Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 09:30
By: Zubaida "Sipa" Nihad
Saman Ihsan Fuad and Lazha Taha, primary investigators at Kashkul, the center for arts and culture at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), have been published in the Global History Dialogues, a part of the Global History Lab at Princeton University. Their research publications, titled “The Old Houses of Slemani from Hopes of Preservation to Heaps of Rubble” and “The Oral History of Local Photojournalism in Kurdistan,” respectively, were the final projects of “A History of the World Since 1300,” a course offered by Princeton at AUIS.
Saman, AUIS Business Administration alum (‘19), explained that his research is about the representation of old and ancient houses in Sulaimani, few of which remain in their original condition. Saman was inspired to research and start questioning what happened to the old and ancient houses that are part of Kurdish culture and history, and why they weren’t protected, but instead destroyed and turned into parking lots and buildings. During the course of his research, he did encounter different cases. “I showcase a few recent efforts that offer a glimmer of hope by preserving some houses while at the very least documenting the ones that are bound to be torn down,” Saman said.
Saman noted his AUIS education prepared him to take on this research project. “AUIS helped me with writing my research through the courses I took as a student,” he said. “That helped me improve my writing and researching skills, and now I am planning to study a masters in Middle Eastern History.”
Lazha, a media studies graduate from the University of Sulaimani and an alumna of AUIS’s English-language preparatory program (APP), explained her publication looks at the future of photojournalism and preservation in Kurdistan. In her research, she focuses on the history of Kurds in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and the decades of upheaval since the Sykes Picot Agreement in 1918. “Due to the [fact] that Kurds were involved in frequent wars and conflict, they have lost the majority of their archives several times,” she said.
Lazha plans to pursue a master’s degree in English Literature. She credits the APP program and her time as a student at AUIS with helping to improve her writing and research skills.