Spring 2017 | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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Spring 2017

Renowned TV Producer and Presenter Ricardo Karam Speaks at AUIS Sixth Annual Commencement

During his commencement address, Karam challenged the graduating class to use their education to not only thrive in the world around them, but also dare to change it. “While you create your own future, you have the opportunity to shape the future of Kurdistan and the region,” he said. “Here you can make an impact you would never be able to in the West or elsewhere.  With your education you have all the right tools at your disposal. And in whatever you choose to do, wherever you do it, you can make a positive difference simply by living your values.” Karam, a graduate from the American University of Beirut, urged the students to employ the values and education earned at an American University to create a positive impact around them. “This style of education is the backbone of the region. The American Universities in the Middle East have launched some of our greatest talent,” he said. “The values espoused by your University, your future Alma Mater – good citizenship, personal integrity and the ability to communicate and listen to others – together have a wider ripple effect than you can possibly imagine. We are all interconnected. How you live, how you behave, how you treat others has a direct influence in shaping the communities around you and the quality of life you are able to experience for yourself.” President Ferguson, while congratulating the graduating class, also mentioned that AUIS is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Thanking the AUIS Founder Dr. Barham Salih, Kurdistan Regional Government, donors and supporters of the University, he said: “This widespread support reflects the fact that AUIS is not just a university for the city of Sulaimani, but a university for the entire Kurdistan region, for the country of Iraq, and perhaps someday for the entire Middle East. This vision of AUIS is still as important and compelling today as it was ten years ago. As we celebrate the University’s tenth birthday, I ask each of you here to help realize this vision.” The undergraduate student address was delivered by valedictorian Sherwan Hindreen, an International Studies graduate, who also spoke of resilience and change as he urged his fellow graduates to stay positive and strong in the face of an uncertain future in Iraq and its Kurdistan Region. “I believe in our ability to change the future,” he said, addressing the Class of 2017. “Today, we are leaving AUIS, and making a new beginning, a new breakthrough into life. Here, the education we have received has given us the tools needed to truly make a difference. We are here to leave a mark on the future of this nation. The road is long, and the land is harsh, but we must soldier on and stay united. We have two options: We can either face up to the challenge of taking control of our future, or we can follow in the footsteps of our forefathers and cruelly pass the responsibility to the next generation. I never shy away from a challenge, nor do you. For me the choice is clear. I hope it is the same for you too.” Bakhan Ghafour, the MBA valedictorian and an engineering graduate of AUIS, urged her peers to earnestly look for a career choice that they have passion for: “There are infinite choices available to us but we do need to find our own path. I hope the one big lesson we have learned [at AUIS] is just how much better life is when we follow our passion.” This year’s graduates include 93 undergraduate and 23 graduate students. More than 40 percent of the undergraduates are business administration majors, 23 percent are information technology majors, 21 percent are engineering majors, while 13 percent majored in international studies. Almost half of the of the graduating class - 47 percent - are women. Transcripts of commencement speeches are available here. Photos of the of the commencement ceremony are available on our Facbook and Flickr pages.  A full video of the sixth annual commencement exercises can be viewed on the AUIS YouTube channel.  About the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani  American University of Iraq, Sulaimani was founded in 2007 as an independent, non-profit, American-style institution of higher learning. Over the last decade the University has grown from ten to 1,500 students, and expanded and improved its academic programs to educate the future leaders of the region. AUIS now has over 650 alumni, most of them working in Iraq and its Kurdistan Region. More than 80 percent of AUIS’s undergraduate alumni are employed by the region’s top private companies or pursue advanced degrees at prestigious universities in the United States and Europe. Top slideshow image: Sarteep Othman 

