Epic (adjective): very great or large and usually difficult or impressive. It is a word used to describe something that has the potential to blow or alter ones mind. While according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary this definition stands fairly accurate, words will always obtain different meanings to different people.
“Epic” is the name of an organization in which promotes peace in Iraq, called The Education for Peace in Iraq Center. It is an independent organization with the goal of creating a “more peaceful, sustainable, democratic society in Iraq.” EPIC has been based out of Washing D.C. after establishing itself in the late 1990s.
The organization consists of three different groups: research, youth empowerment and education. The group members range from aid workers, to ordinary Americans who want to make an impact for those across the pond. The interesting part about EPIC is that one does not have to physically go to Iraq to become involved. Through internships, advocating and research, one can contribute to EPIC and stay in the states.
Youth programs and partnerships allow the organization to connect and direct children who have lost loved ones, homes, or even sight of their dreams. EPIC acknowledges the idea of children in Iraq being lost in society; that this generation is being pushed behind. They want to empower these children to create a brighter future for themselves, and make it known that they will never be forgotten. EPIC wants to take the current issues being faced by Iraqi’s into another direction, and show the possibility of life once the violence and wars diminish. People tend to lose sight of what life could be, hence why EPIC’s involvement is so important.
A current project of EPIC that was launched in the Spring of 2014 is called “PhotoVoice: Iraq.” PhotoVoice is a photo campaign consisting of everyday images of Iraqi people. The goals of this project range from showing how children are being affected by the tragedies, to pushing for a positive change for Iraqi lives. Through these photos, EPIC wants to raise awareness of how drastically Iraqi’s have been changing over the past few years and how badly peace needs to be brought to this country.
The images PhotoVoice intends on using will empower individuals to seek change for those who are not fortunate enough to live a safe and free lifestyle as their own. This project will be extremely powerful once it starts to gain a larger audience and a more diverse photographs, alongside personal stories. People will be able to find their photographs more powerful than briefly hearing about similar events mentioned on the news. Images tend to capture ones attention much quicker than an article or news headline. Sometimes what we read is not nearly as powerful as the images we see/go along with the story
Although, it may have a different meaning behind it, EPIC can truly be defined as something “very great and impressive.” The organization is incredibly important because it allows people to be involved with help make an impact in another country without physically going there. Doing work such as research or advocating for signatures, such as the successful “Put Iraq Back on the Agenda” petition EPIC started in 2013, have lead to huge steps forward. Not only is the organization important in aiding, but also it has the potential to build strong relationships amongst Americans and Iraqis.