THE FIFTH ANNUAL PATRICIA BLUNT KOLDYKE LECTURE
IRAQI YOUTH IN ACTION: PEACE AND THE MEDIA
Hussam A. Hadi, Regional Director, Spacetoon Kids TV
Nearly one half of the Iraqi population is under the age of nineteen. Having lived with insecurity and uncertainty for much of their adult lives with little opportunity for travel outside of their home town, these youth often associate more with their local communities than with a national Iraqi identity. In order for Iraq to build a lasting peace, the future leaders of the country should be able to traverse regional, cultural, and religious boundaries to strengthen dialogue and understanding. Join The Chicago Council on Global Affairs to hear Hussam A. Hadi, the fifth annual Patricia Blunt Koldyke Fellow, share his experiences with using a media platform to foster dialogue for peace among Iraqi youth.
Hussam A. Hadi is the regional director of Spacetoon Kids TV, a broadcasting organization that seeks to address the challenges facing children, caused by the conflict in Iraq. Spacetoon Kids tackles numerous social and development issues, including children's education, landmine risk education, children's rights and protection, healthcare and hygiene, and nutrition. One of the most innovative programs produced by Mr. Hadi is called, Salam Shabab, or Peace Youth. It is a reality TV show for Iraqi youth, ages fourteen to eighteen. Now in its second season, Salam Shabab is designed to empower a wide range of Iraqi teens with the skills and values needed to become active peacebuilders in their communities. In addition, Mr. Hadi developed a unique animated series called Diamond Island. The purpose of the project is to promote the tolerance of Islam in relation to other religions and to build bridges between Muslim children and young people of other faiths around the world.
The Chicago Council’s Patricia Blunt Koldyke Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship is funded by the Koldyke family to recognize a leading social entrepreneur who is working in the economic, educational, health, government, development, media, or cultural realm. This year, the selection committee focused on primary and secondary education and the media in Iraq.