Noor Ghazi: Former war refugee promotes peace studies in Iraq

Posted on October 04, 2022

Noor Ghazi

Arriving in Greensboro in 2008, Noor Ghazi ’19 MA found peace. Within a decade, she discovered Peace Studies, a field that is virtually unavailable in the Middle East. Now, she is working with others to change that.

“I have always dreamed of … studying further. I come from a country that is torn by war, and I grew up witnessing one war after another,” she said in a UNCG Q&A interview. “I grew up wanting to make a change, to impact the world, and to see peace in it. I had never heard of a study of Peace or learning about Conflict until the moment that I was looking for a graduate program at UNCG and saw the words ‘Peace and Conflict Studies.’ My heart danced with happiness.”

In addition to being a visiting Research Scholar in the department, Ghazi is a lecturer of Arabic at UNCG. She also teaches at other U.S. colleges and consults at Mosul University, where she collaborates on peace-building in Iraq. Also, she was invited by the non-political, non-sectarian Iraqi Alamal Association in Iraq to collaborate on peacebuilding projects.

The effort led to her translating John Paul Lederach’s “Preparing for Peace” – one of the most important books in the Peace Studies field – into Arabic. Hoping the book will help stanch radical extremism, she expects it will be used in new Peace Studies programs in major universities in Baghdad, Mosul, Salah Aldeen, and Al-Anbar.

Her documentary “Mosul: Mother of Two Springs” premiered in the U.S. and in Iraq in recent months.

Illustration by Antwain Hairston ’21

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