In a corner of the world ripe with religious strife and ethnic discord, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is setting itself apart as an island of stability. The semi-autonomous region is home to peoples from a multitude of creeds and traditions, attempting to live under a semblance of normalcy while surrounded by war. A key driver of this social cohesion has been the growing role of civil society and the blossoming volunteer spirit that has taken root across the region. This is none more evident than in the provincial capital of Dohuk, where the Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies has been leading efforts at bringing people together, fostering cross-cultural dialogue, and building peace—one community engagement event at a time. Spirit of America is proud to support the work of the Center as well as their spin off group, the Volunteers of Duhok University. To start, we’ve provided a portable projector that allows the youth volunteers to expand their vital community outreach efforts. Moving forward, we’re looking into ways to fund service projects that bring communities together and provide urgent assistance to the displaced people of the region. Zack Bazzi Middle East Field Operations Manager
Zack served in the US Army and Army National Guard from 1997 to 2008, completing four overseas deployments to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.