Arez Hussen Ahmed, MA, based in Iraq, is the former Editor-in-Chief of the first independent student newspaper in Iraq, AUIS Voice. Arez is a Project Manager at ASUDA, a local NGO for combating violence against women in Sulaimani, Iraq. The project he supervises (in Sulaimani, Erbil, and Duhok) provides psychological care for the survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), including the Yazidi women who fled under ISIS’s control. He is also the Vice President and Director of Programming of AMENDS (American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford) Global Fellows, a platform connecting and equipping young social change agents across the Middle East and North Africa region and United States.
Arez has a master’s degree from Lund University in Sweden in Middle Eastern Studies with a concentration on peace building, conflict resolution, and the Kurdish question in Turkey. He acquired his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the American University of Iraq Sulaimani (AUIS). Arez was honored by the First Lady of Iraq for his humanitarian work and also participated in the Iraqi Young Leadership Exchange Program (IYLEP) to study Leadership and Social Change at the University of Arizona. Arez has extensive experience with NGOs and in the humanitarian sector with REACH, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and IRC. Arez also lived as an internally displaced person on the Iraq-Iran border during the civil war in Iraq in the 1990s. He was chosen for the College Media Hall of Fame by the Associated Collegiate Press in 2011 and was an active member of the Kurdistan Journalism Syndicate from 2010 to 2013. Arez has participated in several public speaking engagements and led many workshops for training journalists and in conflict resolution in Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Palo Alto, CA; Lund, Sweden; Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey; Sulaimani and Erbil, Iraq; and Alpbach, Austria.