Student Life

"Noor" Opening Night

The AUIS student production of “Noor,” a play by Akbar Ahmed, premiered yesterday at Sulaimani University's College of Fine Arts in Raparin. Click on the photo above to view an album of the event on our Facebook page.

A Bake Sale to Help Internally Displaced Persons

Amanj, with the help of her colleagues, prepared a variety of traditional and modern homemade dishes, from savories - dolma, bryani and pasta - to deserts - cupcakes, tarts, marble cake and tiramisu. The group was divided into two teams, one team for savories, the other for deserts. Students and faculty members each donated a minimum of five dollars to the bake sale, and were served based on the amount of their donation. The group raised $1,634.67 from the sale, which will be donated to the Kurdistan Save the Children organization, which is working with the IDPs and refugees. One of the student participants, Nawa Shorish, praised the effort of her colleagues, “This is how we celebrate International Peace Day at AUIS. I am so proud of everyone here.” Amanj, who has volunteered for many non-profit organizations and hospitals, including Kurdistan Save the Children and the Hiwa Cancer Hospital said, “I like to organize charity events, but at the same time I like them to be fun and interactive.” Amanj is currently in her first semester of business administration at AUIS. She also took the opportunity to initiate a photo campaign for the abducted Yezidi girls. Students at the bake sale were encouraged to take photos with a placard saying, “Help bring back our Yezidi girls.” She and her colleagues will circulate the campaign on social media to raise more awareness, followed by organizing events to support the campaign.    Check out the photos on Facebook. 

AUIS Students Debut Akbar Ahmed's "Noor"

Eight months ago, the playwright, distinguished scholar Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, gave AUIS students permission to perform “Noor” for the first time ever in the Middle East.  The play tells the story of three brothers who try to rescue their sister Noor, who has been kidnapped by unidentified soldiers during Ramadan. The play's setting is unnamed, but Ahmed mentions early in the script that it could be Baghdad, Cairo, Karachi or Kabul. “Noor is a controversial play, and at times directly questions the wisdom of the American occupation. But the playwright, Akbar Ahmed, has been very careful to look at all sides of each issue,” said director and Head of Drama at AUIS, Peter Friedrich. “In my opinion, one message of the play is that if someone is pointing a gun at you, does it matter if they are Kurdish…American…Arab? There are heroes, and villains, in every group of people. Understanding that can stop violence before it starts.” Students have been preparing for the play since October and are excited to bring their hard work and enthusiasm for the exciting script to the stage.  “The play is about the struggles the family faces as they search for Noor. It also deals with society in Iraq and important topics like honor and tolerance,” said AUIS student and actress, Banoo Hewa. “Anybody, even if they don’t speak English, will enjoy the play because we have incorporated pieces that everyone will understand.” The play stars AUIS students Kardo Kamil, Muhammed Baheej, Isa Muhammed Isa, Mahdy Murad, Rawa Hamza, Helin Sofi, Saman Karim, Mustafa Ahmed, Abdul Alkhafaji, Mewan Sofi, and Banoo Omer.

Model UN Attends Conference in New York

Sulaimani, Iraq - April 18, 2012 – Twelve AUIS students traveled to New York this month to attend the National Model UN conference. The conference annually brings together 5,000+ participants from around the world to discus issues at the forefront of international relations. As representatives of Malta, AUIS was a member of multiple of committees, including the Economic and Social Council, Arms Trade Treaty, and the Rio+20 Committee on Sustainable Development. “Prior to attending the conference, we did extensive research on Malta. We knew about its foreign policy, its allies and enemies, exports and imports, and where it stands in the UN,” said Model UN team member Amed Latif Omar. The group was successful in passing four out of six of their resolutions. Further, they noted that they worked closely with representatives from the European Union, Russia, and the USA during the conference. “Creating alliances took most of our time during the caucuses. Once we created coalitions with other countries, we were able to start drafting resolutions,” said Omar. AUIS Model UN members that attended the conference were: Zana Muhammed Jaff, Rand Mohammed Khalifa, Sarwar Mustafa Karim, Shunas Hussein Abdulla, Hoshang Shorsh Admed, Bayar Falah Hassan, Nawa Shorsh Ahmed, Sasan Hassan Hamid, Tawar Sarnar Yahia, Amed Latif Omar, Bery Majeed, and Decan Tofik. To learn more about the Model UN trip to New York, check out our latest student blog: NMUN: A Melting Pot of Ideas. Click here to see an album of their trip on our Facebook page.


