CoolClownFish’s Blog – Iraq becomes Turkey’s Biggest Market for Citrus Fruit

<p><em>By John Lee.</em></p>
<p>Iraq has taken over from Russia as Turkey’s biggest market for citrus fruits.</p>
<p>In 2015, Russia took $90.52 million worth of the product, while so far in 2016 Iraq has taken citrus fruit to the value of $84.54 million.</p>
<p><em>(Source: Fresh Plaza)</em></p>
<p>(Picture Credit: Layth Mahdi)</p>

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CoolClownFish’s Blog – Northern Iraqi Town appoints Female Mayor

<p lang=”en-GB”><em><a href=”http://www.niqash.org/en/articles/politics/5276/Northern-Iraqi-Town-Appoints-Female-Lawyer-As-Mayor.htm”>Thisarticle</a> was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of<a href=”http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2013/11/09/”> Iraq Business News</a>.</em></p>
<p>Halabja appoints its first female mayor in over a century. But the 38-year-old knows it won’t be an easy job.</p>
<p>Almost exactly a century ago, the Iraqi Kurdish city of Halabja made local history by appointing a woman as its mayor. Adela Khanem was the first Kurdish woman to hold a post like this. The wife of a local tribal leader and mother of two poets, Khanem was considered a progressive leader, building schools and engaging in construction projects, during her tenure between 1909 and 1915. Locals says that Khanem changed Halabja from a village to a city filled parks and waterways.</p>
<p>Now, just over a century later, Nuxsha Naseh, 38, who was recently <a href=”http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/04042016″>giventhe job of mayor</a>, is hoping to be just as successful as her female predecessor. Naseh believes that Kurdish women in this area have proven themselves many times.</p>
<p>“Women in Halabja worked alongside men in the fields for a long time and now they work alongside men in administration, holding senior positions. Female opinions are listened to and women participate in all forums,” says Nash, who was the administrator of the Biyare district in Halabja for seven years before getting her new job. “Appointing women to senior positions is nothing new in Halabja. The educated people of the city have always supported this idea.”</p>
<p>Naseh knows her job will not be an easy one though. Locals in Halabja recently organised protests because of a lack of state services and the delay in the payment of government employees’ salaries, due to the financial crisis.</p>
<p>Naseh says she wants to resolve this issue and revive projects that have been postponed due the financial crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan. She also wants to take more control over prices in local markets, improve social services, work on women’s rights and ensure security. And last but not least, she also wants to improve the amount of green spaces in Halabja. And of course, she wants to do all this while living up to the example provided by her predecessor.</p>

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Northern Iraqi Town appoints Female Mayor

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. Halabja appoints its first female mayor in over a century. But the 38-year-old knows it won’t be an easy job. Almost exactly a century ago, the Iraqi Kurdish city of […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Khalilzad Warns of Iranian Interference in Iraq

<p><em>By John Lee.</em></p>
<p>Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has said that Iraqi Shi’ite officials have complained of <a href=”http://www.iran-bn.com/”target=”_blank”>Iran</a>’s interference in their country’s affairs, saying the militias backed by Tehran might turn against each other in the future over a dispute on oil.</p>
<p>In an interview with <em>Asharq Al-Awsat,</em> he added:</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>“<em>[Iraqis] don’t want to be dependent on Iran and humiliated by it … They want to be independent.</em></p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”><em>“Some of them have expressed concern over the role that Iranian-backed militias play in Iraq … although they believe that they need the militias in their continuous fight with ISIS.</em></p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”><em>“They fear that such militias backed by Iran could be a source of instability for Shi’ites.</em>”</p>
<p><a href=”http://english.aawsat.com/2016/05/article55351411/khalilzad-warns-inter-shiite-strife-iraq-oil”target=”_blank”><em>Full article available here.</em></a></p>
<p><em>(Source: Asharq al-Awsat)</em></p>

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CoolClownFish’s Blog – IBBC appoints UAE Representative

<p>The <strong>Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC)</strong> is pleased to announce the appointment of Samer Al-Omari as its UAE Representative.</p>
<p>Working part-time from the <strong>Weir Group</strong>’s offices in Dubai, Samer will help promote IBBC to companies and organisations in the UAE; drive membership recruitment; and coordinate the planning of the IBBC Autumn Conference, which will be held at The Address Dubai Marina on Sunday 6 November.</p>
<p>Samer is currently Business Development Senior Adviser of <strong>Restrata</strong>’s Iraq operations, and has previously held business development positions in the oil, gas and energy sector, including roles at <strong>ME Consultancy LLC</strong> and <strong>Shell</strong>.</p>
<p>“<em>Samer has huge experience in Iraq and within the O&G and security industries,</em>” IBBC’s Chief Operating Officer Christophe Michels said of the appointment. “<em>We are fortunate that he has accepted to take up this role.</em>”</p>
<p><em>You can contact Samer <a href=”mailto:samer.alomari@webuildiraq.org”>here</a>.</em></p>
<p><em>(Source: IBBC)</em></p>

