IRAQ, June 2013– AIC held the first ever International Human Rights Film Festival in Iraq. Entitled “Eye of the Heart,” the festival primarily featured films by young Middle Eastern filmmakers who explored current human rights issues in the Middle East, such as reform movements and violent responses to them, as well as challenges facing women.

The festival opened in Basra on June 16-17, 2013, with a speech by AIC Executive Director, Zainab al-Suwaij. Attendees included prominent diplomats from the U.S. Russia, and Turkey among others, as well as Basrah governorate council, tribal leaders, civil society organization members, and many others. The festival continued in Nasiriya on June 18, 2013.

Several hundred people attended the festival, despite a series of car bombings that killed and wounded dozens across Iraq, including specifically in Basra and Nasiriya.

Click here to view photos from the event.

The American Islamic Congress is a nonprofit, non-religious, civil society development organization serving Muslims and Non-Muslims by promoting civil and human rights through advocacy, engagement and education. Visit for more information.