Our accommodations offer students a home away from home with completely furnished apartment style housing, including kitchen facilities. AUIS operates separate male and female dormitories. The apartment-style rooms are spacious and provide students with both privacy and social interaction with their peers. The standard and economy options provide double occupancy bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. The building has the capacity to house 426 students.  Both the male and female dorms have dormitory supervisors and student residence assistants who enforce the dorm rules and manage any issues that arise, including disciplinary or maintenance issues.  Questions regarding the university’s dorm policies can be answered by Housing Manager Dastan Chaosh at

Q&A with Aro Latif - Student Association President

  On December 11, 2014, elections were held for the next senators and president of the Student Association at AUIS. Candidates from the Academic Preparatory Program (APP) and the undergraduate program delivered their speeches to their peers. Seven APP students and sixteen undergraduates ran for seats on the student senate, while four contested for the position of President. The newly elected Student representative, Aro Latif, is an International Studies major, currently in his fifth semester. Latif was born in Sulaimani, but left for the United States at the age of five. After completing his primary education in the US, he returned to his homeland in order to complete his schooling. He explains, he is happy to have returned and is glad that he enrolled at a local university. He believes that studying in Iraqi Kurdistan is an experience which is teaching him a lot about the country’s rich and diverse culture. Latif spends most of his free time involved in student activities, such as the debate club, as well as being active in efforts to help refugees displaced by the recent unrest in Iraq.   Tell us more about your activities. What excites me most about AUIS is the room for creativity and imagination in organizing events and activities. At AUIS I’ve participated in several clubs, primarily in the debate society as well as the Model United Nations club. A year ago, along with a few friends, we established the Volunteering Matters Group (VMG), which so far has launched numerous fundraisers and aid programs for the Syrian refugees and internally displaced people in Iraq. How do you describe your experience as a student at AUIS? It definitely helped me to get familiarized with my own culture and my own country, and being amongst students whom I share the same nationality with has helped me form a better opinion on how to solve a problem in our region. AUIS is no ordinary university. There are few places in the world where you can place so many different ethnicities together and expect productivity.  AUIS is setting a precedent, not in the KRG, not in Iraq, but in the entire Middle East. And it has encouraged me to learn to share ideas, discuss, and debate with others from different backgrounds and ethnicities. It’s easier said than done, but AUIS empowers students to show the world working together is worthier than working against each other. We are leaving footprints. What do you want do after graduation? Sometimes I wish the undergraduate program were longer than four years. There is just too much potential for such little time. I’d like to continue studying, that’s what’s on my mind right now. There are a lot of options out there, but the main focus is to continue educating myself.  Did you think you were going to get elected? I knew I was going to get elected. I ran in 2013 and didn’t win. This time around I guess I knew what to do. When I ran last year, I didn’t work hard enough; I didn't speak to enough students. But this year, I worked harder, I socialized and spoke with a lot of the students, from APPs to academics, I convinced a lot of students that I could do the job. Why did you want to be the President of the Student Association (SA)? Why not? For me, it’s about pushing your limits, becoming who you want to be. Early on I realized I enjoy turning things upside-down, public speaking, and playing the devil’s advocate. I found, being part of the SA could help me do some of that. Do you think SA has the power to make changes at AUIS? At SA, we are twelve senators and one president; together we can try our best to get things done and turn things around. The SA has already proved that it can make changes at AUIS. So far, the SA has managed to push the faculty to make significant changes in the business department, introduced a second speaker at the seniors commencement ceremony, extended the dinner time for APP students by fifteen minutes, introduced price-tags in the cafeteria, launched a student-to-student event which incoming academic students highly appreciated. That’s just some, I think for a month we’re showing what the student body along with the student association is capable of doing. What does the SA want to accomplish? The SA is not just about amplifying the voice of the student body – this year, it’s about demonstrating what 900 plus students are capable of achieving! Our objective is to create cohesion in the student body. Why? So that when we want to challenge a policy or an issue at AUIS, we are representing the entire student body and not just the thirteen members of the SA.


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