A chapter written by Dr. Choman Hardi, AUIS Assistant Professor and Founder and Director of the Center of Gender and Development Studies, titled “The Women’s Movement in Kurdistan-Iraq” has been published in “The Cambridge History of the Kurds” (April 2021). In it, Dr. Hardi explains how the history of women’s activism in Iraqi Kurdistan is closely intertwined with the history of political resistance. In the 1950s, she cites, women mobilized against political oppression and later joined the struggle in various capacities, however few women played leadership roles in the resistance. The chapter further elaborates on changes in 1992, when civil society organizations, including women’s rights organizations, proliferated. This growth in the 1990s and 2000s, she argues, combined with the end of the four-year Kurdish civil war in 1998, led to the formation of collaborative networks and umbrella organizations. Now, Dr. Hardi says, it is possible to speak of a women’s movement that, despite its internal shortcomings and outside obstacles, has been able to bring about change in the region. The chapter builds on two earlier studies by Dr. Hardi about the women’s movement in Kurdistan. This piece highlights the achievements and limitations, and focuses on what to do next to overcome perceived stagnation.
The Academic Preparatory Program (APP) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), in collaboration with the University of Sulaimani, hosted a teacher-centered webinar titled "Online Teaching in Undergraduate Studies: Community, Equity, and Self-Guided Learning" on April 15 and 17, 2021. The webinar was a first-time collaboration between the two universities to tackle the current issues of online learning and teaching, with a strong focus on building an online community. Over two days, 80-100 active participants set goals for themselves as online teachers, and used the event to appeal for greater support from other stakeholders (institutions and society). On the first day, the webinar kicked off by highlighting trends and challenges observed from both universities during the Covid Pandemic to discuss solutions for the future of technology in the KRG education system. On the second day, teachers from both universities took on various training sessions on how to conduct successful online classes and to promote equity among students. The project was successfully executed by David Courtney, M.A. (APP Faculty), Zimkitha Mpatheni, M.A. (Deputy Director for APP), Dr. Shilan Ali Hamasur, Ph.D. (Faculty), and Ms. Fatimah Jalal Tahir, M.A. (Faculty and Teacher Quality Assurance Manager).
American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) Lecturer Mrs. Yalda Razmahang has been awarded the Mesopotamian Fellowship of the Committee on Mesopotamian Civilization (the Baghdad Committee) by the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) organization for the 2021-2022 academic year. The fellowship will support Mrs. Razmahang’s proposed work in Iraq, “Assessing Cultural Heritage in Post-Conflict Iraq: The Case of Assur,” which investigates the role that ideology plays in the destruction of cultural heritage. Her initial research measured different communities’ attachment to the world heritage site of Assur and showed that locals in post-ISIS regions are an underappreciated source of protection for cultural heritage. “Their attachment to the Assur suggests that cultural monuments can serve as bridges to unite people of different ethnic backgrounds,” Mrs. Razmahang said. The next round of research will investigate how local women and youth can become more involved in the protection of their own heritage in the future. Mrs. Razmahang has been a lecturer in the social sciences department at AUIS since 2018. She completed her second MA in Archaeology and History from Lyon 2 University, where she digitized ancient sculptures to study prehistoric gender relations in the Near East. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Archaeology at Lyon 2.
AUIS Professor Dr. Lynn Rose represented the Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) at the International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Colombo, Sri Lanka on September 27-28, 2018. Her presentation, titled “Kurdish Medea: Gender, Humanities, and the Arts,” discussed an overview of the gender minor at AUIS. Two other papers in the session on gender focsed on representations of female actors in Tollywood (Telugu) cinema and violations of women’s rights under the Musarraf regime. Dr. Rose also chaired three sessions on ecology and sustainability, arts in society, and literature and culture. Conference organizers provided a tour of Sri Lanka for participants, including visits to a tooth relic temple and elephant orphanage.
As part of the Engineering Department’s plans for continuous improvements and growth, two new engineering lab assistants have joined the department to help students and instructors in facilitating the engineering laboratories. Hanar Hadi and Hazhy Rozh are two AUIS graduates who have had outstanding performance while studying at AUIS and are eager to serve the AUIS community after their graduation. Hanar Hadi is a former AUIS student and a Mechanical Engineering graduate. Hanar is now an engineering laboratory assistant at AUIS and is very enthusiastic to lead the students to deepen their understanding of the theoretical subjects they learn from different engineering courses. Students do not only have to have an engineering course that requires the labs to visit her, they will be able to seek her help to use the labs for various projects and learning activities. Hanar has served as a Physics Lab Assistant and the Engineering Center tutor at AUIS. Hanar has also been a teacher at one of the private schools while she was a student at AUIS. She helps in easing the learning process by putting in all the energy that is needed to train AUIS’ new engineering generation to be more daring and fearless. Hazhy Rozh is also a former AUIS student and Construction Engineering graduate. He works as an engineering lab assistant with Hanar and is ready to give the deep knowledge he has gotten from AUIS to the new engineering students. Hazhy has also served as a Physics Lab Assistant and a Math Center Tutor while he was a student at AUIS. He is highly qualified in his field and his aim is not only to guide the engineering students, but also to find solutions for the challenges he has had as a student during his studies at AUIS in order to improve the engineering department. Hazhy has a lot of hobbies besides his engineering life, a few of which are graphic design, playing the guitar, painting and web development. Dr. Hemin Latif, Acting Chair of the Engineering Department mentioned, “It is very rewarding to see your own students stand out from the crowd and prove that they are the best candidates for a challenging position. Seeing Hanar and Hazhy coming back to AUIS to be part of the improvements and the growth of the Department is promising a very bright future for our Department.” Students are welcomed to contact Hanar and Hazhy if they have any questions regarding access to the various Engineering Laboratories.
Dr. Hemin Latif, Chair of the Information Technology department at AUIS, announced September 13, 2018 his department had welcomed two new staff members to the team for the fall 2018 semester. The IT department was one of the first academic departments established at AUIS and offers a variety of classes on information technology and new technological innovation. With state-of-the-art facilities, ambitious students and eager learners are equipped with tools to succeed both inside and outside the classroom. Engaged, qualified faculty and staff add even more value to the academic experience. “The addition of these new staff members, Ms. Shene Jalil Jamal and Mr. Mohammed Dler, will help ensure the department excels, fulfills all needs and expectations, and provides excellent services to the AUIS community, especially to IT students,” Dr. Latif said. Ms. Jalil holds an MSc. Degree in Software Systems and Internet Technology from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. She also holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Sulaimani. Ms. Jalil has over six years experience teaching at different universities in the region. Her academic interests include software development and web technologies. She will serve as an adjunct lecturer in the IT Department, teaching the Computer Science and IT Applications class this semester. Mr. Dler is a recent IT graduate from AUIS and will serve in the capacity of IT Lab Assistant. Mr. Dler previously worked at AUIS as an APP Language Coordinator. He is excited to come back to AUIS and is eager to help the department succeed. “I am confident this department will continue on the path towards growth and expansion,” Dr. Latif said. “Ms. Shene and Mr. Mohammed are going to play a valuable role in the future plans for the department.”
The Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) is pleased to announce the most recent publication of Dr. Choman Hardi, “Gender and Genocide, Two Case Studies”, in Routledge Handbook of Gender and Security. The volume is edited by Caron E. Gentry, Laura J. Shepherd and Laura Sjoberg, and published by Routledge in August 2018. This handbook is a comprehensive study of gender and security in the global context. It highlights the importance of utilizing a gender lens to thinking about security, causes and effects, and the possibilities of making the world better in the future. It contains 34 chapters by scholars with a diverse range of theoretical and policy concerns. After reviewing the literature in the field of gender and genocide and tracing its development, Dr. Hardi’s chapter studies women’s experiences of two cases of genocide in Kurdistan-Iraq. More specifically, it discusses the Anfal genocide in 1988 and the Ezidi genocide in 2014 with a particular focus on sexual violence. Comparing the experiences of female survivors of two different genocides in the same region helps us understand how the dominant discourses of the time influence women’s narrations, endurance, and survival.
President Bruce Walker Ferguson, JD, Dean of Faculty Dr. Mazen Bou Khuzam, Director of Academic Administration and Accreditation Rachel Gresk, and Dean of Students Geoffrey Gresk at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) welcomed new and returning faculty to the University campus on August 30, 2018 for orientation ahead of the start of the 2018-2019 academic year. The orientation marked the first session of a two-week-long set of workshops for faculty and staff to introduce new members of the University community, discuss new and updated policies, as well as review lessons learned from the previous semesters. Workshops over the next two weeks will discuss professional development topics, including those related to library services, teaching methods, grant proposal writing and more.
AUIS Assistant Professor and CGDS Director Dr. Choman Hardi participated in the Auckland Writers' Festival in New Zealand from May 15-20, 2018. Dr. Hardi participated in three events at the festival, one of which was the #WhereToNow - The University of Auckland Festival Forum, where she spoke on a podcast with Ella Henry, Hope Jahrenn, and Robert Webb on the #MeToo campaign and its aftermath. During the Festival, Dr. Hardi also presented her book Considering the Women. After the event, all 150 copies of her book that were on display were sold out. She also participated on a panel titled “The Art of the Poem” with Airini Beautrais, James Brown, and Terese Svoboda. Earlier this year, Dr. Hardi had an interview with Radio New Zealand, which was broadcast on Anfal Commemoration Day, April 14th. In the interview she talks about AUIS, about teaching gender studies, writing poetry, researching about genocide survivors, and a bit of Kurdish/ Iraqi politics. Listen to the interview here.
April 30, 2018 - The Office of the Dean of Faculty at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani held a year-end celebration to recognize faculty achievements for the year of 2018. Awards were given to 10 faculty members for their contribution to the University through their teaching methods, research, and service. Name Award Rimantas Kodzius Research Edith Szanto Research Choman Hardi Service Award Raguez Taha Service Award Maria Saldarriaga Teaching Dana Khdr Teaching - Adjunct Alex Poppe Research Susanna Johnson Teaching Zimkitha Mpatheni Service Award Katy McGar Service Award