RFI D.C. Donor Event

April 2nd, 2011

On Saturday, April 2nd, RFI joined old and new friends for a gathering in Dupont Circle at Current Sushi Lounge in Washington, D.C.  The event was a casual fundraiser and a fantastic opportunity to connect with and thank our supporters in the D.C. area.  Current Sushi Lounge generously offered their space for the event and the Iraqi-owned restaurant, Tigris Grill, kindly offered to cater hors d’oeuvres for the event.  Thanks to all who came out to show their support and to both Current Sushi and Tigris Grill!

Bamiyan Project Conference on Historical Narratives in Iraq and Afghanistan

March 28th, 2011

RFI was incredibly grateful to be invited to a conference conceived and sponsored by the Bamiyan Project, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to the support and encouragement of cultural activism to prevent, restore, and overcome the threats posed to civilization’s achievements by war, conflict and social division.

Over the course of the conference, RFI was grateful to hear and learn from the perspectives of journalists, academics, religious and civil society leaders, artists, and human rights and development professionals on the efforts taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan and the positive contributions that can be made by various sectors to strengthen national unity in the respective nations.  We would like to thank the Bamiyan Project for hosting an informative and powerful event that will inform our efforts to support Iraqi students.

Rally for Iraq Announces First Scholarship Recipient

March 20th, 2011

Thanks to the support of our incredibly generous donors and support network, we are thrilled to announce our first scholarship recipient, Raed Al-Abbassee, is to receive a scholarship for the Fall 2011 term.   Below, Raed provided us with his story to share:

“After the situation in Baghdad became intolerable and one of my family members was kidnapped, my family and I decided to leave Baghdad and take refuge in Syria. At that moment, I felt like life stopped. Living in suspense in a small apartment in Damascus, being apart from my friends and relatives in Baghdad and losing my dream of being a physician after I was in my second year in Al-Mustansiriya College of Medicine. Hope came back when I started my first day of classes as a freshman at Bard College in the fall of 2009.I am on the pre-med course track, majoring in both biology and chemistry. My ultimate goal is to study medicine in the U.S. Graduating as a physician, I will have the vital experience that will qualify me to help rebuild the health sector in Iraq, which is in a state of disarray now.”

RFI Receives $120,000 Google Grant!

November 1st, 2010

picture-5RFI is thrilled to announce that we have received a generous grant from Google to begin an online marketing campaign.  This grant will be an outstanding way for RFI to expand the visibility of our organization to future supporters and Iraqi students.  Thanks Googlers!

RFI Featured at San Francisco Arab Film Festival Screenings

October 23rd, 2010

RFI’s work was featured on October 23, 2010 in San Francisco at the Southern Exposure Art Space during the San Francisco Arab Film Festival.  This was another wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the film and arts communities to encourage continued public consciousness of the reconstruction of Iraq and educational opportunities for Iraqi youth in particular.

RFI Invited as Special Guest to White House Garden Tour

October 17th, 2010

White House Tour

On 17 October 2010, Rally for Iraq was honored to be invited as a special guest to tour the White House Gardens by the White House Office of Public Engagement.  Rally for Iraq Executive Director, Tamara Jafar, toured the Gardens as well as the West Wing during her visit.  The invitation was a first step in beginning a dialogue and engaging the White House in RFI’s work on long-term educational initiatives for Iraqi youth.

July 31st, 2010: RFI at the Iraqi Medical Sciences Association (IMSA) Annual Convention

August 11th, 2010

This year at the IMSA annual conference in San Francisco, California, on July 31st, RFI volunteers were invited to speak to IMSA members about our purpose and goals for the second consecutive year.  The Iraqi-American community was extremely supportive and shirt sales were a hit.  Conference attendees represented RFI by proudly sporting our t shirts at the convention.  Furthermore, several doctors offered to serve as mentors for incoming students who are interested in medicine.  Overall, the IMSA conference was a great opportunity for RFI to reach out to the Iraqi-American community and strengthen their support of our work.  The shirts also served as a tangible reminder of Jami’at Baghdad (Baghdad University), the university that many of them had actually graduated from.  Thank you IMSA and IMSA Youth for all of your support!

RFI is a 2010 Recipient of Kindle Project Grant

August 5th, 2010

Kindle Project

RFI is proud to announce that it is a 2010 recipient of a Kindle Project Grant. The Kindle Project’s mission is to support people and projects addressing a broad range of issues and avenues of change, including: conflict transformation, education, emergency relief, environmental and social justice, and the arts.  RFI is excited and honored to receive support for educational opportunities for Iraqi students from Kindle.

June 24th, 2010: RFI to Host Iraqi Scholarship Application Kick-off Party

June 17th, 2010

After two years of hard work and the tremendous support of our donors and volunteers, we are immensely excited about being able to welcome our first students this fall.  We hope that you will join us to celebrate this milestone on June 24th from 6-9pm at West 3rd Common in New York City.   We have also made a goal to raise $2,000 in one night to support another student this fall.  Thank you for all of your support in helping us make the goal of higher education for Iraqi students a reality!

Date & Time: 6/24/2010, 6-9pm

Location: West 3rd Common, 1 West 3rd St, New York, NY (www.west3rdcommon.com)

Rally for Iraq to Collaborate with One Day on Earth Project

May 4th, 2010

Rally for Iraq is very excited to announce that it will be collaborating with the One Day on Earth Project. One Day on Earth is an unprecedented multi-platform media project that will capture the experiences of participants in every country throughout the world in a single day.   The project will culminate in a documentary film that is comprised of footage taken by the thousands of novice and experienced volunteers on 10.10.2010.    RFI met with One Day on Earth’s Executive Producer and, as a result, the project will feature RFI to its thousands of followers.  In addition, RFI is committed to helping the One Day on Earth project promote continued public awareness of the challenges facing Iraqi students.

April 23-May 14, 2010 Widowsweave Project to Donate Proceeds to RFI

April 11th, 2010


Widowsweave is Kevin Valentine’s  ongoing project which will raise awareness of Iraqi widows through performance and participation.  Opportunity to donate to charities including Rally for Iraq’s Scholarship Fund can be found on the Get Involved page of artistactivist.com.  The project will continue to develop fundraising capability (in the coming weeks) through pledge drives, on line donations, direct links to Rally for Iraq and other charities, and suggested donations during participatory performances.

March 8th/9th: Rally for Iraq Partners with Artist Wafaa Bilal for $105k Fundraising Campaign

March 2nd, 2010

Iraqi artist Wafaa Bilal prepares for the ...and Counting Exhibit by tattooing names of Iraqi cities on his back.

Together, RFI and Bilal aim to raise $105,000 in charitable donations dedicated to the Rally for Iraq Scholarship Endowment. The fundraiser will consist of Bilal tattooing 105,000 dots on his back to commemorate 105,000 Iraqi and American lives lost during the war.  Bilal is asking donors to match each tattoo with a one-dollar contribution to Rally for Iraq. This art-inspired fundraising effort will be exhibited live on the web at WafaaBilal.com and RallyforIraq.org as well as at the studios of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts for 24 hours. Names of Iraqi civilians who have lost their lives will be read for the duration of this commemorative exhibit.  Check out the New York Times coverage of the event!

Event: “…and Counting” Art Exhibit and Fundraiser

Location: The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, 323 W39th Street 5th Floor NY, NY 10018 and livestreamed at RallyforIraq.org and WafaaBilal.com

Date: 3/8-3/9/2010 (for 24 hours from 8pm-8pm)

Purpose: To publicly commemorate lives lost in the war as well as raise $105k for Iraqi students

October 10th, 2009: RFI Partners with the International Rescue Committee to Host Focus Groups and a Community Gathering for Iraqi Refugees in NYC

October 10th, 2009

In an attempt to learn more about the needs of Iraqi refugees who recently arrived to New York City, RFI members co-hosted a lunch gathering with the IRC.  The three-hour event was also an opportunity for Iraqis to meet each other and begin to establish a community in the city.  Focus group discussions aimed at understanding the community’s most urgent needs, namely, jobs.  RFI, the IRC, and a growing group of volunteers are exploring ways that they can help the refugee community based on their expressed concerns.  To learn more about the condition of Iraqi refugees in the U.S., check out this NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/nyregion/13iraqis.html?_r=2&hpt

September 10th, 2009: Rally for Iraq gets 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status!

September 10th, 2009


Great news! Rally for Iraq, Inc. received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS on September 10th, 2009.  All donations and t-shirt purchases are now tax-exempt.  Check out our Gear & Contribute page to see how you can continue to support RFI’s scholarship endowment for Iraqi students.

May 23rd, 2009: RFI at the Iraqi Medical Sciences Association Annual Conference

May 23rd, 2009

At the Iraqi Medical Sciences Association (IMSA) annual conference in Naples, Florida, on 23 May 2009, RFI representatives were invited to speak to IMSA members about the scholarship endowment.  Together we raised over $500 in donations and shirt sales for higher education.  The IMSA conference was a great opportunity for RFI to reach out and gain the support of  the Iraqi-American community.  A big thank you to all who showed their support!

May 18th, 2009: Rally for Iraq featured in thirdSPACE magazine

May 18th, 2009

Rally for Iraq was featured in thirdSPACE magazine's debut

thirdSPACE magazine featured Rally for Iraq in its debut issue.  Check it out at http://thirdspacemagazine.com.  thirdSPACE is a magazine that celebrates young artists and activists who “actively work to transform culture, resistance and imagination, and help us unravel new directions and challenges that push society.”

January 22nd, 2009: Cradle of Civilization t-shirt line is here!

January 22nd, 2009


Launch of the Cradle of Civilization t-shirt line. The Cradle of Civilization T is the newest addition to RFI’s gear/contribute page.

May 9th, 2008: Concert to raise awareness

May 9th, 2008

The San Francisco Bay Area Arab community held a concert and educational event that featured an Iraqi awareness program. Patrons contributed over $1200 through RFI gear sales and donations.

April 17th, 2008: RFI Co-hosts Iraqi Film Festival at Harvard University

April 17th, 2008


RFI partnered with the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies to host the first Iraqi Film Festival in the U.S.  Filmgoers contributed over $700 throughout the course of the weekend.  Iraqi film-maker, poet, novelist, and NYU Professor, Sinan Antoon, was the guest speaker.  The diverse audience included Iraqi ex-pats who discussed their memories of Iraq as well as their views on the films during a post-viewing discussion.  A big thank you to all who attended!

Other press coverage of the event:


April 10th, 2008: RFI launched to the public

April 10th, 2008


After months of groundwork, the RFI team started spreading the word about this new initiative to promote development in Iraq through education.

Others Rallying for the Cause:
Rally for Iraq, Inc. was featured in an article published by the Harvard University Crimson on March 19th, 2008. The article featured the stories of Iraqi-American students.

Muslim Peacemaker Teams in association with Iraqi-American Reconciliation Project promoted Rally for Iraq, Inc, as well as several other initiatives, highlighting organizations working for peace and human rights in Iraq.

The Leadership Council for Human Rights:

University of the Middle East Project:

The Day I Tried to Live:

Copyright 2008 Rally For Iraq