gallery All Eyes On Kurdistan


I received an invitation from the Kurdistan Regional Government to attend a conference, tomorrow, February 23rd at 12:00 PM ET  at the Hudson Institute’s headquarters in Washington D.C.   regarding the future of Kurdistan (The conference can also be watched online. See:  “..An expert panel will examine the challenges and opportunities ahead for Iraq, Kurdistan, and the new U.S. administration.  The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman will join Brookings Institution’s Kenneth Pollack and Ranj Alaaldin, along with Hudson’s Michael Pregent and Eric Brown, to discuss the implications for Iraq and the region as well as their importance to America’s geopolitical interests.” 

I had the honor of interviewing on my radio show International Dialogues  Ms. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman on several occasions (see: here and here ) I also wrote of my experience at  a conference in Erbil,  Kurdistan (see below) titled Tolerance, Life. Terror Threats and the Experience of Co-existence in the Kurdistan Region .

For more information, see the latest February 21st Kurdistan24 T.V. article/video by Laurie Mylroie  on the topic… and news of the meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and Kurdistan’s Prime Minister Masoud Barzani on  February 19th in Munich, Germany.


December 12, 2016

First Impressions

I was invited to attend a conference, in Erbil, Kurdistan, December 13-14, 2016.  It was organized by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and inaugurated by its Minister, Dr. Yusuf Goran, the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani;  Soran University‘s  President Dr. Muslih Mustafa and Vice President for Scientific Affairs Dr. Nahro Zagros

I will try to summarize the essence of the trip-two full days of  conferences with panelists and moderators addressing the controversial subject of terrorism, its  roots and consequences in the heart of a peaceful region  in a dangerous neighborhood. The theme of the conference was: Tolerance, Life. Terror Threats and the Experience of Co-existence in the Kurdistan Region.  

Upon landing in Erbil, the three other guests from the United States and I were taken to the airport’s  lounge where we waited a little  until our luggage was retrieved, enjoying a cup of  sweet, aromatic Black tea, “Chai,” served in short glasses.

As soon as we arrived at the Hotel we  had enough time for a rest and meet our hosts,  H.E. Minister Dr. Yusuf Goran, Dr.Nahro Zagros  and other Conference  participants. We then left   for a dinner, a stroll and short car trip around the city… We were taken  downtown and my first sighting of the majestic  Citadel and semi-closed Bazaar, was through a car window…!! It was interesting to see that merchants had left their wares in carts, in their place, only covered by fabrics/plastics, remaining unsecured, unlocked!

Seeing the Citadel reminded me of the first time I saw Rome (Italy) in 1981 and how the enormity of Coliseum impressed me then!…  In my years of business travels I always brought small token gifts…For this occasion, I brought a few pewter book markers inscribed with a quote by George Washington on one side and his signature and date of the quote on the other. I purchased them at the Mount Vernon Museum in Alexandria, VA. If I remember correctly  a couple of the quotes on the markers read: “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth, ” and  “True Friendship is a plant of slow growth…”

More at:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s