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Iraqi Network for Social Media ( INSM)

Dec 13, 2011

What hurts most?

By: Bahman Hassan
By now, AUI-S students must be aware of the points that bother the AUI-S staff and faculty members. Perhaps, like everything else, AUI-Sians are getting angry by the university’s weak points. For us, “those of the blog “or as Milani Standish worded, “nonsense writers”, everything is different. We, lamentably, lost the “love” of the entire university. We are not allowed- at least until the beginning of this semester- to apply for exchange programs or ask for recommendation letters. Thus far, it’s fair, as we “hurt the university too much” or “mobbing against the university”. We know what is going on and we are aware of some, but not all the weak points. We don’t enjoy mentioning them, yet we take pleasure from arguing about them as part of our duties.
Ironically, here are some of the things that hurt AUI-S most.
I.                   Financial Aid Applications:
A financial Aid officer called a student “stupid”. For me it is just a simple confusion, as both “Stupid” and “Student” words start with “S”. And AUI-S has a big problem with “S”. That stupid, sorry student, was rewarded when he asked the officer for a bit of “explanation”. So, as a bit of advice, don’t miss with the people form the finance department. They may drag you into the middle of a breathtaking investigation or have your fees doubled for the next semester. Do tell them jocks or you may say “you are so sexy today” but never say, “Excuse me, can you explain this for me?” Financial Aid officers are quickly getting angry and they are good at making fun of the “Financial Aid Students”.
II.                Strikes:
Wow, this is a real “pain in the ass” as professor Peter Fridrich said while he was professing one of his COMP classes. If you don’t want to make Mr. Dean or Integrity Officer angry, don’t go on strikes. You don’t want to be told “I will expel you” as Mr. James Harrigan told Krekar Warty for partaking in a demonstration last year. Stay quiet and do not care whatever goes on.
III.             Criticizing the University’s Policies:
If you want to get a degree from AUI-S, ever never try criticizing AUI-S. If you do criticize AUI-S, you may “lose your Financial Awards” or lose the “love” of the staff, faculty members and most of the students. You don’t want to be like “people from the blog”, so be nice and don’t criticize; however, they say critical thinking is what we want. It is just a “lie”. Do anything you want, but never criticize AUI-S. If you want, open a club for yourself and your girlfriend. Again, previous advice, don’t criticize, critical thinking is just the shadow of “a dead virgin girl”.
IV.             Be part of the Praising Machine:
If you, million times, are called “stupid” or taken to investigation, never stop praising AUI-S. Just say it’s the best university ever Iraqis have. Don’t criticize; you are just a blind, as the KRG’s Higher Education Ministry labeled AUI-S as number one in the region. Take a breath, don’t go on strikes, don’t criticize and be part of the praising. Never mind your friend is leaving because of not being able to pay his ever increasing fees. Just forget what you see, see what you are told to see. Be part of “deceiving the problems” not part of their solutions. Or as Shakespeare said, “Praise, Praise, thee shall be pleased”.   
V.                First Day of Class and the Rest of the Days
Be patient, even if your physics “professor” asks you to drop the course. Make fun of the fact of not knowing anything about math, after taking two math courses. From the first day of class, assess your instructor, as 2011-2012 is strange. Instructors forgot everything about teaching; all they do is not giving high grades and making sure some students fail. So, don’t miss with them, “democratically” it will not work. Follow the deception carefully, and don’t panic, you, “the Iraqi Future leader”, don’t have to know so much. It is a simple “Federal Democratic Republic”, so you can rule it even with what you have now. Again, don’t miss with the instructors. This will hurt a lot, and you may be “failed” for this.
VI. Don’t Ask the Registrar…
If you are not a “she”, my friends don’t go to the registrar and ask for changing your courses, section, or instructors. Last experience, was when a “she” one week before the “mid-term” exams changed her course [name, time, and course can be provided]. I personally can’t do this, simply because I am not a she, or. Few clicks on the computer can change many things, but seemingly not for everyone. So, “Buddy, Buddy” don’t panic, that is how it goes. Life is a pizza which is not equally sliced, just because its circle. Finally, Ouch Charlie, it Hurts.       

“The Exam was too easy”

While some students were busy studying for their Statistics exam, some others were busy with how to get the questions. Finally, they could get the test and in few hours the test become in the hand of most of the students.
Thus, before taking the test, most of the students had the questions. And the result is expected to be astonishing.
This has been a serious problem for AUI-S instructors. Every now and then exam questions are publicized. So far, no one says anything about this problem and students are seemed to be happy.


