I am an artist whose work has been intertwined with issues in Iraq since 1991. Currently I am entering my thesis year at Columbia College, Chicago. I would like to help the widows of Iraq in a tangible way through my thesis project.
After hearing Nawal al-Samaraie on NPR talking about her resignation, budget problems and the number of widows in Iraq, I began a series of works referencing the number (three million) that was used in that report. My thesis work this year continues to explore this line of inquiry – I plan on attempting to draw three million lines in the sand, around Chicago, the United States and, if possible, the world. This would be done both individually and as community awareness-raising action days. I would also like to try to raise money with the intention of helping the cause of widows in Iraq.
My first step is to contact someone who can help me navigate the world of aid agencies/NGOs/ charities /Departments-of-State in order to discern how best to achieve the end of actually helping the situation of Iraqi widows. I would not want to disrupt work already underway, insult any parties that might cause more grief, or waste effort and goodwill with counterproductive initiatives.
If you could help direct me to appropriate persons or contacts or avenues in order to develop effective strategies I would be very grateful.
Thank you for your time and consideration,