AUIS to Host Sixth Annual Commencement on May 24

  Renowned TV producer and presenter Ricardo Karam to attend as commencement speaker. 127 students expected to receive undergraduate and master’s degrees.  Sulaimani, Iraq – May 21, 2017  – The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) will host its sixth annual commencement exercises on Wednesday, May 24.  Nearly 1,000 family members, friends, and distinguished guests are expected to attend the event held on the AUIS campus. The ceremony will be presided over by AUIS President Bruce Walker Ferguson and the University’s Founder and Trustee Dr. Barham Salih. Professor Hemin Latif, assistant professor at the Department of Information Technology, will serve as the master of ceremonies. Renowned TV presenter, producer, and writer, Ricardo Karam, has been invited to attend as the commencement speaker. International Studies graduate Sherwan Hindreen has been selected as the undergraduate valedictorian for his stellar academic performance, while Ms. Bakhan Ghafour will represent her class this year as the MBA speaker.   Baccalaureate degrees will be awarded to 103 students in Business Administration, Information Technology, International Studies, Mechanical Engineering, Construction Engineering, and Energy Engineering. An additional 24 students are expected to  receive a degree of Master of Business Administration. The event, which will be hosted at the spacious and picturesque courtyard of the University’s administration building, will begin at 6:00 P.M.   To attend as a member of the press, please contact Bzhar Boskani at [email protected] or +964.770.152.1893. About the Commencement Speaker Ricardo Karam is a veteran talk-show host, motivational speaker and advocate of promoting Arab achievement and social causes. Since 1996, he has worked with the movers and shakers of the world to inspire Arabs to break new ground in society, culture and business. Karam has interviewed numerous people with international influence such as the Dalai Lama, Farah Diba Pahlavi, Bill Gates, Luciano Pavarotti, Noor Al Hussein, Valentino, Ivo Pitanguy and Zaha Hadid. He is the author of two books; Rencontres Privilégiées (2000) featuring some of his influential interviewees, and Le Paris Libanais (2005) on the Lebanese community in France. In 2010, Ricardo formed TAKREEM - a platform that recognizes and supports the achievements and endeavors of Arabs who have distinguished themselves in the arts, culture, sciences, environment, education, or philanthropy every year. About AUIS Established in 2007 as an independent, not-for-profit institution, AUIS is dedicated to providing a comprehensive liberal arts education for the benefit of young men and women from Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the wider region. The University’s 1,500 students develop a responsible character with the knowledge and skills needed for professional and national leadership. AUIS graduates are in high demand, with most employed in the private sector by prestigious international and local companies. More than 80 percent of our alumni are either employed or enrolled in top-tier graduate programs around the world.

AUIS Announces New Scholarship Fund Set Up by Former U.S. Soldier: NRT

The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUIS) announced on Wednesday (May 10) the creation of the Blake and Bailey Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to help eligible students fund their studies at the Institute. As an American soldier overseas I fell in love with the country, culture, and people of Iraq,” Mr Blake said. “We are honored to be able to provide for their continued success and noble achievements though the endowment of this scholarship fund.” Read the full story here. Read the AUIS news release about the scholarship here. 

Moulakis Library Hosts Guest Talk by Kareem Abdulrahman

  The Moulakis Library hosted a guest talk by Kareem Abdulrahman, who has recently translated and published Bakhtiyar Ali’s renowned Kurdish novel "Ghazalnus and the Gardens of Imagination", into English as "I Stared at the Night of the City".  During his talk, Abdulrahman discussed the challenging translation process in detail, and also gave students advice on how to overcome challenges they face when translating important work.  The book was published by Periscope Books in London last year. It won a “PEN Promotes” grant, and PEN’s World Bookshelf describes the novel as: I Stared at the Night of the City is a trip, in more ways than one: a tale of extraordinary people travelling great distances, in their minds or with their feet. It is a lyrical interpretation of contemporary Kurdistan, so much in the news nowadays but otherwise so little understood. Told by several unreliable narrators in a kaleidoscope of fragments that all eventually cohere, the novel manages the neat trick of dipping readers into a fantasia just long enough before wrenching them back to hard, cold ‘real life’. Kareem Abdulrahman is a translator and journalist. He obtained his MA in Journalism from the University of Westminster and worked for over eight years with the BBC, where translation from Kurdish was part of his remit. In 2013, he was awarded a place on the British Centre for Literary Translation’s prestigious mentorship programme. He lives in London. 

Charity Rock Concert with Jerry Joseph

Join us this Thursday at 5:00 pm for a charity concert by Jerry Joseph, an American singer, songwriter, and guitar player currently touring the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Jerry Joseph will be joined by the AUIS Oriental Musical Club to play at the concert.  The concert is open to everyone. Outside guests are welcome to join by registering on this link: http://bit.ly/2p9MC1L. Please bring some form of ID with you for security check at the gate. Only registered guests can attend.    There are no tickets, but donations are welcome, which will go to refugee camps in the Kurdistan region.  Visit Jerry's GoFundMe page for more information about why he is touring Kurdistan, and his efforts to raise funds to bring music and music education to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.      About the Artist Jerry Joseph has been writing, recording and playing music for well over three decades, and has released over 25 records as a solo artist and frontman for bands such as The Jackmormons, Stockholm Syndrome, Little Women and The Denmark Vesseys. In 2014, Jerry traveled to Afghanistan to work as a teacher at Rock School Kabul and bring needed music equipment to the school. He performs more than 150 shows a year across the globe, including recent tours in Lebanon, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Costa Rica and Nicaragua as well as Europe and the United States.


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