About Us

WELCOME MESSAGE FROM OASRI FOUNDER

SHEIKH KHAMIS AL-KHANJAR

Welcome to the website of the Office of the Arab-Sunni Representative for Iraq (OASRI).

OASRI.org provides readers with background on Iraq’s Sunni community through regular updates from Iraq and the surrounding region. This site will also serve as an information hub for OASRI’s activities and humanitarian initiatives on behalf of displaced Iraqis.

Our coalition continues to grow along with international recognition that a stable and prosperous Iraq can only be realized once Daesh is defeated and the political marginalization and repression of Iraq’s Sunni community are addressed.

Through our U.S. office in Washington, DC and OASRI.org, we look forward to working with a growing network of supporters advocating for a recognized voice, effective role and enduring stake for Iraq’s Sunni community in their nation’s future.

Thank you for your interest in our organization’s efforts, and we hope you find our website informative and useful. And thank you for supporting our vision of a stable, secure and inclusive Iraq.

With sincerest regards,

Sheikh Khamis Khanjar Founder, Office of the Arab-Sunni Representative for Iraq

 

 

OUR FOUNDER

SHEIKH KHAMIS AL-KHANJAR

Secretary-General of The Arab Project in Iraq and CEO of the Al-Khanjar Foundation

Sheikh Khamis al-Khanjar is a prominent businessman, dedicated philanthropist, and a leading advocate for Iraq’s Sunni population.

Sheikh Khamis was born into a powerful sheikhdom of the Albu Issa tribe in Fallujah, a city in Iraq’s Anbar province, in 1965. He has a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Literature from Salahaddin University-Erbil, a master's degree in Business Administration from Sidoon University College in Lebanon, and is a candidate for a master's in international relations at the University of the Middle East in Amman, Jordan.

After 2003, Sheikh Khamis became deeply involved in a wide spectrum of charitable and political reform initiatives. In 2004, he established the Al-Khanjar Development Foundation, which provides educational opportunities for students affected by violence. In 2005, Sheikh Khamis founded The Iraqi Center for Strategic Studies (ICSS), a think tank that conducts research, hosts debates, and organizes conferences on Iraq’s political, security, and economic challenges. During 2005, Sheikh Khamis expanded the activities of the foundation to provide healthcare services to low-income families.

In advance of Iraq’s 2010 elections, Sheikh Khamis played a central role in convening the Iraqiyya Coalition, a moderate coalition of secular Sunni and Shia leaders from Western Iraq, which secured the largest share of seats in Iraq’s parliament.

As a fighter for the Sunni community in the midst of a deteriorating security environment Al Khanjar Development Foundation emerged to lead the effort in providing Sunnis across Iraq humanitarian relief, including food, blankets and clothing. The Foundation also ensured that the victims of terrorism and violence received medical treatment in Iraq or, for severe cases, outside Iraq.

In 2014, Al Khanjar Development Foundation established fifteen schools for displaced Sunnis in Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Shaqlawa. In 2016, that number has increased to twenty-one school serving more than twenty-five thousand students and four different grade levels.

Also in 2014, the foundation created a health clinic in Harir which serves 270 patients per day, with the ability to perform surgical operations for displaced Sunnis in need. In 2016, Sheikh Khamis founded a specialized medical center in Erbil to provide medical care for displaced Sunnis and Kurds for free. The center is expected to receive 350 patients a day.

In addition to these endeavors, Sheikh Khamis also owns a television network in his hometown of Fallujah, Al Fallujah TV.

 

OUR MEMBERS

DR. RAFA Al-ISSAWI

Former Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq

Dr. Rafa Hiyad al-Issawi is an orthopedic surgeon and prominent Iraqi Sunni politician.

Issawi was born to the powerful Albu Issa tribe in Iraq’s Anbar province near the city of Fallujah in 1966. From 1984-1990, he attended medical school at the University of Baghdad. From 1990-1993, he completed his residency at al-Ramadi General Hospital and served as a medical doctor in the Iraqi Army from 1993-1994. In 1999, he received his degree in orthopedic surgery from Basra University. He subsequently returned to Fallujah to administer a hospital and played an instrumental role in providing medical support to his community during the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004.

