Peacebuilding, Dialogue and Heritage: Documentation of Oral Culture in the Kurdistan Region – Iraq

June 25, 2023

The University of Cambridge Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the University of Kurdistan Hewlêr (UKH), the Centre for Peacebuilding & Dialogue (CPD), co-organised a workshop and event on ‘Peacebuilding, Dialogue, and Heritage: Documentation of Oral Culture in the Kurdistan Region – Iraq’, in UKH on June 24, 2023.

Following a University of Cambridge project, the workshop and event ‘Peacebuilding through the Documentation of Endangered Oral Culture in Kurdistan Region of Iraq’ brought together researchers, storytellers, and practitioners representing diverse communities from the Kurdistan Region and the UK. The workshop presented the documented folklore heritage of Kurds, Syriac Christians, and Jews in the Kurdistan Region.

UKH President Professor Dr. Keith Sharp and Professor Dr. Geoffrey Khan of Cambridge University delivered opening remarks before keynote speakers Dr. Morota Molin of Cambridge University and Dr. Masoud Mohammadirad from Sorbonne University discussed timely topics of folkloric heritage of Kurds, Jews and Syriac Christians in the KRI and narrative style and discourse in Kurdish and Neo-Aramaic oral literature.

The conference was followed by two panels on the Value of shared folktale in peacebuilding and the current status of storytelling and shared folktale on fhe KRI.

The event also included an art exhibition by UKH students and a cultural concert of mixed cultural songs in Kurdish and Neo-Aramaic.

Diplomats, Government officials, experts, academics, public figures and artists attended the event with our students and faculty.

CPD adopts a distinctive approach in its efforts to enhance peacebuilding, dialogue, conflict prevention mechanisms in the KRG and the broader Middle East region. Its strategic location in Erbil, grants CPD access to a wealth of diverse communities and a wide array of valuable data sources.

In pursuit of its goals, CPD has established a primary objective, which endeavours to provide empowering education, foster a culture of dialogue, and contribute to community development.