Erbil – No security guards stand watch at the front gate of Salahaddin University. Young women and men mingle freely in the courtyard between classes, while Sunni and Shiite Arabs and Kurds sit together in the cafeteria sipping cola. The classrooms are so packed that extra desks are pressed up against the blackboards, and final exams have to be administered in two sittings. The campus - peaceful, bustling, and collegial - is a rare sight in Iraq, where sectarian violence has brought the higher-education system to the verge of collapse.
Adelphi, Maryland (KRG.org) – Serwan Sereni, an accomplished Kurdish violinist, last week introduced American teachers to Kurdish music when he played at the Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute (MATI).
John Ceschini, a facilitator at MATI’s teacher training programme, said, “In spite of all the challenges and tragedies that the Kurds have faced, Sereni’s passion for playing and his desire to expand artistic opportunities for his people is inspiring.”
Minneapolis, USA (KRG.org) - Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations, said at a US conference last week that the KRG would partner with two leading music education organisations to revitalise learning through music in Kurdistan’s schools and colleges.
Erbi, Kurdistan-Iraq (MOSY-KRG.org) - Spend your summer holidays this year in the safe and beautiful Kurdistan Region – a unique opportunity for those who want to (re)discover the rich culture and stunning nature of Kurdistan while sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas with the youth of Kurdistan.
"Our future of promise will not happen by itself....Building the future our people desire and deserve means improving our capabilities. This can only be done through education and training, and by gaining experience. We have much to learn from others and we must not hesitate to learn from them."
The University of Exeter in the UK is now accepting applications for the Masters degree in Kurdish Studies. This new degree, offered by the university’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, begins in October 2007.
Erbil, Kurdistan Region-Iraq – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani today laid the foundation of the first Information Technology Training Centre in Erbil, the Kurdistan Region’s capital.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, the Prime Minister said, “I am sure that upon completion this facility will become a notable centre for our Region. Not only will it help train our people, but it will also help to connect our Region to the world.”
Erbil, Iraq - A guard armed with a machine gun stands at the gate of the compound, which shares a high concrete wall with a prison at the rear. But inside the University of Kurdistan, the only English-language university in Kurdish-controlled Iraq, free minds are at work.
Lisbon, Portugal (KRG.org) - The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Representative to Spain, Mr Daban Shadala, made his first visit to Portugal, where he held meetings with officials and private sector representatives. The objective of the visit was to meet with various Portuguese government and private sector entities, to determine points of interest for future cooperation in the areas of education, culture, politics and business.
Two British tour operators have launched holidays to northern Iraq, a region where the horrors of Saddam’s tyranny are being replaced by hospitality and hope.