Author Archives: Mehiyar

About Mehiyar

Dr Mehiyar Kathem is a researcher at University College London (UCL). Mehiyar completed a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where he researched peacebuilding interventions and the formation of Iraq’s domestic NGO sector after the 2003 War. During this research, he looked at the gradual evolution of Iraq from totalitarian dictatorship through the country’s emerging domestic organisations. His research interests include statebuilding, civil society peacebuilding and the ways in which development, politics and money interact at a local level. In 2012 and 2013, Mehiyar conducted field research in Iraq for his PhD programme, spending a year meeting with and interviewing domestic NGO actors, political parties, government officials and international donors. Previously, Mehiyar worked on a number of grassroots programmes geared to build the capacity of civil society organisations and continues to advise international donors on the effective design and delivery of projects in Iraq. He tweets at @mehiyar

How Iraqi academics are overcoming a legacy of intellectual isolation  

   In recent months, hundreds of online academic webinars have been organised from Iraq as an outcome of the situation arising from COVID-19. Across a wide range of topics and fields of research and discussion – from arts and heritage and archaeology to medicine and engineering – this new trend in Iraqi academia

How Iraqi academics are overcoming a legacy of intellectual isolation  

   In recent months, hundreds of online academic webinars have been organised from Iraq as an outcome of the situation arising from COVID-19. Across a wide range of topics and fields of research and discussion – from arts and heritage and archaeology to medicine and engineering – this new trend in Iraqi academia

Decolonising Babylon

The popular imagination and the intellectual study of Babylon generally exclude any notion or understanding of the people who live most closely to it. Inscribed in 2019 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, little is known about the ways in

Decolonising Babylon

The popular imagination and the intellectual study of Babylon generally exclude any notion or understanding of the people who live most closely to it. Inscribed in 2019 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, little is known about the ways in

De-development, the era of the impossibility of development and the in-built dysfunction of Iraq’s political system

Since 2003, Iraq has seen remarkably little development, security and peace. The country’s infrastructure is the same if not worse than it was in 2003. Roads, hospitals, schools and many other components of the country’s infrastructure have been severely degraded.

De-development, the era of the impossibility of development and the in-built dysfunction of Iraq’s political system

Since 2003, Iraq has seen remarkably little development, security and peace. The country’s infrastructure is the same if not worse than it was in 2003. Roads, hospitals, schools and many other components of the country’s infrastructure have been severely degraded.

Protected: The ‘Near East’: A concept that continues to exclude and erase Iraqis from their history

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Protected: The ‘Near East’: A concept that continues to exclude and erase Iraqis from their history

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Fallen ‎

You stand before me Fallen into one another, so suddenly A reminder of our existence, our existence A path set, before us What do we know, except us And have, no more than our eyes And our touch, an oud’s

Fallen ‎

You stand before me Fallen into one another, so suddenly A reminder of our existence, our existence A path set, before us What do we know, except us And have, no more than our eyes And our touch, an oud’s

Enki’s Waters

Burning in Enki’s Waters A passion, connected and present Burning in Enki’s Waters, in pursuit, always Now’s present, forever close An Oud, radiant, and integral Completing, forgiving Instilling meaning from within Water and wood, our connections, us A fire’s source,

Enki’s Waters

Burning in Enki’s Waters A passion, connected and present Burning in Enki’s Waters, in pursuit, always Now’s present, forever close An Oud, radiant, and integral Completing, forgiving Instilling meaning from within Water and wood, our connections, us A fire’s source,

State deconstruction-reconstruction 2.0

In 2003, Iraq was invaded with a project to completely deconstruct the country, and ensure it was beholden to US patronage. The US pursued state dismantlement, namely the disbanding of its security forces, intelligence and army. Iraqis still live with

State deconstruction-reconstruction 2.0

In 2003, Iraq was invaded with a project to completely deconstruct the country, and ensure it was beholden to US patronage. The US pursued state dismantlement, namely the disbanding of its security forces, intelligence and army. Iraqis still live with

Why this merger is bad news for Iraq and international development work

‘Uniting aid with foreign policy’, Prime Minister Boris Johnson just stated, as he unveiled the new merging of the Department for International Development (DfiD) with the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO). What does this mean in practice for a place like

Why this merger is bad news for Iraq and international development work

‘Uniting aid with foreign policy’, Prime Minister Boris Johnson just stated, as he unveiled the new merging of the Department for International Development (DfiD) with the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO). What does this mean in practice for a place like

‘White Guilt’ doesn’t help us address a history of injustice  

‘White guilt’ has been one, albeit common, way ‘white people’ within some classes in the UK have responded to the troubled history of British Empire. White guilt works on the notion that white people in UK have benefited, or are

‘White Guilt’ doesn’t help us address a history of injustice  

‘White guilt’ has been one, albeit common, way ‘white people’ within some classes in the UK have responded to the troubled history of British Empire. White guilt works on the notion that white people in UK have benefited, or are