A delegation of 14 men and women from Najaf, lraq – Minneapolis’ newest Sister City – will visit the Twin Cities this September 18 through October 2, 2009. The visit will be the first official exchange between the two cities.
The delegates will be hosted by the Minneapolis-based non-profit Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, along with the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association, the University of Minnesota, Friends for a Nonviolent World, and other local organizations. The following is a list of events with the delegation open to the public. For other inquiries or opportunities to participate, please contact IARP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9/20, 1:00 PM: Peace Garden Dedication at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. More information at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s website.
9/24, 7:00-9:00 PM: Arab Night. In celebration of the newly official Sister City relationship between Najaf, Iraq and Minneapolis, USA, a festive Arab Night will be jointly hosted by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project and the Najaf delegation on Sept 24th, 2009 from 7pm-9pm. Arab Night will provide an opportunity for the delegates to share a taste of their city with the community through live music, food provided by Big Marina Grill and Deli, and a display of joint projects between Minneapolis and Najaf, including water sanitation projects, art pieces and an opportunity for children to write to Iraqi kids. The public is invited to join us for an entertaining and friendship-building evening.
Where: St. Joan of Arc Church. 4537 3rd Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55419. $8 suggested donation.
9/26, 7:00 PM: “Art in Iraq” at the St. Mane Theatre, 206 Parkway Ave N, Lanesboro. Presentation by Sami Rasouli, Founder and Director of Muslim Peacemaker Teams. At 8:00 PM a reception at Cornucopia Art Center in Lanesboro will be held in honor of the fourteen delegates from Najaf.
9/30, 2:00-4:30 PM: “Water for Peace: An Iraqi-US Partnership.”
Location: Room 64, Biological Sciences on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. (1445 Gortner Avenue in St. Paul, see this link for map: http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/BioSci/index.html)
According to a recent report by the United Nations, lack of access to clean water poses a significant threat to the health of Iraqi children. In the province of Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, a unique partnership has developed to help meet the challenge of providing clean water at schools, hospitals, and clinics. An Iraqi NGO, the Muslim Peacemaker Teams, has partnered with a Minnesota non-profit, the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, to install water filtration systems in important public sites in Najaf. This program will bring together a multi-disciplinary panel of speakers to discuss the impact of clean water on education, health, and other aspects of public life, and how a bilateral community organizing effort can mobilize citizens to impact community health issues. The program is sponsored by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, the Muslim Peacemaker Teams, and College of Education and Human Development and Office of International Programs at the University of Minnesota.