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

FBA rekryterar fler valobservatörer

FBA behöver komplettera den svenska valresursbasen med observatörer som behärskar spanska, franska och portugisiska. Vi söker dig som vill bidra till demokratisk utveckling i världen och är tillgänglig för långtidsuppdrag.

2021-04-01 12:30

Read our publications

""

Youth, Peace and Security Adviser’s Handbook

Never before in history have there been so many young people on the planet. A very important cornerstone for reaching sustainable peace and security is to ensure that young people have the rights, tools and opportunities, to participate in a meaningful manner in statebuilding and peacebuilding processes.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA
Year:
2020

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Rhodri Williams

    Civil Society as a Critical Partner: Rule of Law and Accountability in the Liberian COVID-19 Response, Part II

    Part One of this post highlighted the importance of the rule of law in supporting crisis response in countries struggling with the effects of conflict. One of the most important rule of law principles in such settings is accountability, particularly “downward accountability”, in which state authorities focus on serving citizens dependent on them.

    Corruption and poor governance can lead to excessive upward accountability directed toward political superiors, leaving a gap between the state and ordinary citizens. Civil ... Read entire post »

    2021-02-15 13:43
  • Posted by Kristin Valasek

    Time for a joint vision on gender-responsive leadership

    Right before the winter break, 236 women and men from 105 different organizations and 46 countries around the world joined our International Dialogue on Gender-Responsive Leadership, to discuss an absolutely critical and often missing part of the gender equality puzzle: gender-responsive leadership.

    After twenty years of struggling to achieve the commitments of the global women, peace and security agenda, we at the FBA have learned that executives and managers are essential to success. Not just as supporters, ... Read entire post »

    2021-02-10 16:09
  • Posted by Hanna Bertelman

    Creating space for dialogue in Colombia

    In Colombia, four years after the signing of the historic peace agreement between the government and the FARC guerrilla, local civil society actors are a pivotal force for promoting change. The FBA, together with CIASE, a network of women´s organizations, and the Colombian National Police is enabling a space for joint learning for civil society actors and police officers on human security, leadership, and dialogue and mediation.

    As most of those who have seen a peace process ... Read entire post »

    2020-12-16 12:44
""

Johanna Malm

Johanna is expert on the Democratic Republic of Congo

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

""

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