Created with Sketch.
Kurdistan in America
34 minutes | Jan 25, 2022
Season 3 Episode 1 - Interview with Sarhang Hamasaeed, director of Middle East Programs at USIP
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Mr. Sarhang Hamasaeed as our guest in the first episode of Season Three.Mr. Hamasaeed is the director of Middle East Programs at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC. He is also a regular lecturer at the Foreign Service Institute on ISIS and challenges to governance in Iraq.The USIP is an American nonpartisan, independent institute founded by Congress and is tasked with promoting conflict resolution and prevention worldwide. Mr. Hamasaeed shares his experience migrating from Kurdistan Region to the United States and sheds light on what he witnessed in his most recent visit to Kurdistan. He also provides an in-depth assessment of the political situation in the Kurdistan Region and the rest of Iraq, including the security situation in Nineveh Plains and the Sinjar region.
23 minutes | Dec 21, 2021
Season 2 Episode 13 - Interview with General James Jones, former National Security Adviser
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have General James Jones as our guest in this special edition.General Jones was the 32nd Commandant of the US Marine Corps, the Supreme Allied Commander for the European Command, and National Security Advisor to President Barrack Obama. He was also one of the original commanders of Operation Provide Comfort, the military-humanitarian operation that saved countless lives in Kurdistan in 1991.General Jones shares with us his experience and insights into Operation Provide Comfort and explains why it was geo-strategically vital for the United States and not just for the people of Kurdistan. He gives his views on the US military partnership with the Peshmerga forces and lends his support for the concurrent resolution in the US Congress (H.Con.Res.32) commemorating the 30th anniversary of Operation Provide Comfort. He also speaks about his decades of service in the US military, explaining how it ultimately led him to become President Obama’s National Security Adviser.The KRG Representation calls on the Kurdish-American community to reach out to their members of Congress to ask them to support the resolution in both the House and the Senate.
25 minutes | Nov 30, 2021
Season 2 Episode 12 - Interview with Karen Young, a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Ms. Karen Young as its guest this month.Ms. Young is a senior fellow and founding director of the Program on Economics and Energy at the Washington DC-based think tank, the Middle East Institute. Previously, she was a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, focusing on the political economy of the Middle East and the Gulf Cooperation Council.She shares her experience about her recent visit to the Kurdistan Region to participate in the American University of Kurdistan's Middle East Peace and Security Forum, provides her take on the KRG's economic reforms and energy sector, and discusses her role at the Middle East Institute.
19 minutes | Nov 10, 2021
Season 2 Episode 11 - Special Bonus Edition - Interview with Senator Chris Van Hollen
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Senator Chris Van Hollen as its guest in this special bonus edition.Senator Van Hollen, who has a long record of public service in the US Congress, has co-sponsored S.Con.Res.16 with Senator Marco Rubio. The bipartisan resolution commemorates the anniversary of Operation Provide Comfort, the humanitarian-military mission that averted catastrophe after hundreds of thousands of Kurds fled Saddam Hussein's forces in 1991. The US, Britain, and France launched the operation that saved countless lives. The KRG Representation calls on the Kurdish-American community to reach out to their members of Congress to ask them to support the resolution in both the House and the Senate.Senator Van Hollen's history of championing the Kurds goes back to 1988 when he and a colleague, Peter Galbraith, were on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. They visited the Iraqi-Turkish border and interviewed Kurds who had fled chemical bombardment in Iraq. They wrote a damning report that, for the first time, shone a light on the Anfal genocide. The Maryland Senator describes the Kurds today as 'fighters for justice.'
26 minutes | Oct 26, 2021
Season 2 Episode 10 - Interview with the Honorable Tom Kmiec, Member of the Canadian Parliament
This month, the Kurdistan in America podcast is going north to Canada and is pleased to have the Honorable Tom Kmiec MP as its guest. Mr. Kmiec is serving his third term as a Member of the Canadian Parliament for Calgary Shepard. He is also the co-founder of the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds.Mr. Kmiec shares his insights on Canada's involvement in the Kurdistan Region and potential areas to expand bilateral relations. He also sheds light on his impressive knowledge of the Kurds and his encounters with the growing Kurdish community across Canada.Born in Poland and raised as a refugee in Quebec, Mr. Kmiec sees parallels between his family's background in Eastern Europe and the experience of many Kurds who are forced to flee their homeland for political reasons.
