Berzy Bahzad Omer, Information Technology ‘15 Berzy Bahzad Omer is an IT graduate from American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), finishing in the top 10 of his graduating class and third in his department. A Sulaimani native, he joined the academic IT department as a lab assistant before deciding to pursue a master’s degree in Advanced Computer Networks at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom. Berzy finished at the top of his class at Derby and attributed his AUIS education as a contributor to his success. “AUIS was a major factor behind my success in both my professional and academic endeavors,” he said. “The liberal arts-style of education at AUIS taught me the skills required to construct a well-written thesis as well as how to solve problems resourcefully.” “Above all,” he noted, “I consider myself lucky to have had the chance to study at AUIS.” Going forward, Berzy looks forward to applying the skills he has gained in his academic and professional experiences at AUIS and in the UK to further his career.
دەشنێ عەبدولکەریم عەبدولغەفور ، بیزنس ١٤ دەشنێ عەبدولکەریم، ساڵی ٢٠١٤ بڕوانامەی بەکالۆریۆسی لەکارگێڕیی کار لەزانکۆی ئەمریکی لەعێراق، سلێمانی بەدەست هێناوە. ئێستاش مینحەی فۆڵبرایتی بەدەست هێناوە بۆ درێژەدان بەخوێندنی ماجستێر لەکارگێڕیی کاردا، لەکۆلیجی کارگێڕیی کار لەزانکۆی پۆرتلاندی حکومی، لەوڵاتە یەکگرتوەکانی ئەمریکا. دەشنێ دەڵێت: "جۆری خوێندن لەزانکۆی ئەمریکی لەسلێمانی، یارمەتیی دام لەدۆزینەوەی هەلی جۆراوجۆر لەگەشتە ئەکادیمیەکەمدا". ئەو، فەزڵی ئەوەی کە بوە بەخاوەنی دیدو تێڕوانینێکی فراوان لەژیانی تایبەتی و پیشەیی خۆیدا، دەگێڕێتەوە بۆ ئەو سیستمەی خوێندن (سیستمی لیبراڵ ئارت) کە لەزانکۆی ئەمریکی لەسلێمانی بەرقەرارە. دەشڵێت: "خوێندن لەزانکۆی ئەمریکی لەسلێمانی، یارمەتیی دام لەزانینی چۆنیەتیی دیاریکردنی ئەڵتەرناتیڤ و چارەسەردانان بۆ هەر کێشەو بەربەستێک کە رەنگە روبەڕویان ببمەوە". هەروەها دەڵێت: "خوێندن و فێربون لەناو دەستەو گروپی فێرخوازیی جۆراوجۆردا، یارمەتیی دام باشتر لەدیدو تێڕوانینە جیاوازەکان حاڵی ببم و نزیک ببمەوە لەئامانجە جۆراوجۆرەکان" . بەلای "دەشنێ"وە، ئەو گەشتە زانکۆییەی کە لەزانکۆی ئەمریکی لەعێراق، سلێمانی دەستی پێکرد، کۆتایی نەهاتوە: "لەسەرەتاوە، لەموحازەرەکانمانەوە بەزمانی ئینگلیزی، تا کۆرس و پرۆگرامەکانی دیکە، زانکۆ سەرجەم ئەو ئامرازانەی پێشکەشکردین کە بۆ بەرەو پێشچون بەئاراستەی جیهان و دەستەبەرکردنی ئامانجە یەک لەدوای یەکەکانمان پێویستن".
دشني عبدالكريم عبدالغفور ، الأعمال ، 14 دشني عبدالكريم، الحاصلة حاليا على منحة فولبرايت لمتابعة الماجستير في إدارة الأعمال في كلية إدارة الأعمال بجامعة بورتلاند الحكومية في الولايات المتحدة، حصلت في عام 2014 على شهادة البكالوريوس في إدارة الأعمال من الجامعة الأمريكية في العراق، السليمانية. تقول دشني: "نوعية التعليم في الجامعة الأميركية بالسيمانية، ساعدتني في إيجاد فرص مختلفة في رحلتي الأكاديمية". وهي تعزو الفضل في توسيع نظرتها في حياتها الشخصية والمهنية، الى التعليم الليبرالي المقدم في الجامعة الأمريكية بالسليمانية. وأضافت: "الدراسة في الجامعة الأمريكية بالسليمانية ساعدتني في معرفة كيفية تحديد البدائل والحلول لأي عقبات قد أواجهها". كما قالت: "التعلم بين مجموعات متنوعة من الطلاب في الجامعة، سمح لي بتفهم وجهات نظر مختلفة والأقتراب من أهداف مختلفة." بالنسبة إلى "دشني"، لم تنته الرحلة التي بدأتها في الجامعة الأمريكية بالسليمانية: "منذ البداية، من محاضراتنا باللغة الإنجليزية، إلى دوراتنا وبرامجنا العديدة الأخرى، زودتنا الجامعة بالأدوات اللازمة للتقدم إلى العالم وتحقيق أهدافنا، واحد تلو الآخر".
