THE BLOG
06/16/2010 06:21 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

This is Iraq (But Not the One You've Seen Before)

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I am spending this summer away from the Huffington Post to teach a two-month workshop in northern Iraq through The Tiziano Project.

Traveling to this region is an eye-opening experience. I see new and utterly different things every day. But more importantly, spending time here has allowed me to "pull back the curtain" on a culture that hasn't been talked about much by people abroad and is largely misunderstood by people outside of Iraq.

Iraqi Kurdistan is full of fantastic contradictions, ancient culture and new development at a lightning-fast pace. And along with this come the growing pains and remarkable opportunities of a society that is moving on from violence and redefining a national and regional identity.

This is the story The Tiziano Project is here to tell.

We've only just begun. I wanted to share with you our first video produced from the region.

This Is Iraq | The Tiziano Project from The Tiziano Project on Vimeo.

Throughout the summer, I will continue to pass along to the HuffPost community stories about the obstacles and joys of working here, the stories our students produce and thoughts about what I am learning from the region. I hope by passing along bits and pieces like these, I can provide you the vicarious opportunity to see past that curtain yourself.

Victoria Fine is currently co-leading a two-month new media journalism workshop in Iraqi Kurdistan for The Tiziano Project. The nonprofit provides community members in conflict, post-conflict and underreported regions with the equipment, training and affiliations necessary to report their stories and improve their lives.