Alumni Success Series: Meeran Sarwar

    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.    

AUIS Alumni Association hosts poetry reading event with Dr. Choman Hardi

  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.

AUIS helped me succeed at my career: Hemin Lehony

  "AUIS played the biggest role in helping me succeed in my caeer," says AUIS alumnus Hemin Lehony, who majored in International Studies and is currently the Chief Digital Officer at Rudaw Media Network.  Suscribe to our YouTube channel to watch our latest videos.  Read more alumni stories here.  What is the AUIS advantage? Find out here.  The application is now open for Fall 2017 undergraduate program. Click to apply now. 

Postponed: Alumni Homecoming

The Homecoming will be hosted by the AUIS Alumni Association on October 20, 2017.  When: Starting at 7:00 p.m. on October 20th Where: Conference Hall  All AUIS alumni, staff and faculty are invited to a night of music, dinner, sharing old memories, and making new ones! Please check your emails for an RSVP form to confirm attendance.  Contact: Shko Shwan, President AUIS Alumni Association |  View photos from last year's homecoming on our Facebook page. 

فێرخوازانی زانکۆی ئەمریکی لەسلێمانی پشوی خۆیان لەخێوەتگەی پەنابەران لەڕواندز بەسەر دەبەن

مانگی مارسی ئەمساڵ ، گروپێک لەفێرخوازانی قۆناغی بەکالۆریۆس و فێرخوازانی  پرۆگرامی ئامادەسازیی ئەکادیمی ، بەیاوەریی سێ کەس لەئەندامانی دەستەی وانەبێژی لەپرۆگرامی ئامادەسازیی ئەکادیمی ، پشوی هەفتەی نەورۆزیان لەخێوەتگەی پەنابەران لەڕواندز ، لەگەڵ منداڵانی پەنابەر بەسەر برد . ئەم گەشتە بۆتە نەریتێکی ساڵانەو خراوەتە بریی پشوی خوێندن ،  ئەمە سێیەم جارە کە لەژێر ناوی (پشوی بەهارە) دا رێکدەخرێت ، تیایدا فێرخوازان پشوەکەی خۆیان تەرخان دەکەن بۆ خزمەتکردنی کۆمەڵگە . گەشتی ئەمجارە لەسەر حسابی دەرچوی زانکۆ (هێرش محەممەد) بو کە سەخاوەتمەندانە تێچوی گەشتەکەی گرتە ئەستۆی خۆی ، هاوکاریەکەشی تەرخانکرا بۆ کڕین و دابینکردنی پێداویستیەکانی گەشتەکە وەکو :  تۆپی پێ ، لاپتۆپ ، قرتاسییە ، دەفتەری رەنگکردن و رەسمکردن ، هەروەها چەندین یارییتر بۆ منداڵان . جگە لەوە ، فێرخوازان لەزانکۆ ، لەڕێی هەندێک چالاکییەوە ، بڕێک کۆمەک و هاوکاریی تریان کۆکردەوە بۆ دابینکردنی چەند پێداویستییەکی تری گرنگ . فێرخوازان یەک رۆژی رێکیان لەگەڵ منداڵانی پەنابەر بەسەر برد ، بەدەم پێشکەشکردنی چەندین چالاکیی جۆراوجۆرەوە ، وەکو : وێنەکێشان لەسەر دەموچاو ، تابلۆکێشان ، سەماو هەڵپەڕکێ و هتد .  

طلاب الجامعة الأمريكية في العراق، السليمانية يقضون عطلتهم في مخيم للاجئين في رواندوز

 في شهر مارس من هذا العام، قضت مجموعة من طلاب مرحلة البكالوريوس وطلاب البرنامج الأكاديمي التحضيري، بمرافقة ثلاثة من أعضاء هيئة التدريس في البرنامج الأكاديمي التحضيري، عطلة أسبوع النوروز،  مع أطفال في مخيم للاجئين في قضاء رواندوز التابع لإقليم كردستان العراق.  وقد باتت هذه الرحلة تقليدا سنويا، وهذه المرة الثالثة التي تنظم، وهي تحمل  اسم (عطلة الربيع)، كما أنها بديل عن العطلة الدراسية، حيث يكرس الطلاب من خلالها  وقتهم لخدمة المجتمع. وتبرع خريج الجامعة محمد هيرش بمبلغ سخي لرحلة هذا العام، حيث استخدمت مساهمته لشراء لوازم الرحلة مثل كرة القدم، وأجهزة الكمبيوتر المحمولة، والقرطاسية، وكتب التلوين، وألعاب أخرى للأطفال في المخيمات، بالإضافة إلى ذلك قام الطلاب بجمع تبرعات في الجامعة من خلال بعض الأنشطة ليتمكنوا من شراء الضروريات، إذ قضوا يوما كاملا مع الأطفال مقدمين لهم أنشطة تفاعلية ممتعة، بما في ذلك الرسم على الوجه والرقص ولوحات تشكيلية وغيرها من الأنشطة. اتبع الرابط لعرض كل صور الرحلة.  


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