Washington, DC. (KRG.US) 23 Oct – Sunday’s 45th Annual Dupont Circle Civic Association House Tour brought hundreds of curious visitors through the KRG-US headquarters on Sixteenth Street. The Kurdistan Regional Government Representation to the U.S. was proud to participate in the esteemed company of such architecture as the historic Scottish Rite Masonic Temple and the more modern Tapies building.
The KRG building was designed by Victorian era architect Thomas Franklin Schneider who also created the Cairo Apartment building and many others throughout the city from Capitol Hill to Dupont Circle. The KRG building is part of the 16th Street Historic District which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The headquarters was built in 1910, has housed the KRG since 2009, and is located just blocks north of the White House. The interior design of Haleh A. Niroo received many compliments during the tour for its elegance and graceful blending of new with the old.
Much attention and appreciation were shown by the visitors to the treasured original Kurdish painted artwork displayed along with sculptures, icons and literature. Staff members, volunteers, and members of the Kurdish community were on hand to greet visitors and answer questions on the culture and history of Kurdistan.
Nearly 35,000 refugees have now fled to the Kurdistan Region in Iraq to escape the ongoing violence in Syria. This number is expected to grow to 50,000 or more by the end of the year if rates of new arrivals remain steady.
“This is an international crisis, and it is affecting the entire Middle East and the broader region” Minister Mustafa stated, citing that more than 320,000 people have now fled the violence in Syria, and that around two and a half million more have been displaced within the country.
“There are already many shortages,” the Minister said, “but these will become much more critical as winter sets in,” he added.
Ms Halepota thanked the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for its assistance and cooperation in helping to address the crisis. “I would like to thank the Government of the Kurdistan Region, they have been always welcoming the refugees to the Region,” she said.
Ms Halepota gave a detailed briefing of the refugees’ situation in Kurdistan, highlighting the extensive logistical and material support that Duhok Governorate and the KRG are providing. She commended the government for the $10 million dollar grant that the Prime Minister has provided, but added that there are still many needs that have to be addressed.
“We have been refugees ourselves, and our doors are open,” Minister Mustafa said. “We are doing everything we can to help these people, but we cannot do this alone.” The Minister thanked the UNHCR for their significant role and contribution and called on the international community to play its part in helping to end the conflict and to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
A number of the diplomats contributed to the discussion, recognising the seriousness of the situation and outlining the initiatives of their respective governments to help provide assistance. They joined Ms Halepota in commending the KRG for its significant efforts.
The meeting was attended by representatives from all of the diplomatic offices located in Erbil, as well as the Head of UNAMI’s (United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq) local office and representatives of some other international aid organisations. Senior staff from the KRG Department of Foreign Relations also attended.
WASHINGTON—October 12, 2012—The United States Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC) CEO General James Jones (USMC-Ret) is leading the largest ever trade mission of U.S. business people to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The USKBC-sponsored, 48-member delegation represents 30 U.S. companies and organizations from diverse industry sectors. The delegation will meet with top officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the regional capital Erbil, and will also travel to the city of Sulaimani to meet there with provincial leaders and members of the business community.
The USKBC trade mission is in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“The commercial opportunities in Kurdistan are enormous,” General Jones said. “The USKBC trade mission will seek to capture those chances in this promising emerging market,” he added.
During the mission, the USKBC will also sponsor a business seminar in Erbil entitled “U.S. Business in Kurdistan,” at which U.S. Government and KRG officials, as well as leading business people, will speak. In addition, the USKBC will exhibit at the Erbil International Fair, the largest general trade fair organized in Iraq.
The mission will conclude with a reception hosted by the USKBC for the broader government and business communities of the United States and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
“My government is very excited to welcome the USKBC delegation to Kurdistan,” Qubad Talabani, the KRG Minister for Coordination and Follow Up, said. “We want to continue to strengthen ties between the Kurdish and American private sectors and are proud to support the growing U.S. business community in Kurdistan,” he added.
About the United States-Kurdistan Business Council
The USKBC is dedicated to facilitating trade and commerce for U.S. companies in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and to strengthening ties between the private sector in the U.S. and Kurdistan Region. With one of the most liberal investment laws in the Middle East and significant needs in almost every industry sector, the Kurdistan Region presents untapped business opportunities for U.S. companies. The council also works closely with the Kurdistan Regional Government and private businesses in the Kurdistan Region to ensure that foreign investment reinforces the already enormous economic opportunities there. For more information on business opportunities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, please visit USKBC.org.
On Sunday 29 July 2012, Dr. Jason Ur, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, met with MR. Abubakir Othman, the General Director of Antiquities for the Kurdistan Regional Government. Dr. Ur’s research focuses on the origins of urbanism in the Middle East, and the impacts of early states and empires on the landscape. Previously, he has worked in Hassake Province of northeastern Syria, and Diyarkbakir Province of southeastern Turkey. He expressed his deep interest in the archaeology of the Kurdistan Region, and proposed a five-year agreement with the General Directorate of Antiquities to study the history of settlement on the Erbil Plain.
Dr. Ur’s proposal was accepted by the General Directorate in Erbil and approved by the Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism on Monday 30 July 2012. The first field season of this Harvard University research project will take place in August 2012, and will consist of a US-led team that will include archaeologists from the US, the Netherlands, Canada, France, and the Kurdistan Region.
“The history and archaeology of the Kurdistan Region is extraordinarily rich, but very under-appreciated. I hope that this research project will further illuminate the remarkable past of the Erbil region,” said Dr. Ur. “The world has a lot to learn from the rise and fall of cities and empires in this region over the last five thousand years. I look forward to years of productive research and academic exchanges with my new colleagues here in Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region, and throughout Iraq.”