As part of the early Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), Tawafuq Coalition, Issawi became a Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in 2006 with the first government of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He withdrew from the government with four other Tawafuq ministers in 2007, demanding that Maliki release Sunni prisoners and take stronger action against Shiite militias. When Tawafuq returned to the government in July 2008, Issawi was appointed Deputy Prime Minister for Security Affairs. In 2009, he broke with the IIP to establish his own party, the moderate, non-sectarian National Future Gathering (Mustaqbal). In 2010, Issawi became the Finance Minister and led a boycott of the Maliki cabinet. He was consequently charged with links to Al-Qaeda, allegations that were subsequently discredited.

Iraqi counter-terrorism forces raided Issawi’s home inside Baghdad’s Green Zone on December 20, 2012, leading to the arrest of several members of his security detail. The timing of the arrests coincided both with the extended deadline for the registration of electoral coalitions and with the anniversary of the 2011 arrest of security personnel affiliated with former Vice President and prominent Sunni leader Tariq al-Hashemi. Issawi resigned as Finance Minister on March 1, 2013 in protest of Maliki’s discriminatory regime. "I am presenting my resignation in front of you. I do not care about a government that does not respect the Iraqi blood and its people," Issawi told thousands gathered in the western city of Ramadi. The Iraqi constitution requires that the president must approve all ministerial resignations, and Maliki refused to accept Issawi’s decision to resign. As a result, authorities under pressure from the Maliki regime subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Issawi, forcing him into exile.

Issawi speaks Arabic and English and currently resides in Abu Dhabi.






The Office of the Arab-Sunni

Representative for Iraq

The Office of The Arab-Sunni Representative for Iraq (OASRI) is the representative office of Sunni Arabs in Iraq who seek a recognized voice, effective role and enduring stake in their nation’s future.

The protection of Iraq’s Sunni population amidst the current fragile security environment requires direct contact and sustained dialogue between Iraq’s Sunni leadership and all international partners. Within Iraq and outside its borders, OASRI will advocate for the principles, policies and actions necessary to realize the vision of a stable and unified nation embodied in the Constitution of Iraq.

 

 

DR. RAFA Al-ISSAWI

Former Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq

Dr. Rafa Hiyad al-Issawi is an orthopedic surgeon and prominent Iraqi Sunni politician.

Issawi was born to the powerful Albu Issa tribe in Iraq’s Anbar province near the city of Fallujah in 1966. From 1984-1990, he attended medical school at the University of Baghdad. From 1990-1993, he completed his residency at al-Ramadi General Hospital and served as a medical doctor in the Iraqi Army from 1993-1994. In 1999, he received his degree in orthopedic surgery from Basra University. He subsequently returned to Fallujah to administer a hospital and played an instrumental role in providing medical support to his community during the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004.

As part of the early Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), Tawafuq Coalition, Issawi became a Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in 2006 with the first government of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He withdrew from the government with four other Tawafuq ministers in 2007, demanding that Maliki release Sunni prisoners and take stronger action against Shiite militias. When Tawafuq returned to the government in July 2008, Issawi was appointed Deputy Prime Minister for Security Affairs. In 2009, he broke with the IIP to establish his own party, the moderate, non-sectarian National Future Gathering (Mustaqbal). In 2010, Issawi became the Finance Minister and led a boycott of the Maliki cabinet. He was consequently charged with links to Al-Qaeda, allegations that were subsequently discredited.

Iraqi counter-terrorism forces raided Issawi’s home inside Baghdad’s Green Zone on December 20, 2012, leading to the arrest of several members of his security detail. The timing of the arrests coincided both with the extended deadline for the registration of electoral coalitions and with the anniversary of the 2011 arrest of security personnel affiliated with former Vice President and prominent Sunni leader Tariq al-Hashemi. Issawi resigned as Finance Minister on March 1, 2013 in protest of Maliki’s discriminatory regime. "I am presenting my resignation in front of you. I do not care about a government that does not respect the Iraqi blood and its people," Issawi told thousands gathered in the western city of Ramadi. The Iraqi constitution requires that the president must approve all ministerial resignations, and Maliki refused to accept Issawi’s decision to resign. As a result, authorities under pressure from the Maliki regime subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Issawi, forcing him into exile.

