Iraq’s identity is defined by its history, politics, ethnic and religious diversity. With nearly 7,000 years of written history, Iraq is a country of many identities, including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Lurs and Armenians, and a variety of beliefs, such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Yazidism, Zoroastrianism and Mandeism. We need to learn about and understand our differences, to build a more peaceful Iraq.


The British Council is managing the EU funded TAHAWER project, which aims to create safe spaces for young people from different backgrounds to discuss peace building and development issues that they care about.


TAHAWER will seek to build the confidence of young people, through training and skills development, to have respectful, self-aware and tolerant debates on challenging topics. It is designed to provide young women and men with a platform for discussion on issues that are important to them.  The programme will allow young people to voice their ideas, concerns and experiences to influential people who make decisions that impact upon their lives.


Debates will cover subjects such as cultural heritage, traditions and customs, citizenship and identity, gender/social inequalities, education and opportunities, media, peacebuilding/co-existence, and the role of religion in peace-building and development.


TAHAWER will tailor the project to the unique social, political and cultural environment of the 8 participating provinces in Iraq. We will do this by:

  • Supporting a local organisation to work together with key stakeholders and partners to establish the TAHAWER project in their province.
  • Attract young men and women to participate in the project in provinces around the country.
  • Build the capacity of young people for debates and purposeful discussions.
  • Conduct a series of discussions on the issues that matter to young people with other young men and women from diverse and different backgrounds.
  • Convene meetings and events where young men and women can give voice their experiences with local, provincial and national people of influence.


EU Contribution

EUR 4.9 million



Locations (provisional)

Baghdad, Basra, Dohuk, Fallujah, Kirkuk, Mosul, Najaf, Nasiriyah, Ramadi and Tikrit.



The Iraqi population, in particular youth.

Implementing partner

British Council

Funding Instrument

Development and Cooperation Instrument



Useful links:


Journey to Mosul


Journey to Basra


The true face of Najaf


Tahawer Identity video


TAHAWER Facebook Page


TAHAWER Instagram Page