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Art Exhibit features Participants in USG Funded Programs

Ambassador Jeffrey discusses art work with Iraqi guests (Photo by: Amin Ali).

Ambassador Jeffrey discusses art work with Iraqi guests (Photo by: Amin Ali).

On January 30, Ambassador Jeffrey hosted a reception and art exhibit featuring five Iraqi artists, all of whom have taken part in programs sponsored by the U.S. government.  Two of the artists participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), one went to the U.S. as a Fulbright English Language Teacher, one led a sculpture project funded by the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), and one was the beneficiary of a human rights grant to IREX (International Research and Exchange Board) to create publications featuring Iraqi artists who use their artwork to promote democracy and human rights issues.  Almost 100 key, high-level political, cultural, educational, and human rights contacts attended the event, which featured over 80 pieces of art.  The event not only created opportunities for people-to-people interactions but also celebrated our shared values, including freedom of expression, and was featured in reports on two major Iraqi TV stations.  Cultural cooperation and exchange activities are core elements of the Strategic Framework Agreement that underpins the U.S.-Iraqi bilateral relationship.  Such interactions are crucial to forging the strong bonds of friendship and mutual respect that we seek.