After nearly seven years, I will be leaving my position as the Executive Director of IraQueer. Starting IraQueer and leading it has been the greatest honor of my life. Together with my colleagues, we have managed to create resources for queer Iraqis that never existed before us. We have provided medical and legal services, and offered safe housing for hundreds of people who needed them. We have produced radio programs talking about LGBT+ rights and queer people that reached hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. And we have lobbied world leaders to put pressure on Iraq to recognize human rights of LGBT+ Iraqis. Lobby efforts that led to the Iraqi government recognizing the right to life for all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in front of the international community. While I will be leaving my current position, I will not be fully leaving IraQueer. I will join six other brilliant LGBT+ Iraqis to sit on the board! Together, we are determined to provide the team with all the support we can give to make sure that they are able to continue their groundbreaking work.
In addition to the new board, IraQueer will have a new Executive Director. The new director who chose to stay anonymous for the time being, brings years of experience with him and is keen to take IraQueer’s work to the next level. Together with the rest of the team, they are determined to continue advocating on behalf of LGBT+ Iraqis.
The historic milestones that we reached at IraQueer wouldn’t have been possible without all the people who contributed to and supported the organization. All the volunteers and queer Iraqis who believed in us. All the partners and allies who used their resources and expertise to develop our movement. And most importantly, my colleagues at IraQueer, the young queer activists who risk their lives to defend LGBT+ Iraqis and their rights. It’s been the highlight of my career to work with and learn from you all.
- Amir Ashour