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People and culture are inseparable; it is individuals and communities who create culture, culture that brings people together in meaningful, creative and constructive ways. A population’s ability to freely access and understand its heritage is indivisible from the development of qualities such as empathy, tolerance and respect - emotional as well as critical intelligence. 

Iraq boasts an extraordinary history and an incredibly rich cultural heritage. From the holy shrines of Al-Abbas and Al-Hussein in Karbala, plangent with the history of many centuries of pilgrimage, to the archaeological site of Nineveh, one of the most culturally significant cities in the ancient world, Iraq is resonant with a cultural history that spans millennia.                                                                                                                                        

The BISI is the UK’s only institution dedicated to advancing the research and public education on Iraq, with an exclusive focus on Iraq’s cultural heritage. For over 80 years, BISI has built an excellent international reputation for collaborative research: we help to fund cultural projects in Iraq and the UK, have established a Visiting Scholarship programme that fosters academic exchange between Iraq and the rest of the world, published vital research, and hosted numerous conferences and public lectures to help bring these issues to light.

At BISI, we know that the fate of Iraq’s extraordinary cultural heritage cannot be separated from its current human tragedy. It is this heritage that we seek to preserve and rehabilitate, in a variety of ways, in order to shape Iraq’s future. To do this, we need to comprehend its rich historical and cultural past, which has done so much in shaping its diverse contemporary social identities.

Working with Iraqi, British and international partners we use our expertise, contacts and innovative ideas to make a practical difference on the ground, helping Iraq preserve its heritage for future generations.

But we can’t do it alone.

With your support, we can continue the vital work of protecting and rehabilitating Iraq’s history and heritage, in order to help rebuild its future. We can work towards a public understanding and celebration of Iraq, both within the country and internationally.

Any donation, no matter how small, makes a huge difference to what may be achieved.

What your donations can help us to achieve:

£11,000 enables us to fund a cycle of our Visiting Scholar Programme to support our Iraqi colleagues working in desperately difficult situations, and ensure the protection of their work

£15,000 will make a significant contribution towards the costs of digitising the archive of the archaeological site of Nimrud, attacked by Da’esh in 2015

£75,000 will enable us to fund cataloguing and online publication of the archive