April 8, 2016

KRG Representative tours US cities to speak with community leaders

Washington, DC, USA (us.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the United States Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman concluded visits to Nashville, Tennessee and Boston, Massachusetts on Friday.

Representative Abdul Rahman was in Tennessee to speak to students, academics, and Kurdish community members at Tennessee Technological University (Tennessee Tech) and later at an event co-hosted by Lipscomb University, the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) and the Tennessee World Affairs Council.

She had the opportunity to tour the universities and meet with Tennessee Tech President Philip Oldham and Professor Michael Gunter, a highly respected scholar of Kurdish issues.

The Representative met with a number of local officials and leaders, including Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Deputy Governor James Henry, US Representative Jim Cooper, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, officials from the Nashville Office of New Americans, and members of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. She also had the chance to meet with Kurdish students from the KRG Human Capacity Development Program

In every meeting, Ms Abdul Rahman thanked the people of Nashville for their acceptance of the Kurdish community over the past four decades. She highlighted the economic, humanitarian, and security challenges facing the Kurdistan Region and asked for their continued support.

Nashville hosts the largest population of Kurds in the United States. This was Ms Abdul Rahman’s first official visit to Tennessee as the Representative to the United States. She had previously visited the region in her capacity as the KRG Representative to the United Kingdom.

Later in the week, Representative Abdul Rahman visited Boston, Massachusetts to speak to academics and community members at the World Affairs Council of Boston as part of the ‘Great Decisions in Foreign Policy’ speaker series. During her talk, she outlined the current situation in Kurdistan and the historical context of the region. She said, ‘Despite these challenges, the future of the Kurdistan Region is bright because of our commitments to our vision of a better future and our values.’

She met with Massachusetts State House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano, and Director of the Institute for Human Security at Tufts University Dr Eileen Babbitt and spoke in a radio interview with Marco Werman of Public Radio International’s The World.
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