30 minutes | Sep 25, 2021
Season 2 Episode 9 - Interview with Dr. Matthew Zais, the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of International Affairs at the US Department of Energy
This month, the Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Dr. Matthew Zais as its guest. Matt is the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of International Affairs at the US Department of Energy. Currently, he serves as the Vice President of Government Relations at HKN Energy, which has invested in Kurdistan’s oil sector. Matt also served as Iraq Director at the Trump White House National Security Council for two years and the US military for over two decades as a career US Army officer. Matt shares his insight on the Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas industry as a former US government official and now working in the private sector. He also sheds light on his encounters in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region while serving in the US Army.
28 minutes | Aug 25, 2021
Season 2 Episode 8 - Interview with Colonel David Williams, the former Director of the Counter-ISIS Coalition's Kurdistan Coordination Center
This month, the Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Colonel David Williams as its guest. Colonel Williams is the former Director of the Counter-ISIS Coalition's Kurdistan Coordination Center, part of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve. He was stationed in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, for one year. He shares with us his experience working alongside the Kurdish security forces and his involvement in the Peshmerga unification efforts, including his views of and encounters with the people of Kurdistan while serving as the Director for the Counter-ISIS Coalition's KCC. He also sheds light on the Coalition's efforts for assisting the establishment of joint brigades of Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army in filling the security gaps in the disputed areas to fight ISIS.
30 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
Season 2 Episode 7 - Interview with Mr. Rob Waller
This month, the Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to host Mr. Rob Waller as our guest. Mr. Waller was the US Consul General in Erbil for one year from July 2020 and has just completed his assignment in Kurdistan.He has previously served as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States in several capacities, including the Director of the Office of Iraq Affairs and as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq and Iran at the State Department. Mr. Waller discusses his key objectives and achievements as the US Consul General in Erbil and the challenges that he experienced during his tenure. He also shares his views on Erbil-Baghdad relations, the conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Sinjar Agreement, and his personal experience in the Kurdistan Region and thoughts about the people of Kurdistan.
33 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
Season 2 Episode 6 - Interview with Ms. Nadine Maenza
This month, the Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to host Ms. Nadine Maenza as our guest. Ms. Maenza currently serves as the Chair of the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad. Ms. Maenza discusses USCIRF's key recommendations on Iraq, the Iraq chapter of USCIRF's 2021 Annual Report, as well as her views on the Sinjar Agreement, the situation in Nineveh Plains, Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, and the ongoing conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). She also talks about her experience visiting the Kurdistan Region and personal views on the people of Kurdistan.
34 minutes | May 26, 2021
Season 2 Episode 5 - Interview with Colonel Myles Caggins
This month, the Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Colonel Myles Caggins as its guest. Colonel Caggins currently serves as the Director of the Public Affairs for the U.S. Army’s III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas, and was the former Spokesperson for the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve: The international military intervention against ISIS. He shares with us his upbringing, lifelong professional experience in the U.S. Army, including his views of and encounters with the people of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Rojava (North-East Syria) while serving as the Spokesperson for the Anti-ISIS Coalition and since his return to the United States. He also talks about his hopes of visiting Kurdistan in the future in a personal capacity.
40 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
Season 2 Episode 4 - Interview with Dr. David Pollock
This month, the Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Dr. David Pollock as its guest. Dr. Pollock is the Bernstein Fellow and Director of the Fikra Forum at The Washington Institute. He sheds light on his experience working as a regional expert on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff during Operation Provide Comfort, his visit to Baghdad at the height of the conflict in December 2006, and his first visit to the Kurdistan Region. Additionally, Dr. Pollock shares his insight on the evolution of the US Kurdish policy throughout the years and across administrations, including the current one under President Biden. He also gives his views on the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue and the situation in Sinjar.
27 minutes | Mar 27, 2021
Season 2 Episode 3 - Interview with Sherri Kraham Talabany
This month, the Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Sherri Kraham Talabany as its guest. When Mrs. Kraham Talabany first heard about Kurdistan as an American university student, little did she realize that her life would be inexorably tied to the people of that land. Ms. Kraham went on to work for the US government, which included working on Kurdistan and Iraq, and she married Qubad Talabani, who is today the KRG's, Deputy Prime Minister. She now lives in Kurdistan, where she heads SEED, the NGO that she founded to help victims of violence and trafficking, including the Yezidis and other minorities.