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IBBC appoints UAE Representative

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Samer Al-Omari as its UAE Representative. Working part-time from the Weir Group’s offices in Dubai, Samer will help promote IBBC to companies and organisations in the UAE; drive membership recruitment; and coordinate the planning of the IBBC Autumn Conference, which will be […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – eServGlobal and Zain win GTB Innovation Award

<p><strong>eServGlobal</strong> and the <strong>Zain Group</strong> have been named as winners of a Global Telecoms Business Innovation Award for mobile money deployments in Jordan and Iraq.</p>
<p class=”bl”><span class=”bd”>The Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards recognise innovative projects in the global telecommunications industry, highlighting the collaboration and partnership between operators and vendors. The award winners were announced during a ceremony held in London on 25 May.</span></p>
<p class=”bl”><span class=”bd”>eServGlobal and Zain were recognised for launching a new service, which allows users to access convenient and secure financial services through their mobile. Through the service, called ‘Zain Cash’, customers can have a mobile wallet linked to their SIM card, enabling financial transactions easily and at any time (Cash-In/ Cash-out, transfer money from wallet to another, recharge for prepaid account & bill payment for postpaid account). </span></p>
<p class=”bl”><span class=”bd”>Zain Cash is currently live at Zain operations in Jordan and Iraq and aims to provide a mobile wallet to millions of customers in the two countries in coming years. The service is built on eServGlobal’s flagship technology platform, <em>PayMobile</em>. </span></p>
<p class=”bl”><span class=”bd”>eServGlobal’s PayMobile is an end-to-end platform for mobile financial services and advanced recharge. It is a market-proven, state-of-the-art platform which currently supports deployments around the world, adapting to the differing needs of each market.</span></p>
<p class=”bl”><span class=”bd”>James Hume, CTO, eServGlobal</span><span class=”bd”>, said:</span></p>
<p class=”bl” style=”padding-left: 30px;”><em><span class=”bd”>“The collaboration between eServGlobal and Zain highlights what can be achieved when two innovative companies work together to launch life-changing services. Early customer reception for Zain Cash has been positive. eServGlobal is proud to be recognised as a leader within the rapidly developing space of mobile financial technology. We look forward to continuing our work with Zain to launch these services in more markets.”</span></em></p>
<p class=”bl”><span class=”bd”>Scott Gegenheimer, CEO fo Zain Group</span><span class=”bd”>, said:</span></p>
<p class=”bl” style=”padding-left: 30px;”><em><span class=”bd”>“</span><span class=”bd”>This recognition confirms Zain’s position at the forefront of the mobile money revolution in the region and that eServGlobal are the right partners for our continued success in this space. We are not just innovating for innovation’s sake, but that the services and initiatives we are developing are really impacting people’s lives positively</span><span class=”bd”>, further supporting our aspirations on becoming a digital lifestyle operator.” </span></em></p>
<p class=”bl”><span class=”bd”>eServGlobal has a framework agreement with the Zain Group to provide an end-to-end mobile money and EVD (electronic voucher distribution for prepaid rechage) solutions across Zain Group’s operations.</span></p>
<p class=”bl”><span class=”bd”>Mobile financial services have a transformational effect on unbanked populations as they open financial systems to formally excluded population segments. This kind of change is crucial in emerging markets where financial inclusion is key to economic development. </span></p>
<p class=”bl”><span class=”bd”>Mobile money, mobile financial services, mobile recharge and distribution are key elements in the Zain Group strategy. Zain Group coverage extends to more than 45.5 million customers spanning Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan and Sudan. Notably, in several of Zain’s markets, over 90% of the population does not have access to banking facilities.</span></p>
<p class=”bl”><em>(Source: <span class=”bd”>eServGlobal</span>)</em></p>

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eServGlobal and Zain win GTB Innovation Award

eServGlobal and the Zain Group have been named as winners of a Global Telecoms Business Innovation Award for mobile money deployments in Jordan and Iraq. The Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards recognise innovative projects in the global telecommunications industry, highlighting the collaboration and partnership between operators and vendors. The award winners were announced during a […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Muqtada al-Sadr, the Most Powerful Man in Iraqi Politics?

