May be most of you did not hear anything about Kanan Makiya’s Republic of Fear. In this book the author analyzes the situation that Iraqis had during Saddam Hussein’s regime. It was an era when every one was afraid of every one, brother of brother, father of his son. Anyway, I think AUIS students are not aware that Saddam’s Iraq is over and still live in the republic of fear. Also, they are afraid to tell their “secrets”.
Unoftunatey, there is a disgusting culture of keeping the opportunities secret spreading among the AUI-S students. There are many exchange programs, but nobody knows about them. Why? Because nobody tells his friend. Everyone rushes to be the only one applying for the program.
Last year, when I was in level two, I did not know anything about the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, but while everyone else had gotten the news from their sources! Two students in our class had gone to Erbil to conduct an interview. They were close friends but had not told each other about the IYLEP program, and they had met each other in the office! Embarrassed, weren’t they?
However, I am about to announce an opportunity to my fellow friends.
Kurdistan Regional Government has decided to dedicate 10 million US dollars for sending undergraduate students abroad. As I have been told by one of the EWPLI teachers, AUI-S will has its own share in this program. According to the source, Dr. Denise Natali will get handle of the issue when she comes back in the fall semester. Any applicant should have a TOEFL of 550 and more.
The question still exists!
Some students were told about this project by some friendly sources in the faculty, but non of them has spoken out. Why? Because nobody has asked them. But let me ask a simple question: Why do they speak about their girlfriends and brag about their cars all the time without being asked to?
* Hemn Muhammed is an International Studies and Political Science Freshman at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani.