American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR) of the Kurdistan Regional Government, hosted a training workshop May 6-7, 2019 focusing on enhancing university-level English-language teachers' experiences. Some 35 instructors from universities across the Kurdistan Region attended the two-day workshop held at AUIS. Those in attendance represented Garmian University, University of Kurdistan-Hawler, University of Sulaimani, Koya University, Charmo University, Sulaimani Polytechnic University, Dohuk Polytechnic University, Raparin University, Lebanese French University, Hawler Medical University, and University of Zakho. Through the workshop, the Ministry aimed to elevate current teaching practices in English departments of government universities, using AUIS faculty and classes as examples. Participants engaged in workshops led by AUIS staff and faculty that covered teaching methodologies and techniques, adapting text from outside resources, and multiple intelligence surveys. Lecturers from AUIS's Academic Preparatory Program (APP) welcomed the participants into their classes to observe topics addressed during the workshop. APP at AUIS is the only English-language program accredited by the United States' Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA) in Iraq and Kurdistan. More photos from the workshop can be found on our Flickr page.
As part of its Fall 2018 calendar of events, the AUIS IT Department, in cooperation with the non-profit organization Re:Coded, hosted a seminar and a workshop on blockchain technology on October 30 and November 10, 2018, respectively. Ehsan Ibrahim, a blockchain specialist and trainer from Re:Coded led both the seminar and the workshop. Ehsan provided an introduction to blockchain technology during the seminar, explaining key terms about the topic, and how it is used in the IT industry from a non-technical perspective. The workshop followed the seminar, in which Ibrahim delivered a more technical presentation on blockchain, with examples, hands-on practice, and coding. During the second part of the workshop, AUIS students in attendance were guided through a practical session with a virtual network called Ethereum using Ganache, then students uploaded their own code to the virtual blockchain. Dr. Hemin Latif, Assistant Professor and Chair of the IT Department at AUIS stated, “Creating and maintaining an intellectual link between the IT faculty and the IT practitioners from the industry is vital to the success of education.” “In a field such as IT, neither industry nor university alone can give the full breadth of the knowledge to the students,” Latif continue. After the workshop, student participant, Kamaran Ashraf said he anticipates this new technology will change the way people look at connections on the Internet. “The concern lies in saving milliseconds on transaction times and having reliable point-to-point security, essentially eliminating mediators,” he said. The blockchain events were just one of several seminars and workshops arranged by the AUIS IT Department this semester as part of an effort to introduce students to trending topics in the tech world.
AUIS partnered with the Simmons University School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) in Boston, Massachusetts to conduct a workshop titled “Capacity Building in Academic Libraries” with librarians from the University of Kerbala from October 1-16, 2018. The 15-day workshop focused on bringing Kerbala and AUIS up to date on the latest trends and practices in academic library management and operations, and helping them integrate new techniques into their support of the advancement of knowledge by faculty and students. Participants included Dr. Omaima Hameed Al-Adilee, Mr. Hamad Mahmood Jawad Nasrawi, Mr. Imad Abdulrasoul Ismael, Mr. Haider Musa Jaffar, and Dr. Faisal from the University of Kerbala, as well as AUIS librarian Rania Azad, who also contributed AUIS’s experiences to the workshop. The workshop was led by Michèle Cloonan and Caryn Anderson. Ms. Cloonan is a library management and cultural heritage preservation and conservation expert and served as dean of SLIS at Simmons University from 2002-2012. Prior to Simmons, she was chair of the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She has held a variety of offices in the American Library Association, the American Printing History Association, the Northeast Document Conservation Center—where she was chair of the board of directors, and the Massachusetts Center for the Book. She was president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education from 2008-2009. She has also served on the editorial boards of Libraries & Culture, Library Quarterly, and Libri. Her honors include the Banks/Harris Preservation Award, the Robert Vosper/IFLA Fellows Programme Award, the Bibliographic Society of America Fellowship, and a fellowship to the Virginia Center of Creative Arts. She holds degrees from Bennington College (AB), the University of Chicago (AM), and the University of Illinois (MS, Ph.D.). Ms. Anderson is an expert in library technology and research. She has taught at SLIS at Simmons University since 2006 and served as Manager of Doctoral Programs from 2007-2008. She is currently Associate Editor of Library and Information Science Research. Ms. Anderson previously lived and worked in Iraq from 2009-2012 and provided training and mentoring to public and academic libraries all over the country, including in Sulaimani. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication/Journalism from Boston University and a Master of Library and Information Science from Simmons University.
Did you miss it? A very interesting and useful IT event took place on October 24, 2017, at The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), discussing the state of the IT industry, both locally and globally. Many topics were shared and discussed including the demand for IT jobs, new IT trends, and reviews on digital transformation. The speakers included Mr. Yad Kamal, CEO of Avesta Group, and Mr. Raed Bou Hamdan, co-founder of Click Iraq. The event was introduced by Dr. Hemin Latif, chair of the IT department at AUIS. He emphasized the importance of these events and how they can bring insight and knowledge for students. Hearing from IT experts with industry experience, students can be better informed on the IT job market and its changing dynamics. Dr. Latif announced that the IT department has established a board of advisers with professionals from the local industry. Mr. Yad Kamal discussed the state of the IT market in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, both public and private. He said that the government organizations are using simple IT techniques and tools, therefore it’s a good opportunity for new graduates. Mr. Yad then gave a presentation on the jobs with the highest demand in the IT market. He mentioned that the standard jobs in the market include network administrators and help desk support. The jobs in high demand are web and mobile development. He also encouraged and concentrated on technical sales as it is in high demand. Professionals should have a technical background, product information, and good marketing skills: “Avesta Group and many others pay very good salary for people with this skill and experience, and they are rarely found in the market,” he said. Our other speaker, Mr. Raed, showed clear statistical information on how the digital transformation has progressed so rapidly in a short period of time. He stated that the digital transformation allows connecting people, access to information, and most importantly, creating new jobs. Mr. Raed discussed how data analysis has become something that many IT companies invest in and there are many careers for anyone interested in that field. He also discussed how people are using and reacting to digital technology according to their ages, “The younger generation is more into product and visualization, while the older generation wants the experience. Most of the new products that are released match the desires and mentality of the new generation,” said Mr. Raed. This was the first IT roundtable discussion in Fall 2017. There was a good turnout of IT faculty, students, and alumni. Attending the event, Professor Katongo Lukwesa commented, “I believe this is a great opportunity for the AUIS community to interact with employers and innovators who will give meaning to a lot of things that are studied in the classroom.” Article by IT Department communications intern, Mr. Aran Kamaran.