<p><em>By Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of <a href=”http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/”>IraqBusiness News</a>.</em></p>
<p>In a dramatic shift, 13 years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, Muqtada al-Sadr, the once-ignorable Shiite cleric, has reinvented himself as the central figure in a chaotic push to reform the country’s broken political system. After Sadr’s supporters stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone late April, many wonder what his ultimate aim might be.</p>
<p>Sadr’s <a href=”http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/05/iraq-shiite-leader-muqtada-al-sadr-protests-demands-reform.html”target=”_blank”>political initiation</a> began in a remarkable fashion: when his supporters were <a href=”http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/jan/06/moqtada-al-sadr-law” target=”_blank”>accused of murdering</a> Abdul Majid al-Khoei, a promising rival Shiite cleric, the day after Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled in April 2003. Loathed by US political and military officials and underestimated by Iraqi politicians returning from exile, Sadr was for years considered nothing more than a menace. The mainstream Western press often described him as a “<a href=”http://www.wsj.com/articles/iraq-cleric-moqtada-al-sadrs-followers-trigger-political-crisis-1462147089″ target=”_blank”>firebrand</a>” or “<a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/16/international/middleeast/16sadr.html?_r=1″ target=”_blank”>radical</a>.”</p>
<p>Nevertheless, capitalizing on the spiritual legacy of his father and uncle, Mohammed Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr and Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr, both senior Shiite clerics executed by Hussein, Muqtada’s political fortunes rose steadily, making himself an actor to be reckoned with. In April 2004, he led a major rebellion against the US-led coalition that he considered an occupation force.</p>
<p>Today, amid popular demand for change in Iraq, Sadr has put his political capital on the line in advocating an overhaul of the Iraqi political system. “Muqtada has clearly enhanced his status by adopting a populist, non-sectarian stance at a time when Iraqis are peculiarly conscious of the corrupt and dysfunctional nature of their government because there is not sufficient oil revenue to cover expenditure,” said Patrick Cockburn, a Middle East correspondent for the British Independent and author of the book “Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia revival and the Struggle for Iraq.”</p>

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Muqtada al-Sadr, the Most Powerful Man in Iraqi Politics?

By Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. In a dramatic shift, 13 years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, Muqtada al-Sadr, the once-ignorable Shiite cleric, has reinvented himself as the central figure in a chaotic push to reform the country’s broken […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Iraqis Divided over Soleimani’s Role

<p><em>By Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of <a href=”http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/”>IraqBusiness News</a>.</em></p>
<p><a href=”http://www.iran-bn.com/”target=”_blank”>Iran</a>‘s Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani has stirred a great deal of controversy in Iraq, where people have started arguing over whether his role is a positive or a negative one.</p>
<p>Some Iraqi youths have created social media campaigns in support of Soleimani using the hashtags #WeAreAllSoleimani and #SoleimaniIsOneOfUsIraqis, while others denounce him with #SoleimaniUnderMyFeet.</p>
<p>These campaigns emerged after April 30, when followers of the Sadrist movement shouted <a href=”http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2016/05/sadrist-stances-iraqi-shiites-opposing-iranian-policy.html”target=”_blank”>slogans against Soleimani</a> and his country in Grand Festivities Square, located in the heavily fortified Green Zone.</p>
<p>On the same day, Iraqi activists shared via YouTube an Al Jazeera broadcast about the <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dnjen8YEus” target=”_blank”>raising of Iranian flags</a> in Baghdad’s predominantly Sunni area of ​​Adhamiya. “Armed Shiite groups known as the Hezbollah Brigades raised the Iranian flag in Adhamiya,” Al Jazeera reported.</p>
<p>Iraqis are divided over <a href=”http://elaph.com/Web/News/2015/3/989027.html”target=”_blank”>Soleimani’s role in the battles</a> between Iraqi government forces and the Islamic State (IS). Some believe he is defending Iraq, while others suspect he has an <a href=”http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/iran-soleimani-syria-saudi-arabia-secterianism.html” target=”_blank”>Iranian agenda</a> that could harm their country.</p>

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Iraqis Divided over Soleimani’s Role

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. Iran‘s Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani has stirred a great deal of controversy in Iraq, where people have started arguing over whether his role is a positive or a negative one. Some Iraqi youths […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Video: Fight against IS Hampered by Divisions

<p><em>From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of <a href=”http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/”>IraqBusiness News</a>.</em></p>
<p>A coalition of local forces is battling to re-take land held by ISIL in Iraq.</p>
<p>But, the groups involved sometimes have different goals and agendas.</p>
<p><em>Al Jazeera</em>’s Rob Matheson reports:</p>
<p><span class=’embed-youtube’ style=’text-align:center; display: block;’><iframe class=’youtube-player’ type=’text/html’ width=’640′ height=’390′ src=’http://www.youtube.com/embed/X_jvfhE72w0?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent’frameborder=’0′ allowfullscreen=’true’></iframe></span></p>

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