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Despite Growing Violence, Iraqi Communities Find Ways to Assist Those Most in Need

The EPIC Ground Truth Project interviews a Baghdadi Pharmacist helping Women & Children in War-torn Iraq

In an exclusive interview with the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC), Dr. Rashad Zaydan – founder of the Iraqi non-profit Knowledge for the Iraqi Women Society – explains how community-based organizations are essential for ending the violence in Iraq.

“If the U.S. continues these military operations, there will be more orphans and our problems will keep escalating,” says Dr. Zaydan. “We are more worried about other problems like education, medicine shortages, and electricity.”

Dr. Zaydan shares her experience providing job training and medical, financial and educational resources to Iraqi women and children in some of the most violent parts of Iraq. This is the second interview of the Ground Truth Project and is available here:

The Ground Truth Project ( works to connect the Washington policy-making community and concerned citizens with the on-the-ground perspectives of Iraqis, aid workers, scholars, military personnel and others who have spent significant time in Iraq. By offering a diverse range of firsthand perspectives, the Project sheds light on new strategies to support Iraqi efforts to advance peace and development in Iraq and promote greater cooperation and stability in the region.

“U.S. and Iraqi military efforts to secure the country are only part of the story,” explains EPIC Educational Programs Coordinator Daphne Watkins. “Receiving far less attention are the numerous community-based initiatives bringing relief and development to Iraq, neighborhood by neighborhood.”

“Each day, Dr. Zaydan and the many Iraqis like her are meeting the immediate needs of Iraqi families while planting the seeds for long-term peace and development,” says EPIC Director Erik Gustafson. “Baghdad and Washington cannot solely rely on a top-down approach to stabilize the country. They must also find ways to support civil society initiatives, preferably through nongovernmental third parties, in order to make progress in areas where government bureaucracies and militaries have failed.”

About the Organization

Founded in 1998, the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) is an independent non-profit organization working through research and education to end armed conflict in Iraq, defend human rights, and help Iraqis advance peace and development for all Iraqis. Along with a member network of 30,000 concerned citizens, EPIC works closely with Iraqi Americans, veterans, aid workers and others who have served or lived in Iraq. For more information, visit our website at:

Disclaimer: The Ground Truth Project and series of interviews are owned and published by EPIC. The Ground Truth Project is not a movie, and it is in no way affiliated with the Focus Features’ film "The Ground Truth," its components, their agencies or production team.

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This page was last modified 20:55, 25 September 2006 by epic. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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