Zahraa Al-Gabari, 29

You are involved with Y-Peer Iraq, a network established by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Could you tell me more about Y-Peer and the work that you do for them?

– Y-Peer is an international network of youth organizations working in the field of sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, civic engagement and peacebuilding in 52 countries around the world. I work for Y-Peer in Iraq, as national coordinator for human resources and databases. I like it very much, it feels meaningful to work for peace and health. Especially since I had to leave school five years ago when my kidneys stopped working, and I had to have a kidney transplant. Now I am back in school to study business administration, besides my work for Y-Peer Iraq.

What made you aspire to this kind of work?

– I was born in Baghdad, but then my family decided to move to the city of Wasit southeast of Baghdad, where I still live with my parents and siblings. When sectarian hatred between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Iraq began to grow slowly, it led to me being harassed by my classmates because I am Sunni, and Wasit is dominated by Shia Muslims. All this made me want to become a peace-maker.

Why did you want to participate in FBA’s programme for young peacebuilders in Iraq?

– I wanted to participate because knowledge is power and I will be able to use the power, or the knowledge, that the programme gives me. I can use it in my work and pass it on to others, for example when I hold lectures for other young people.

Which are the biggest challenges in Iraq right now, according to you?

– The biggest challenge is perhaps unemployment, especially among young Iraqis who completed their studies but still are jobless. There is also a shortage of schools and medical clinics in the countryside. Then there are all the security threats. The security situation deteriorated in 2003, when groups like al-Qaeda started to carry out a lot of car bombings and suicide attacks. I have personally been subjected to a failed kidnapping attempt, which affected my psychological well-being significantly. The security situation is a bit better now though.

MORE FROM HOME

Liberia: Integrity and accountability important for a society free from corruption

Popular discontent with the extensive corruption was a substantial factor in Liberia’s latest presidential election. Several corruption scandals have shaken the country the past year and the responsible often go unpunished due to the weak judicial system.

2019-12-18 13:24

Latest news

IN THE FIELD

Read our publications

Image description

UN Peace Operations and the Rule of Law 1989–2017

This report contains unique empirical data from 76 UN peace operations between 1989 and 2017. The data paint a picture of the kinds of rule of law assistance that have actually been provided, and allow discussion on how important shifts in peacekeeping and rule of law policy reflect in practice.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA
Year:
2019

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Jessica Rothman

    Peace-making and cheese-making in Georgia

    Exactly ten years had passed since I last worked in Georgia, when I returned for my deployment to the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), in the country that has a special place in my heart. I arrived with so much curiosity and excitement, wondering how Georgia had developed and recovered after the war in 2008. The first thing that struck me was the condition of the cars, where were all the dilapidated Ladas and Volgas that used ... Read entire post »

    2019-12-05 11:19
  • Posted by Eric Mellado-Åhlin

    Revising the UN guidelines for support to the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants: a high-hanging fruit

    One of my first tasks as a desk officer at FBA, working with disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants, was to assist in arranging a conference in Stockholm. As the conference approached, I understood that the goal – to unite the 25 UN agencies of the Inter-Agency Working Group on DDR and come to agreement on the way forward for the revision of the Integrated DDR Standards (IDDRS) – was more complicated than I ... Read entire post »

    2019-11-26 16:22
  • Posted by Kuisma Kinnunen

    From policy to practice – gender as a perspective

    As a trainer, what could be better than to be part of a multinational group with a variety of backgrounds, eagerly wanting to learn new skills? Especially when you get to be the course participant for a change.

    I had a dual aim when I recently participated in the Gender Perspective in the EU Common Security and Defence Policy Course, organised by FBA under the auspices of the European Security and Defence College. Besides learning new gender ... Read entire post »

    2019-10-23 11:27
Photo

Saba Nowzari

Saba Nowzari is expert on Mali, the Middle East and women, peace and security

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Photo

Our partner countries

FBA is part of Sweden’s development aid within the area of peace and security

Read more about the countries where we work

Twitter