Events


Rebuilding After Conflict

Date : May 22, 2017
Time : 6:00-8:00pm
Place : Horizon Ballroom, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC 20004

 

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By: Ben Valdez, International Affairs Intern


On May 22, 2017, the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC hosted His Excellency Lukman Faily, former Ambassador of Iraq to the United States.  Ambassador Faily gave remarks to an audience comprised of Council members, students, diplomats, journalists and the general public at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.


Tony Culley-Foster, the Council’s President and CEO, delivered opening remarks that included information on current state and societal-conflicts around the world, conflicts that have been resolved, the UN’s peacebuilding process and the Ambassador’s background.  Mr. Culley-Foster then introduced Ambassador Faily; and former Deputy Assistant to the Administrator of the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at USAID, Mr. Dan Grant, who served as the discussant for the event.


His Excellency Faily began by discussing his time as the Ambassador of Iraq to the United States, and how this role educated him in rebuilding a society after conflict.  The Ambassador went on to describe the importance of foreign assistance in the rebuilding process.  “As the Ambassador of Iraq to the United States my objective was to not have Americans view Iraq the way they viewed Vietnam,” said Ambassador Faily, adding that that Americans must learn to view the conflict from the Iraqi people’s perspective so that they can learn how to best assist in  the rebuilding process.


Ambassador Faily also discussed the steps involved in the peace-building process.  He used the metaphor of a tunnel to describe the process, adding that, “Iraq is at the end of its tunnel, and Syria is at the beginning of its tunnel,” in reference to the current fight against extremists such as ISIS. Ambassador Faily stated that no two society’s tunnels are the same, and that each society will make it through at different speeds.  He stated that the first step to any process is the assurance of the end of the conflict by all parties. Ambassador Faily concluded by thanking the Americans in the crowd for their country’s support in the Iraqi rebuilding process stating that, “Americans attitude of generosity is great, and many other countries look to the United States for advice and direction when helping others.”




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