When they started preparations, local organizers of the Iraqi Social forum (ISF) were hoping to gather more than five thousand activists, between Iraqis and internationals (read the call for internationals) in the center of Baghdad. Their vision was to bring back, through this event, the image of civic peace and activism in a city that once upon a time was known as Dar Alsalam (City of Peace )(read ISF charter).
Many challenges have faced this group of activists. It has been very complicate to get official approval for an independent event such as the Iraqi social forum in the midst of political conflicts. It is even more complicated to organize it while the country is facing a new wave of violence that put Iraq on the headlines of international media again, talking about thousands of civilian casualties this year.
But Iraq is not only violence, this is what Baghdadis will tell you. We are not going to give up and we will build our country. From almost nothing, they build great projects and preserve hope. In almost 3 months the organizers of the ISF succeeded to attract about 130 young Iraqi men and women, volunteering to build the coming forum. They have organized more than 3 workshops to increase their skills, their knowledge of the World Social Forum process, and to organize them in small groups.
To read more and register for the forum click on this link