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The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Mr. Jonathan Lord as its guest in the eleventh episode of Season Three. Mr. Lord is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.  He previously served as the Iraq country director in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy as well as a political-military analyst in the Department of Defense.He holds an M.A. in security studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in international studies from Vassar College.The discussion is about the new government in Baghdad, Erbil-Baghdad relations, the Sinjar agreement, the role and future of the United States in Iraq, and security issues impacting Kurdistan, Iraq, and the broader region. 
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Dr. Marianna Charountaki as its guest in the tenth episode of Season Three. Dr. Charountaki is an expert on U.S. Foreign Policy toward Kurds. She is currently a Research Fellow at Soran University in the Kurdistan Region and a Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Lincoln. She is a BRISMES trustee and convenor of the BISA Foreign Policy Working Group. Previously, she was the Director of the Kurdistan International Studies Unit from 2016 to 2019 at the University of Leicester. Dr. Charountaki's research lies at the intersection of International Relations theories, foreign policy analysis, and area studies, emphasizing the Middle Eastern region.The discussion is about the U.S. Foreign Policy towards the Kurds, both past and present, as well as her experience and views of Kurdistan.
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Dr. Lori Mason as its guest in the ninth episode of Season Three.Dr. Lori Mason is a Senior Technical Expert for IREX, a global development and education organization. She has over twenty years of experience leading a wide range of education programming, with nearly a decade in the Kurdistan Region. Dr. Mason has designed programs to improve the overall relevance of higher education, institutionalizing changes within the current system and providing high-level guidance and support to the KRG's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in broad-level change. She has also helped facilitate collaboration between the U.S. government, KRG's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and U.S. university partners.   The discussion is about IREX's programs in the Kurdistan Region, the education reform initiative by the KRG, her personal life story, and her experience in Kurdistan.
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Ms. Xeyal Qertel as its guest in the eighth episode of Season Three.Ms. Qertel is the President and Founder of the New York Kurdish Cultural Center. She founded the organization in 2017 to provide a safe space for diaspora Kurds in New York to reclaim and celebrate their cinema, poetry, literature, and music—and to introduce non-Kurds to Kurdish culture and art. She directs the annual New York Kurdish Film and Cultural Festival and is also an educator and human rights activist with a special interest in women's rights. The discussion is about her family's background, her experience migrating to the US, the upcoming Kurdish film festival in New York, which is scheduled for October, and the Kurdish language courses and the book club her organization offers.
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Mr. Hadi Pir as its guest in the seventh episode of Season Three.This special episode comes just one week before the 8th anniversary of the genocide committed by ISIS, or Daesh, against the Yazidis in 2014.  On August 3, 2014, members of the terrorist organization Daesh, also known as ISIS, unleashed a savage attack against Yazidis in the Sinjar district, massacring 5,000 Yazidi men and abducting about 7,000 Yazidi women and girls; close to 3,000 are still in captivity, and their fate is unknown.  Over 400,000 Yazidis were displaced from their homes, and close to 220,000 remain displaced today, living mainly in IDP camps across the Kurdistan Region; thousands more have taken refuge in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.Mr. Hadi Pir is the Vice-President and Co-Founder of Yazda, an international NGO supporting the Yazidi survivors of genocide. He is also a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The discussion is centered on the Yazidi culture, the genocide committed by ISIS, and the current situation with the Yazidi community, especially the displaced people from the Sinjar region. The Kurdistan Regional Government Representation in the United States extends its condolences to all the victims of genocide and wishes them success in seeking justice, accountability, and upholding their culture and faith.
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Brigadier General Hazhar Ismail as our guest in the sixth episode of Season Three.General Hazhar Ismael is a Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs. He followed in his father's footsteps by joining the peshmerga forces three decades ago. He helped establish the Freedom Battalion, the first Iraqi battalion created after the liberation of Iraq in 2003. He is also a co-founder and member of the Management Board of the Peshmerga Reform Program. He  served as the KRG's representative for security and defense issues in the US-Iraq strategic dialogue.The discussion focuses on the ongoing Peshmerga reform program, the state of coordination and collaboration between the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga forces especially in the disputed areas, the US-Iraq strategic dialogue, and his experience in the Peshmerga forces. General Hazhar Ismail obtained a bachelor's degree from the Zakho Military College in 1995 and a master's degree from the Joint Staff College in Baghdad in 2006, and graduated from the US Army War College in 2013. He is married and is the father of three sons and a daughter.
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Dr. Adhid Miri as our guest in the fifth episode of Season Three.Dr. Miri is the Director of Projects at the Chaldean Community Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce in Michigan. He has had leadership roles across various programs, including the resettlement and integration of refugees. Dr. Miri shares his experience living in Iraq and migrating to the United States and sheds light on the situation of the Christian community, Chaldeans, Syriacs, and Assyrians, in the Kurdistan Region and the Nineveh Plains, as well as the accomplishments of the diaspora community in the United States.  He holds a Ph.D. degree from Brunel University, England, and a Post-Doctoral fellowship from King’s College London.
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Ms. Dilman Yasin and Ms. Wan Rashid, Kurdish-American activists from the Kurdish diaspora in Nashville, as its guests this month.Dilman was born in Kuremay, a village outside of Duhok City, and came to America with her family at the age of five. She is currently a Performance Manager in the Nashville Mayor's office and the Director of Community Outreach for Kurdish Professionals, a non-profit organization assisting Kurds. She obtained a Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics. The second guest, Wan, is originally from Amedia, a district in Duhok province. She came to the US with her family when she was less than a year old. She is the Executive Director of Effendi Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists Nashville's refugee and immigrant community. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in public policy and public administration at the American University.The discussion focuses on their experience migrating to America with their families, the challenges of integrating into a new society, and the activities and achievements of the Kurdish diaspora in Nashville.
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Ms. Ashti Waissi as its guest this month.Ms. Waissi is Legislative Assistant at the Canadian Parliament and a former staff assistant to the Co-Founder of the Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds Group, Mr. Tom Kmiec, MP for Calgary Shepard. She has a dual degree in Political Science and Sociology.  Ms. Waissi's family is from Iranian Kurdistan, but she was born in a refugee camp in Iraq. She tells us her experience living in the camp and the challenges of integrating into Canadian society. She also shares some new and surprising information on the Kurdish diaspora in Canada.
The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Congressman Jim Langevin as its guest this month.Congressman Langevin has been Representing Rhode Island's 2nd Congressional District since 2001. He is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Homeland Security.He shares his history of service in Congress and the potentially devastating experience that inspired him to run for office. He also expresses his views on the US-Kurdistan relationship as well as the security situation in Kurdistan, Iraq, and the wider region.
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.
This is a special podcast message from the Kurdistan Regional Government Representation in the United States.Several members of Congress introduced a bipartisan resolution, Concurrent Resolution 32, to the House of Representatives Commemorating the 30th anniversary of Operation Provide Comfort and Kurdish-American partnership. The resolution was also introduced to the US Senate by Senator Van Hollen and Senator Marco Rubio.As of today, 25 members of the House have co-sponsored the resolution. But a few more co-sponsors are needed for it to be marked up and passed.We encourage Kurdish-Americans to send a message to their members of Congress to support the resolution by mail or by signing the following online petition: Concurrent Resolution 32 
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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