Another week at USIP and no slowing down. At an internal GLAS/INPROL meeting, an expert from the ACT team briefed us on a recent JSD regarding IDPs. My notebook of acronyms only grows.
Also this week, we welcomed Australian law students to the beautiful, sunlit USIP headquarters. It’s always exciting to meet young people bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. Representatives from the Rule of Law initiative discussed their work and their career paths. I was lucky to sit in on the meeting and hear people explain why they chose Rule of Law work.
I was also fortunate enough to attend a brown bag event. Each week, USIP hosts “brown bag” events, which are informal lunch presentations open to all staff. Everyone is encouraged to participate and connect with the special guests, or, if you’d rather, munch quietly on your lunch. This week, USIP hosted the members of the Network of Iraqi Facilitators (NIF) for an inspiring discussion.
The meeting was held in a small, glass-walled room with one long table in the center. Research assistants, program officers, and senior staff all crowded in with clear containers of kale and fruit and other healthy lunch options.
Our guests of honor work to restore stability in Iraq through local dialogues. Two years after the slaughter of 1,700 people in Tikrit, NIF has made strides in restoring civility to the site of such unimaginable horror. The members walked us through their practical approach to empowering communities and brining leaders together to resolve conflict without violence.
To close, a civil society advocate told us that his country is facing dire problems. Even if ISIS left today, he claims, Iraq would still have an impecunious government, swathes of “scorched earth”, and communities shattered.
“Still,” he said. “Despite all of this, I still believe in peace for Iraq.”
Senior management at USIP thanked the NIF member profusely. “These are the people that inspire me,” he beamed. It is easy to promote peace from a serene boardroom in downtown Washington. These people should inspire us all.