The Iraqi National Museum was established by the British traveler and author Gertrude Bell and opened shortly before her death in 1926. The Iraqi National Museum contained priceless relics from Mesopotamian civilization; it contains important artifacts from over 5,000 year long history of Mesopotamia. The National Museum of Iraq was looted in April, 2003. Its contents has been illegally scattered around the world through sales to private collectors and museums. Iraq, as of yet, is still trying to reclaim these historical masterpieces. The U.S. Army, which was the occupying power in Iraq at the time, should have anticipated the danger presented to the cultural sites. Further, once looting started it should have acted promptly to protect the museum from further damage and theft. But, as we discovered, and as the looting continued for three days, the American Army did not even move any units to protect the museum until it was too late. This project has focused on examining the conflict arising from the looting of the Iraqi National Museum. Through multiple steps, and while employing restorative justice practices within a conflict resolution scope, the effort is to resolve those conflicts.
Conflict Resolution through History: the Plundering of the Iraqi National Museum and Its Rebuilding as an Exercise in Conflict Resolution
Samir J. Hussain Alany
A Professional Project Paper
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Tom Hastings, Chair
This Project goes to the spirit of my passed parents, without them I would have never gotten this far, they were my pillars during their life and my inspiration thereafter. Their spirit will forever live with me.
I would like to start by thanking my committee members for believing in my project and for helping me realizing it. Dr. Tom Hastings, for providing me with guidance and supporting me on my endeavor. Dr. Robert Gould, for all the help, support and advice provided. Thank you for not giving up on me. Dr. Jean Campbell, for her great insight and all her help.
I also would like to thank the organizations and the people that supported my project and helped me with the execution of my event, and all those who made it a great success. Dr. Jon Mandeville for his inspiring presentation and all his help. M.A. Susan Reed for her outstanding knowledge.
The Iraqi Society of Oregon.
The American Institute of Archaeology/Portland Chapter, presented by Dr. Karen Carr. The FBI-Art Theft program.
And finally, above all, I would like to thank my family and my friends for standing by me and believing in me through thick and thin. I could have never realized this dream without all your help and support; you are the wind beneath my wings.
Table of contents
I. Problem Statement
II. Conflicts Risen
III. Literature Review
A. Conflict Resolution Literature Related to the Subject
B. Other Literature
IV. Project Outcome
V. Project Importance in Fulfilling Global Focus of PSU and its Contribution toward the Advancement of World Peace
VII. Project Findings and Analysis
The application of the Hague convention of 1954 on the protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed Conflict, and the Amended Protocol of 1999, in reference to the looting of the Iraqi Museum of 2003
Historical museums are built for many purposes. The Iraqi National Museum was built jointly by the Iraqis and the British in the 1920s and 30s to establish a common history for the people of Iraq, bringing them together despite their various ethnicities and religions with pride in their new nation. In a war that was initiated by the American invasion, the National Museum of Iraq was looted in 2003. Its contents has been illegally scattered...
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