35 minutes | Feb 27, 2021
Season 2 Episode 2 - Interview with David Tafuri
This episode features a discussion with David Tafuri, the President of the United States Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC), an advisor to the Kurdistan Regional Government Representation in the United States, and a political commentator on Fox News. Mr. Tafuri sheds light on the mission of the USKBC and the organization’s activities in the Kurdistan Region, his experience working for UNHCR in Turkey and later for the US Embassy in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. He also offers his take on the KRG’s economic reform initiative and how it can attract more US investors to Kurdistan.
35 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Season 2 Episode 1 - Interview with the American University of Kurdistan
This episode of the Kurdistan in America features a discussion with two distinguished guests from the American University of Kurdistan (AUK): Dr. Honar Issa, the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, and Dr. Randall Rhodes, the President of the American University of Kurdistan. As a pioneer at the university, Dr. Honar discusses the university's mission and vision, its challenges during the establishment phase, the current state of the education system in Kurdistan, and offers reform recommendations. Additionally, Dr. Rhodes shares his short-term and long-term goals as the university president, discusses the grant awarded by the United States government, and gives his opinion on how the Kurdistani diaspora can help the university specifically and developing Kurdistan in general. Today, the AUK has partnerships with seven universities in the United States and is seeking accreditation with the New England Commission of Higher Education.
42 minutes | Dec 26, 2020
Episode 11 - A discussion about ARCH International’s restoration of the tomb of the Prophet Nahum
With ISIS only a few miles away, you'd think that the last thing an American NGO would want to do is start considering restoring a tomb in Iraq of a prophet from the Old Testament. But that's exactly what ARCH International did in 2014 when it began to look at the tomb of Prophet Nahom in Al Qosh. In this episode of the Kurdistan in America Podcast, Delovan Barwari, from the KRG Representation in the United States, speaks to Sophia Schultz from ARCH International and Katherine Vecchi and Julie Fether, two recent graduates of Johns Hopkins University. The nonprofit organization and the university came together around this cultural heritage site. The KRG was the first major sponsor of this fascinating multi-year project that succeeded against all the odds as ISIS was still in Mosul around the time the nonprofit first assessed the site. In the time of the ongoing pandemic, Katherine Vecchi and Julie Fether looked into ways of making the site accessible and exciting for visitors online and learned much about Kurdistan along the way.
32 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
Episode 10 - Interview with MAG's Kathy Keary
The Kurdistan In America podcast welcomes Kathy Keary from the Mines Advisory Group, known as MAG, which has been working in Kurdistan Region in Iraq since 1992. Ms. Keary says that Kurdistan Region alone would be in the top five most contaminated countries in the world affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance, while Iraq as a whole is in the top three. Find out in this interview what MAG is doing to empower local communities in Kurdistan, Sinjar, and across Iraq to clear their farms, villages, and towns from these deadly devices.
27 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
Episode 9 - Interview with Ambassador Sam Brownback
In this episode of the Kurdistan in America podcast, our guest is Sam Brownback, the US Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom. Listen to Ambassador Brownback assess the progress that has been made in promoting religious freedom around the world, why he sees Kurdistan as a model of coexistence, and what faith means to him personally.
27 minutes | Sep 28, 2020
Episode 8 - Interview with Yadgar Merani
In this episode of the Kurdistan in America podcast, we interview Yadgar Merani, the founder and CEO of Lezzoo, an on-demand delivery service that has expanded to delivering groceries, cleaning and other services. Listen to Yadgar tell the story of the Kurdistan Region’s most exciting start-up, the only start-up in Kurdistan and Iraq to be supported by YCombinator, and his hopes for youth entrepreneurs in Kurdistan and Iraq.
26 minutes | Aug 29, 2020
Episode 7 - Interview with Dr. Shahla Gli
This episode features an interview with Dr. Shahla Gli, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute. Dr. Shahla obtained her masters and Ph.D. in International Affairs at Tufts University. The discussion is about the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, Erbil-Baghdad Relations, and the fate of Sinjar and Nineveh Plains.
28 minutes | Jul 25, 2020
Episode 6 - Interview with Steve Lutes
This episode features an interview with Steve Lutes Steve is the Vice President of Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is the Executive Director of the U.S.-Egypt Business Council, the U.S.-Iraq Business Initiative, the U.S.-GCC Business Initiative. Steve discusses the activities of the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-Iraq Business Council and shares his experience in the Kurdistan Region and the rest of Iraq.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022