Dashne Abdulkareem Abdulghafour, Business ‘14 Dashne Abdulkareem graduated from American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) with a bachelors in Business Administration in 2014. She is currently a Fulbright Scholar pursuing an MBA at Portland State University’s School of Business in Portland, Oregon in the United States. “The quality of education at AUIS helped me find different opportunities in my academic journey,” Dashne said. She credits the liberal arts education offered at AUIS for broadening her perspective on her personal and professional life. “[Studying at AUIS] helped me learn how to identify alternatives and solutions to any obstacles that I may face,” she added. “And learning amongst diverse groups of students at AUIS allowed me to better understand different viewpoints and come up with approaches to different goals.” For Dashne, the AUIS journey hasn’t ended. “From the start, in our English lectures, to our other many courses and programs, AUIS equipped me with the tools to head out into the world and achieve my goals, one after the other.”
Name: Meeran Sarwar Hometown: Sulaimani AUIS Graduation Date: 2014 Major: Business Administration Meeran Sarwar is a co-founder and manager of City Gym, which opened in Sulaimani in 2015. How and when did you decide to start your own business? It had always been a dream and goal of mine, since I was 12 years old, to open a gym. I’ve always been passionate about working out. After graduating from AUIS, I went to Lebanon and worked in the auditing department of Bank Audi. It was a great experience and I learned a lot about customer service. I came back to Sulaimani and decided to use what I learned to start a new, unique gym experience for people here. What challenges did you face in setting up City Gym? The first challenge we faced was in setting up a mixed-gender gym in Kurdistan. It was the first one that had women and men working out together, side-by-side. It was very difficult in the beginning. We had to convince our friends, people in our social circles, to come and join. It was hard to even convince guys to join because they were used to working out in certain environments. The market segment was also small, since not everyone was into going to the gym and working out. Pricing was also a challenge. People who did go to the gym were used to paying less for memberships, but we were providing quality, experienced staff, a hygienic environment, professional equipment, and more. We also focused on customer service. Our goal wasn’t to only make money, but to help people reach their fitness goals in a fun way. My goal has always been to get people to reach their full potential; and our motto at City Gym is “It’s a lifestyle” and we really believe that. Who supported you? Our biggest supporters have been our family, our managing team, and our loyal clients. Our clients are loyal because we really focus on customer service. We’ve created a comfortable place for people to work out. My experience as a business officer with an organization called Mercy Corps also helped me. There, I helped establish 24 different small businesses with our beneficiaries. This helped me deal with our new City Gym location in a more efficient way, both fiscally and managerigially. How did your family and friends feel about you starting your own business? I’m a risk taker and my family were unbelievably supportive, and they still are. They were afraid in the beginning but saw how hard we worked to make it a reality. And actually, I would say seventy percent of my friends and peers were more afraid for us because the risks were so high. What has been the best part and the most challenging part? The best part is and has always been that we are a leader in the fitness industry here. We were the first to make this new idea a reality. The financial crisis in recent years was also a very serious challenge for us. At first people, were willing to pay $80 a month for gym memberships, but it was also the first cost to get cut for a lot of people, even for our most serious or loyal clients. We managed to survive even though our target market was shrinking each month, but we focused on giving the best quality through it all. The financial crisis actually did us a favor. People lived in their comfort zones before then and all of a sudden, we were forced to push ourselves more, work harder, and come up with creative ideas. How did your AUIS education prepare you to build a career as an entrepreneur? AUIS gave me the basic foundation that helped me to expand my way of thinking regarding business and entrepreneurship, but also developing myself to create a unique entrepreneurial project. My advice for anyone who wants to start their own business is to not be afraid to take risks, but to be informed about and be knowledgeable about the industry you want to go into. Think outside the box, go beyond imitating existing businesses. Pull yourself out of your comfort zone.
The AUIS Alumni Association's board held a poetry reading at Soho Cafe in Sulaimani on November 24. The reading featured AUIS professor Dr. Choman Hardi reading from her recent book translation, "Butterfly Valley," by Sherko Bekas. Dr. Hardi also read some of her original poetry. After the reading, Dr. Hardi and the attending alumni discussed poetry, the art of translation, and culture in Kurdistan. Around 15 alumni attended the event.