In a talk given at the Dutch Embassy in San Franciso, Guido van Rossum, the creator of the Python programming language, claimed that a PyCon is held in Iraq:

The Python user community is formed of millions of people who consciously use Python, and love using it. There are active members organizing Python conferences — affectionately known as PyCons — in faraway places like Namibia, Iran, Iraq, even Ohio!

However, a simple search didn't turn up evidence of this, and the index of national PyCons does not list an Iraqi conference.

Does PyCon occur in Iraq? Was Guido conflating this with the video conference call he mentions shortly after?

  • 2
    That's not a comprehensive list, perhaps because some aren't "national". Pycon MEA (Middle East and Africa) is missing, which was held in the UAE (or will be, who knows with Covid). It's not clear where else they had conferences.
    – Laurel
    Jan 20 at 16:19
  • 3
    Plain old question suitable for a python mailing list.
    – pipe
    Jan 20 at 20:33
  • 6
    Can PyCon refer to just any conference about Python, or is it some specially sanctioned conference series? I mean, it seems very likely that at some point in time, some number of people in Iraq got together to discuss Python; would that have been a PyCon? Jan 21 at 5:23
  • @NateEldredge: I try to address this question in my answer.
    – Oddthinking
    Jan 21 at 16:03
  • @NateEldredge As Oddthinking specified in their answer, I meant to ask about conferences registered as PyCons. Apologies for this not being clear earlier!
    – Aurora
    Jan 22 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


Python conferences are not "affectionately known as PyCons", so much as some conferences are authorised by the Python Software Foundation to license the PyCon registered trademark. It has been registered since 2014, two years before the van Rossum's speech.

The PSF PyCon Trademark Usage Policy explains:

In order to protect the term "PyCon" against unwanted or misleading use by third parties, the PSF claims the term “PyCon” as a trademark worldwide for conference activities.


Use of the trademark is subject to approval by the PSF trademarks committee [...]

The same page also lists authorized PyCon community conferences, which excludes Iraq.

So, no there is no PyCon Iraq.

  • 4
    The blog post by van Rossum is almost six year old, so one might wonder if perhaps in 2016 there was still a PyCon in Iraq that has since been removed from the list of authorized conferences, or if perhaps the label PyCon was not yet trademarked at the time of writing the blog post. Apparently, neither of these are true: web.archive.org/web/20160405075253/https://www.python.org/psf/… Perhaps you may want to include this information into your answer?
    – Schmuddi
    Jan 21 at 18:39
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    I suspect you are going to need to force Google to search in Arabic to find the answer to this - with a bit of work I found PyIraq (facebook.com/pyiraq) and an AI/ML user group in Iraq (facebook.com/groups/ai.group.iraq) but my Arabic isn't to the level needed to really search for any conferences.
    – rjzii
    Jan 21 at 19:21
  • @rjzii: I am not denying that there are any Python user groups in Iraq. I am denying there is a PyCon® in Iraq.
    – Oddthinking
    Jan 22 at 13:38
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    @Oddthinking Two points to keep in mind though. First is that "PyCon" can refer to a Python convention that is formally sponsored by Python Software Foundation, this is the easy claim to demonstrate. The second, and harder one, is that since PyCon can be used as a colloquial for a non-affiliated Python convention you need to demonstrate that informal Python conventions have not occurred in Iraq which is tricky since Python (the language) would be written out in Arabic. My Arabic skills are limited, so the best I can do is verify that their are Python usergroups in Iraq.
    – rjzii
    Jan 22 at 19:23
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    @rjzii: My answer effectively argues that PyCon cannot be legally used as a colloquial term. The Python Software Foundation appears to take that seriously. Van Rossum misspoke.
    – Oddthinking
    Jan 23 at 4:36

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