Issawi speaks Arabic and English and currently resides in Abu Dhabi.

ATHEEL AL-NUJAIFI

Governor of Nineveh Province

Atheel al-Nujaifi is a prominent businessman and the contested Governor of Nineveh Province.

Nujaifi was born to a prominent Mosuli family in 1958 and enrolled at Mosul University in 1975, where he graduated with an engineering degree in 1979. Upon graduation, he joined the Iraqi Armed Forces and served from 1979-1985 as an engineer with the Iraqi Air Force during the Iraq/Iran war. In 1994, Nujaifi attended the College of Law at Mosul University and graduated in 1998. While completing his studies in law, he started a successful career in business, which he would pursue for the next ten years. During this time, he developed and operated portfolio companies in construction, real estate and agriculture. He served as a key partner for international development and reconstruction projects. In 2006, he entered Iraqi politics, and for the next three years led political organizations and operated media outlets to advance constructive political agendas.

In 2009, Nujaifi was elected the Governor of Nineveh Province. Nujaifi allied with his brother Osama al-Nujaifi’s Iraqiyya Coalition at the national level in 2010. He was subsequently elected to multiple terms as Governor and assisted his brother in founding the Mutahidoun Coalition following the dissolution of Iraqiyya. By 2012, Nujaifi had become a leading critic of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and pressed for pragmatic reforms that would advance regional autonomy within federal Iraq. These actions led to Nujaifi’s persecution by the Maliki government and subsequent corruption and terrorism charges levied in 2013.

As Daesh spread through Northern Iraq, Nineveh Province—and specifically Mosul—became a hotbed of terrorist activity. Nujaifi received little support from the Maliki government, and Mosul was overwhelmed by Daesh forces in June of 2014. Following the fall of the city in May 2015, Nujaifi was forced into exile. Mutahidoun and other Sunni-led Iraqi political blocs have subsequently criticized Nujaifi’s dismissal.

Nujaifi speaks Arabic and English and resides in Turkey.

DR. DHAFIR Al-ANI

Member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Relations

Dr. Dhafir Nazim Salman al-Ani is a former Baghdad University political science professor and a current member of the Iraqi Council of Representativesunder the SunniTahaluf al-Quaa political bloc.

Dr. al-Ani was born in 1958in Baghdad’s Adhamiya district. In 1982 he received his undergraduate degree from Baghdad University’s Faculty of Law and Politics and subsequently earned his master’s degree in 1988. Al-Ani then became a researcher and professor at Baghdad University where he went on to earn a doctorate in political science.  After completing his studies, al-Ani entered academia in 1998 and taught international relations at Baghdad University.He also served as the chair of Baghdad University’s Asian Studies Department at the Center for International Studies until 2003.From 2004 – 2006, Dr. al-Ani served as the Director of the Iraq Studies Program at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai.  During this time he was selected as an exclusive political analyst for Al-Jazeera Media Network and maintains a significant presence in Arab media as one fo the key experts on Iraqi affairs.

In 2006 Dr. al-Ani first became a key parliamentary member of the Council of Representatives.  After Dr. al-Ani was elected to parliament, he was selected to serve as chairman of The Regions and Provinces Committee and was appointed as the primary spokesman for the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front.

In 2010, Dr. al-Ani was a pivotal figure in merging Sunni political blocs to form the Iraqi National Movement, also known as the al-Iraqiyya List. Dr. al-Ani, Dr. RafaIssawi and other prominent Sunni political figures led the Iraqiya movement and won 91 parliamentary seats during the 2010 elections, resulting in the country’s largest political bloc. Maliki then charged key Sunni political figures under the Accountability and Justice Act in 2010, ousting Dr. al-Ani and 500 other Sunni candidates from the election. The Maliki regime remained in power despite losing the election and facing harsh criticism from Dr. al-Ani and other Iraqi leaders. 

In 2014, Dr. al-Ani Returned to the Council of Representatives under the Sunni political bloc Muttahidoon, Dr. al-Ani served as the deputy for the Baghdad provincial list. Dr. al-Ani now serves as a parliamentary member of the Council of Representatives, is a principal leader in Iraq’s Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Alliance of Iraqi Forces political commission.

Dr. Anilives in Baghdad, Iraq.