“It was wonderful to visit our alumni and friends in Iraq," commented Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Salma Oueida. “It is something we have been looking forward to doing for a long time." Oueida, Director of Institutional Consulting Sami Gheriafi, and Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Maya El Hajjar packed a lot into their four-day visit: meetings at the University of Duhok and the American University of Kurdistan, a panel discussion at the University of Duhok, and an informal gathering with alumni in Erbil. They traveled to Iraq at the invitation of the University of Duhok that is seeking to collaborate with AUB in a number of areas.
“Dr. Mosleh Duhoky, president of the University of Duhok, and his colleagues are especially interested in establishing an alumni relations office," explained Oueida. She went on to note that many universities in the region were interested in learning from AUB about how to engage alumni in support of their alma mater. They are also interested in exploring ways to better prepare their students for the challenging job market they face when they graduate. That was the topic of the panel discussion that was held at the University of Duhok conference hall on March 26 which Oueida participated in along with representatives from the American University of Kurdistan, the University of Duhok (UoD), and Hyundai.
President Fadlo R. Khuri is a trustee of the American University of Kurdistan where the AUB delegation met with President John Menzies and Provost Nazar Numan. Menzies spoke about his interest in working with AUB in many areas, including student exchanges.
Alumni in Erbil were eager to hear news from campus—and also to talk about how they might be able to help AUB with student exchanges and recruitment to attract more Iraqi students to AUB. “It was great to see people from AUB in Iraq," said Iraqi alumnus Amanj Harki (BS'13). “We are eager to strengthen ties with our alma mater."
This trip was a great opportunity to make new connections and explore ways that AUB can partner with universities and others in Iraq. “We are especially happy to meet with our alumni and are exploring establishing an alumni chapter in Iraq in the future—and also further collaboration between Iraq and Lebanon in the areas of education and health" said Oueida.
Check the photos here.