People to People Programs
People to People facilitates cultural, language, personal, and professional exchanges in both Minnesota and Iraq. In 2018 alone, IARP reached over 40,000 Iraqis and Americans with 36 activities throughout the year.
Sister City Citizens Committee for Minneapolis and Najaf
IARP is proud to be the citizens’ committee of the Minneapolis-Najaf Sister City relationship since its inception in 2009 by the City of Minneapolis and Provincial Council of Najaf. Sister City relationships are a commitment from two cities to promote friendship and peaceful relationships between their citizens and communities. President Eisenhower launched the Sister Cities concept in 1956 in calling for increased citizen exchanges between Americans and people of other nations to promote peace and understanding.
Thanks to our community of active volunteers, we have hosted eleven delegations from Najaf and four delegations have traveled from Minneapolis to Najaf.
Community Events: Annual Potluck and Picnic, Ramadan Iftar, and More
Our annual Iraqi and American community events are known throughout Minnesota for bringing Iraqi and non-Iraqi neighbors together in friendship. We create welcoming spaces for Minnesotans to meet and build long-lasting relationships.
Annual Potluck and Picnic: Iraqi and non-Iraqi neighbors join together every summer or fall for an afternoon of food, conversation, games, and other activities.
Ramadan Iftar: Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of prayer, fasting, and charity-giving. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the “five pillars” of Islam, and is practiced to learn compassion, self-restraint, and generosity. The main meal during Ramadan is the evening “Iftar” when Muslims end their daily fast. Members from the general public come together with the Iraqi-Minnesotan community to learn more about Ramadan, share a meal, and celebrate our diverse community.
Festival of Nations: IARP works with the Iraqi-Minnesotan community to organize the Iraqi cultural booth at Minnesota’s annual “Festival of Nations,” which sees over 50,000 visitors a year.
Women’s Friendship Groups
In 2017, IARP launched our innovative “women’s friendship groups” to offer local Iraqi and non-Iraqi Minnesotan women the opportunity to build rich intercultural friendships. The women’s friendship groups are made up of Minnesotans who commit to meet on a monthly basis for nine months. Participants celebrate holidays together, visit local museums and sites, and cook meals together, as they get to know one another’s cultures and perspectives.
To raise the voices of the local Iraqi immigrant and refugee community and help spread awareness of the humanitarian situation in Iraq, IARP staff and volunteers regularly speak at schools, universities, churches, community centers, conferences, conventions, and other local venues. To host a local IARP speaker, please contact the our team.