Webinar “What’s next for Iraq: An Update on Politics, Security and Economics”

Date of publication: November 18, 2020

Prague Centre for Middle East Relation (PCMR) of CEVRO Institute organized a webinar “What’s next for Iraq: An Update on Politics, Security and Economics.” The event took place online on Thursday, November 5, 2020. Our distinguished guests were: 

  • Sajad Jiyad, Visiting Fellow with the Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
  • Shivan Fazil, Researcher with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at SIPRI.
  • Aram Kokoy, an independent economic and political commentator based in Sulaymaniyah. 

The session covered contemporary political, security, and economic developments in Iraq and addressed a number of pressing questions:: What is the state of Baghdad-Erbil relations? What is the performance of the PM al-Kadhimi’s cabinet? What are the prospects of genuine political and economic reforms in Iraq? How did the pandemic affect the economic and political situation both in the KRI and in the rest of Iraq? What should we expect on the pathway to Iraqi elections?

The webinar was moderated by Tomáš Kaválek, Director of PCMR.

Sajad Jiyad is a visiting fellow with the Middle East and North Africa programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Jiyad is an Iraqi political analyst based in Baghdad. He is the former Managing Director of the Al-Bayan Center, an Iraqi policy institute. Sajad’s main focus is on public policy and governance in Iraq and he also works on capacity building of public institutions and civil society organisations through conferences, workshops and training programs. Frequently published and cited in media as an expert commentator, Sajad is also partnered with a number of international organisations and think tanks to provide ground-level research on Iraq and solutions for development-related issues. Sajad’s educational background is in Economics and Politics, and Islamic Studies.


Shivan Fazil is a Researcher with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at SIPRI. His work focuses on conflict analysis, building resilience and social cohesion and promoting the rights of ethnic and religious monitories in Iraq, where he worked for over 5 years with various governmental and non-governmental organizations. His research interests include democracy and governance, gender and youth, particularly in Iraq, Turkey and Iran. Prior to joining SIPRI, he worked as project specialist with the United States Institute of Peace, senior policy officer with Oxfam GB, and director of communications and research assistant at the Middle East Research Institute. As an Iraq analyst, he is a regular commentator in the international press on the political and security dynamics in Iraq and the challenges for stabilization and governance after the military defeat of ISIS.


Aram Kokoy is an independent economic and political commentator based in Sulaymaniyah. He is a former member of the governing council of Coalition for Democracy and Justice party- Iraq (CDJ). Prior to that he was an instructor at American University in Iraq- Sulaymaniyah and Komar University for Science and Technology. Also, Aram worked for the Middle East Research Institute as a Junior research fellow.  Aram’s area of interest is public policy, economic development, political economy, and labor market. He is a Fulbright alumni and he has an MA in interdisciplinary studies with three areas of concentration (Applied Economics, Sociology, and Political Science).