* July 9-16, 2017
* Application Deadline I May 1/Deadline II June 1
* 25 slots only/Rolling acceptance
The Erbil Exchange is co-hosted by the French Association Noria (, and During the seven days in July, participants from all over the world will listen and engage local politicians, civil society figures and analysts. The aim is to provide direct and intensive insight from several differing perspectives into Erbil and Iraqi Kurdistan in general, as well as when it comes to the disputed areas between the Islamic State, Erbil and Baghdad. The seven-day Erbil Exchange program rests on two tracks:
Professional & Academic – Participants will attend a series of lectures led by prominent academics, analysts and activists from Erbil and the wider region. Themes will include, among others:
– The hegemony of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP);
– The KDP-Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) relationship inside the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG);
– The rise of the political op
– The relationship between the KRG and Baghdad;
– Kirkuk and the disputed territories;
– The political game around the Islamic State;
– The political dynamics of the battle for Mosul;
– Gender and politics in Kurdistan;
– NGO and the clientelist game;
– The place of Minorities in KRG and the Kurdish sectarian system;
– Shi’i militia structures;
– The PKK and the Struggle for Sinjar;
– Kurdish Iranian parties in KRG;
– The Kurdish political parties and the Syrian Civil War.
Dialogue with Leaders – Participants will have the opportunity to meet, listen and engage leading social, political and economic actors from across the spectrum in Erbil and Iraqi Kurdistan.
NOTE: Accepted applicants will receive the full list of confirmed speakers one month prior to the opening of the Exchange, as well as readings pertinent to the sessions.

– The Kurdish Democratic Party
– Hesmat Rejat, Director of the ex-PDK office in Mosul
– Hemen Hawrami, Head of the Office of Foreign Relations KDP
– Sheikh Shamo Shekho Namoo, MP at the Kurdish Parliament
– Khasro Goran, Ex-Deputy Governor of Ninewa
– The Barzani Foundation
– The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
– Saadi Ahmed Pire, Member of the Political Office of PUK
– Khaled Shwani, PUK Member
– Adnan Mufti, PUK Political Office Member
– Rizgar Ali, Head of PUK-Erbil
– Halo Penjweeni, Head PUK-Mosul
– The Goran Party
– Awad Amin, Independent Kurd (ex-Goran)
– Kurdistan University
– Duhoc University
– Salahadin University
– The American University of Kurdistan
– Bayar Dosky, American University of Kurdistan
– Sheikh Adjmi, Hawija
– Hatem Taï, Political Analyst (Kirkuk)
– Atheel al-Nujayfi, Mosul
– Amar Kaya, Advisor of ex-Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaffari
– Riyaz Sarikahya, President of the Turkmeneli Party (Kirkuk)
– Chevan Hussein, Leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party for Syria (PDKS)
– Khaled Domlee, Journalist
– Jabar Qader, Director of Hawler Newspaper


Program Format:

The Erbil Exchange will be held over seven days at the conference room of the Classy Hotel in Erbil and will open with an orientation and security briefing at 6pm on July 9. The Exchange will close by 2pm on July 16, although from July 10-15 we will generally convene from 9am until 7pm, including in locations outside of the conference hotel in Erbil. In order to promote small group dynamics, the number of participants will be capped at 25.

Sessions themselves will be conducted on an individual rather than a panel basis for all speakers and will generally allow ample opportunity for question time (translation into English will be provided when necessary). All sessions will also be held under strict Chatham House rules, although we customarily work with our speakers to approve any quotes/references that participants may need for their own work.


Participation Fee – $900; Reductions are available for alumni of our previous programs and those participants who register for more than one Exchange.

Accommodation – $95 for a single room per night at the Classy Hotel under our group booking only (breakfast, taxes and airport pickup are included). Shared double rooms are also available upon request and are priced at $55 per participant (we will arrange for sharing with other participants).

Airfare – $700, approximate from the European Union.

About the Co-Directors:

Arthur Quesnay is Assistant Researcher and PhD Research Fellow in Political Science at the ERC-funded Sociology of Civil Wars program at the Panthéon-Sorbonne University (Paris 1) since 2015. He was previously (2010-2014) a Junior Research Fellow in Iraq at the Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO). His doctoral thesis focuses on sectarian conflicts in Northern Iraq, where he conducted extensive fieldwork since 2009. He has also conducted parallel fieldwork in Libya (2011-2012) and Syria (2012-2013 and 2016) with insurgent groups. Taken together, his work highlights social and political transformation through the Middle East Civil Wars. As co-director of Noria MENA Programme, Mr. Quesnay calls for social scientists to adopt new methodological and conceptual approaches to understanding these extreme situations and for combining micro and macro analyses.

Robin Beaumont is a PhD candidate in Political Studies at the Paris-based École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). A former student at École Normale Supérieure (ENS, Paris), he joined the European Research Council-funded program WAFAW in 2014, and is currently based in Amman, Jordan, as an associate to the French Institute for Near Eastern Studies (Ifpo). His research explores the reconfigurations of Shia political authority in post-2003 Iraq through a study of the structure of, and relationships between, the religious field (marja’iyya), the Iraqi State, and the various Shia militias.

Monica Marks is a Rhodes Scholar, PhD candidate at Oxford University, and Visiting Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Her work, which focuses primarily on politics, institutional reform, and Islamist movements in Tunisia and Turkey, has appeared in peer-reviewed books and journals, news outlets including The GuardianThe New York TimesForeign Policy, and The Washington Post, and for think tanks including the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT), the Carnegie Endowment, the Brookings Institute, and The Century Foundation. A former Fulbright Scholar to Turkey, Ms. Marks has taught as a Visiting Professor in the Politics and International Relations Department of Istanbul’s Bogazici University. Since 2014 she has been a research fellow with the Aix-en-Provence-based WAFAW program, and was in 2015 a Visiting Fellow at Columbia University’s SIPA school.

Nicholas Noe recently served as Regional Organizing Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign in Michigan where he managed the Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operation for the crucial areas of Wayne County and Dearborn City. Previous to this, Mr. Noe lived in Beirut (2004-2016) and in Tunis (2012-2014) where he was a co-editor of the Heinrich Boell Foundation’s journal on the Middle East, Perspectives, and co-founder of the news translation service (2005-Present) covering the Middle East media. He regularly provides analysis and commentary for Al-Jazeera International, BBC and several US and European publications and is the author of a White Paper for the New America and Century Foundations entitled: “Re-Imagining the Lebanon Track: Towards a New US Policy.” He is also the editor of the 2007 book “Voice of Hezbollah: The Statements of Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah” and was a visiting fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations in 2014. Mr. Noe graduated with honors from Cambridge University (MPhil, International Relations, 2006) where he was elected a scholar of Selwyn College and Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University (1999).