Kanan Makiya

Kanan Makiya, one of the leading Iraqi intellectuals living abroad, is professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University. He also serves as director of the Iraq Research and Documentation Project at Harvard University where he is making available some three million pages of official Iraqi government documents captured by the Kurds following the 1991 Gulf War. Currently on leave from Brandeis, Makiya is acting as an advisor to Iraq's Interim Governing Council and is a member of the panel working on drafting a new Iraqi constitution. An award winning writer and filmmaker, Makiya left his native Baghdad to study architecture at M.I.T. and later joined Makiya Associates to design and build projects in the Middle East. His first book about Iraq. The Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq was published in 1989 and became a best-seller. Makiya has also collaborated on two films for television, the most recent of which, "Saddam's Killing Fields," exposed the 1988 campaign of mass murder in northern Iraq. It received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Television Documentary on Foreign Affairs. Professor Makiya is also the founding director of The Iraq Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit organization working for democracy and human rights in Iraq, and for a better understanding of the country's potential as a contributor to political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.