Member of Iraqi parliament - Dr Farah al-Siraj - at CAIS

Member of Iraqi parliament - Dr Farah al-Siraj - at CAIS
HE Hussain Mahdi Al-Ameri, Iraqi Ambassador to Australia, with Dr Farah al-Siraj, Iraqi parliamentarian for the city of Mosul, in a roundtable with CAIS Director Professor Amin Saikal, CAIS staff and students
Tuesday 20 June 2017

Dr Al-Siraj is an elected member of Iraq’s federal parliament, the Council of Representatives. She also sits on the influential Legal Committee of the parliament, which is responsible for managing legal reforms in Iraq.
As a Sunni from Mosul – which is currently being liberated from ISIL by the Iraqi Security Forces – Dr Al-Siraj has played an active role in developing governmental responses to the urgent needs arising from the conflict. For example, in 2016 she helped establish the ‘Women Parliamentarians Initiative’, which aims to work alongside the United Nations Development Programme to address complex social problems the conflict has created, with a special focus on women and girls.
Looking forward, Dr Al-Siraj will likely continue to play an active role in in policy making and legal reform in Iraq, as well as governance arrangements in Ninewah post-ISIL. She is also an important voice within the Sunni bloc of parliamentarians in Baghdad and is aligned with the Parliamentary Speaker (a Sunni), Dr Salim Al-Jubouri.

At CAIS on 20 June, Dr Al-Siraj outlined the Iraqi government's program for reform as the influence of Da'esh recedes. Dr Al-Siraj alluded to the complexity of the task at hand, and while it seems overwhelming, a path forward must be taken if any progress is to be made. As well as having to provide basic services and amenities to the population of Mosul, the government has to address the issues of a militarised population, the existence of various militias (some inside the tent and others not), corruption of resources and politics and a diverse sectarian population. The government is endeavouring to fairly represent each group but with the population comprising six sects and 80 percent of those Sunni, the task of building trust with the minorities appears to call for extraordinary political leadership and unprecedented resilience of a population already traumatised by a long and brutal seige.

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