Conference Highlights – The Invasion of Iraq: Regional Reflections

Highlights from the conference The Invasion of Iraq: Regional Reflections


The Invasion of Iraq: Regional Reflections

September 14-16, 2023

The 2003 invasion of Iraq marked a critical turning point in America’s relationship with Iraq and its neighboring countries, a region of strategic importance encompassing vital energy and military interests, and reshaped its diplomatic relations worldwide. Held on September 14-16, 2023, at the Four Seasons, Doha, this conference was convened by the Dean of Georgetown University in Qatar, Dr. Safwan Masri, in collaboration with the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS). Taking a regional perspective, the gathering of experts from around the world provided an opportunity to reflect on the many geopolitical and socioeconomic consequences of the conflict that continue to reverberate across the globe twenty years later.

Conference Program

Day 1: Welcome and Opening Remarks

Co-Convener Welcome

Zahra Babar, Center for International and Regional Studies, GU-Q

Faculty Welcome

Edward Kolla, Faculty Chairperson, GU-Q

Provost’s Opening Remarks

Robert Groves, Provost, Georgetown University

Dean’s Opening Remarks

Safwan Masri, Dean, Georgetown University in Qatar

Video of the Keynote Address by 
Dr. Barham Salih, former President of the Republic of Iraq

Opening Panel Discussion

The Iraq War and Global Diplomacy

Al Jazeera Presenter Laila Al-Shaikhli hosted an in-depth conversation with Ambassadors Timmy Davis and Johnathan Wilks, on US and UK engagement in Iraq and its aftermath.


  • His Excellency Timmy Davis, Ambassador of the United States to the State of Qatar
  • His Excellency Jonathan Wilks, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the State of Qatar

Closing Remarks

Dean Safwan Masri, Georgetown University in Qatar

Day 2: Breakfast with Ayman

Through a series of short interviews conducted by MSNBC news show host Ayman Mohyeldin, this breakfast show format offered an engaging look into current issues in Iraq.

Covering Iraq: 20 Years On

Journalists and authors discuss the pitfalls of covering Iraq.

Iraqi Political Landscape

Scholars and analysts reveal what the data says about politics in Iraq.

Youth and Activism in Iraq

Activists talk about what matters to youth in Iraq today.

Author Reading and Discussion

Irada Al-Jubori, Assistant Professor and Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs at the College of Mass Communication, University of Baghdad, offere da reading from her short story “A Paper Nest,” a poignant tale chronicling the tragic life of an Iraqi woman following the Iraq war.

Concurrent Sessions: In the Neighborhood

Three concurrent panels discussed the views and experiences of the Iraq war and its aftermath from the perspective of its neighboring countries, including Iraq’s changing relationship with its largest neighbors and the view from Qatar.

Iraq and its Neighbors: Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia


In the Neighborhood: Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine


The View from the Peninsula: Kuwait and Qatar


Day 3: Concurrent Sessions

Beyond the Neighborhood

Building on the previous concurrent session, these panels discussed the broader global effects of the invasion of Iraq, including the Arab Spring movements, and shifting relations with Europe, Russia, and China.

Arab Spring Connections: Tunisia, Sudan, Libya, Egypt, and Syria


The View from Europe: European International Relations since the US Invasion of Iraq


Russia and China: Calculations for a New Global Order


Transnational Issues

This concurrent session looked at three areas of cross-cutting rising interest and concern in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, including the rise of extremism, the lasting effects of the war on Iraqi women, and what good governance looks like moving forward.

The Emergence of Da’esh


Iraqi Women Post-US Invasion 


Good Governance and Durable Solutions


Closing Plenary

Video of the Closing Plenary: U.S. Foreign Policy towards the Region: the Bush Presidency and Beyond

US Foreign Policy towards the Region: The Bush Presidency and Beyond

In this closing plenary moderated by GU-Q Faculty Chairperson Edward Kolla, policy experts, analysts, and historians discuss what the US may have learned from the invasion of Iraq, and what this means for its foreign policy today.

Juan Cole, University of Michigan
Flynt L. Leverett, Pennsylvania State University

Trita Parsi, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
Randa Slim, Middle East Institute