Syria | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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Syria

Renewed Challenges for the Middle East

Ahmed Ali, senior fellow at the American University's Institute of Regional and International Studies reviews the immense challenges facing Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq and the Middle East as we gear up for hosting the fourth annual Sulaimani Forum on March 16-17, 2016. The annual Forum aims to convene prominent leaders, intellectuals and practitioners to the cultural hub of Sulaimani, Iraq to engage in meaningful dialogue and tackle the most complex issues facing the region.   "One hundred years after the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement, there are serious questions about the current political structure of the Middle East. There are challenges of figuring out identities and governance systems. The old guard in Egypt, Yemen, and Tunisia has changed. The new leaders are yet to succeed in setting an agreeable collective direction for their countries. Syria is staring into the abyss of its status as a nation-state. It has become a base for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and it witnesses ongoing violence. This new regional order places Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan at a crossroads that is familiar yet is uncharted territory. Mosul is still under ISIS control, both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and federal Iraq are in dire financial shape, and the distrust among all communities is at a peak. With these ongoing developments, the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) is holding its fourth Sulaimani Forum in March of this year. This year’s Forum takes on extra significance given the 100 year anniversary of Sykes-Picot and it will seek to cover the myriad of national and regional challenges..." Read full article.       More about the upcoming Sulaimani Forum. 

AUIS Students Organize “Smile” Fundraiser for Refugees and IDPs

AUIS students organize a fundraiser for refugees
  The idea was initiated by Abdullah Mohammed Wajeeh and Nawfal Sattar Mohammed, two Academic Preparatory Program (APP) students in level 2, who were quickly joined by Hayas Ismail in level 3 and later by Zhiwar Jawhar Rasul in the Undergraduate program. They were supported by APP Instructor, Chris Guajardo, in organizing and setting up the activities. Both Abdullah and Nawfal had participated in the service learning project in the Fall, and wanted to continue and do something similar to give back to the community this semester. “I think that the event that these students created will really change the way in which fundraising is done here at AUIS,” said Guajardo, “They have set a new bar and provided fresh ideas for helping those who are most in need.” In three days, the students managed to raise $2,694.00 for the refugee camps. Over the course of three days, the students organized several interesting activities and events to raise the funds. Creative art pieces, photographs and handicrafts made by AUIS students were put on sale. A group of young and talented artists, The Iraqi Touch, participated by donating their art pieces for auction at the fundraiser. There were other fun activities like music, a cook-off, and hand painting. One of the highlights of the event was a guest lecture from renowned Kurdish artist, Ismail Khayat, who also donated prints of his artwork for the fundraiser. “I am extremely proud and amazed by what these students were able to accomplish. They put in weeks of planning, organizing, and networking, and it was all done under their already very busy schedules and workloads in APP and Undergraduate programs. These students have shown once again how creative, dedicated, and capable they truly are,” added Guajardo. Following the success of the fundraiser, the students are already thinking about making this an annual event at the University. The organizers would like to thank the AUIS community for their continued support, and in particular, the following people who helped and contributed to the event. Mr. Ismail Khayat, who contributed his artwork, time, and all printing of the photographs that were sold during the three days of the event for free as a donation. Masti Khalil and Saya Ahmad, organizers of the cook-off. Sanya Rzgar for her contributing art and craft work. The Iraqi Touch group for donating their artwork. All the photographers who contributed their work: Korak Agha, Rawand Taha, Hogr Hadi, Nvar Kawan, Hayas Ismail, Zhiwar Jawhar Rasul, Danyar Jalal, Rawand Ali, and all who volunteered their time. Mr. Oliver Keels, director of Student Services, and the Communications Office for their support.  See more photos of the event on our facebook page. 
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