference on the lasting implications of the 2003 Iraq War will merge journalism and academia for a multifaceted perspective that is both comprehensive and enriching, said Zahra Babar, Associate Director for Research at CIRS.

“The participation of media experts enhances the conference’s relevance and depth. Their vantage point as observers and communicators bridges the gap between academic analysis and real-world understanding, serving to expand broader public engagement,” she said, adding: “And providing the wider public opportunities to engage in these discussions is central to the mission of the conference, as well as the overarching goals of the Hiwaraat series.”

Media Expert Panelists

The conference boasts an array of thought-provoking panels exploring the ongoing political, economic, and social upheaval in the region. An opening panel on the impact of the Iraq war on global diplomacy will feature Laila Al Shaikhli, Iraqi anchor and presenter on Al Jazeera.

MSNBC news show host Ayman Mohyeldin will offer a series of interviews over breakfast on the current, media, political, and youth activism landscape in Iraq. Prominent media personalities featured will include Othman Al-Mukhtar of Arab News Qatar, Mina Al-Oraibi of the National, UAE, and Rasha Al-Aqeedi, Independent Researcher at New Lines Magazine.

The conference panel on “The Emergence of D’aesh” will see Rasha Al-Aqeedi and Othman Al-Mukhtar exploring the origins and enduring implications of transnational terrorism. Mina Al-Oraibi will also speak on a panel examining  Iraq’s complex web of relationships with its neighbors. 

Samia Nakhoul, Global Foreign Policy Editor at Reuters, will speak on the “Arab Spring Connections” panel, bridging Iraq’s experiences with broader regional movements. 

Live Arabic translation will be available for the panels. More information and a full list of conference panelists and upcoming conferences in the Hiwaraat Conference Series are available on the official conference website.

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