AUI-S promises to solve Dorm Problems

On November29th, Leah McNally, Student Services Coordinator, had a meeting with the dorm students to listen to their problems. From the beginning of the fall semester, the dorms students have been suffering from many difficulties.
Some of these problems have been addressed, yet some are to be dealt with. In a letter sent to the dorm students, AUI-S Student Services Coordinator, happily informed students of the result of their meetings with the university. Here is the content of the letter:
I would like to follow up with all of you on the meeting that we had in the dorms on December 29th. I am happy to tell you that most of the major problems you mentioned during this meeting have been addressed and/or are in the process of being dealt with. Here is a summary of the action that has taken place since that meeting:
1. Internet - our IT Department is finalizing plans to install two Internet lounges (one on each floor of the dorm). The plan is to have this Internet operational by January 14, 2012.
 2. Electricity problems - a new generator has been installed and this weekend, the automatic switch will arrive, making the power outages much shorter. In the meantime, I am told that the new generator is working well. 
3. Construction noise - we are currently negotiating with the building owner to cease construction during evenings and weekends. 4.
Leaks - we have assessed the roofing of the building and sealed the problem areas.
5. Location - beginning in January, the university will provide a weekend shuttle to the bazaar and/or supermarket at no cost to you. Additionally, in the new year, we will announce plans for on campus housing to be completed by Fall 2012.
6. Food options - we are negotiating a plan for Fall 2012 housing options to include a food service in the evenings and on weekends.
7. Furniture - we have provided each apartment with 2 desks for studying.
8. Elevator - the situation has been assessed, and unfortunately the current elevator is beyond repair and we cannot realistically replace the current one. I apologize for any inconvenience that this causes you.
 9. Fire Escape - we are assessing the safety of the building and if a fire escape is necessary, we will move forward with this. 
I hope that the above actions that the university has taken have improved your overall quality of life in the dorms. The work is ongoing and we are doing our best to make things better for you.

Nov 26, 2011

AUIS Dorm Students Want to Take Action

AUIS dorm students meeting to discuss their issues last semester

The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani's dorm students complain about the lack of some basic services such as electricity and want to take action.

The AUIS boys staying at the dorm in Raparin quarter say their dorm lacks many services.

"Unbearable living conditions at the AUIS dorm, no electricity, no fire escape, no internet, , no elevator, and the closest market is 15 minutes walking." Writes Sarbast Rashid, a dorm student, to his friends.

Sarbast also asks for better management of the AUIS revenue.

"AUIS spends huge amounts of money on meaningless delegations and willing to pay thousands of dollars for them, while the students of its dormitory suffer from lack of funding," wrote Sarbast.

Last year, the AUIS dorm students staying at the Manolya dormitory organized different events to put pressure on the AUIS administration for better living standards at the dorms.

Some students are collecting signatures in the dorm to ask for better services.


Nov 25, 2011

AUIS Students: یالله ارحل یا بشار

Student Eye publishes two video footage from the AUIS students's support for the Syrian revolution on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. 

On Thursday, November 17, 2011, a group of the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani students came together to support the ongoing Syrian revolution. The event which was hold in the meetings hall in the basement, saw a great turnout from the AUIS students.

AUIS students, chanting against Bashar Al-Assad, emphasized the everlasting support of the university students for all free people around the world.

Here are the lyrics of the Yalla Irahal ya Bashar (یالله ارحل یا بشار) song which was sung during the event.


Nov 24, 2011

Dr. Sarracino: AUIS Students have Better Employment Opportunities

Dr. Robert Sarracino, AUIS professor

Dr. Robert Sarracino, the professor of Math and Sciences at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, told Student Eye that AUIS students have better chances to get hired in the companies.

Dr. Sarracino, Dr. Hemin Latif and Dr. Merk made a one day visit to Erbil city to attend a seminar arranged by General Electric Company.

"The seminar was a repetition of what their representative told us here on campus," said Dr. Sarracino.

 Last Thursday, November 17th, a representatives from GE (General Electric) came to AUIS campus and spoke  to AUIS students.

The company will not be having any summer employment, but they are going to get application for employment.

"They told us that they want to hire up until 200 employees here in Iraq. They have 50 already. That means they will be hiring 150 more," said Dr. Sarracino.

All students with different majors can apply to GE.

"GE will have special internship programs and courses to develop skills. So all of our students, regardless of their majors, can apply for the jobs," he said.

Dr. Sarracino also said that AUIS students have great chance in employed in GE and alike companies.

"A company like GE wants people with broad knowledge and education. They want students with appropriate ethical conduct and that means our students will have great chance to be hired," AUIS professor said.

Dr. Sarracino's advice for students is to concentrate more on their classes and try to get a broad education in each and every class.

General Electric Company is a multinational corporate with headquarters in United States. It operates through four segments: Energy, Technology Infrastructure, Capital Finance and Consumer & Industrial. In 2011, it was chosen as the 6th largest American company. Its representative in Erbil is an MBA graduate at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani. 


Nov 21, 2011

Free Youth Movement: U.S. shouldn’t Imitate Middle East Dictators

California police putting pepper spray on students. Nov. 18,2011.

The Iraqi Kurdistan based Free Youth Movement organization publishes a declaration announcing consolidation with the students demonstrations taking place in the United States of America.
The statement, which carries the date of Monday, November 21, 2011, condemns the extreme use of force against the students of the University of California, Davis.

“While U.S claims to be peace haven for the people aspiring democracy and the right of free speech, we were shocked to see the brutal use of force against the UC Davis students,” says the statement.   
Two campus police officers put pepper spray onseated Occupy protesters at University of California, Davis, on November 18, 2011.

The FYM statement advises U.S. authorities not to imitate the Middle East dictators.
“The lesson that you should b taking from the ongoing MENA spring is not to use force and crack down on peaceful demonstrators. No nation is protected from the danger of going astray. U.S. needs to reclaims its values which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’’ states FYM declaration.

Free Youth Movement has arranged several demonstrations supporting Egyptian and Syrian revolutions, and participated actively in the demonstrations arranged in the city of Sulaimani.

Nov 20, 2011

AUIS Hosts Its First International Conference

 "Liberty, Democracy, and the New Realities of the Middle East and North Africa," is the name of the first international conference of the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani which will be held on AUIS campus Thursday, November 24 to Friday, November 25.

The conference, which is hosted by the Achelis and Bodman Foundations, hosts a number of scholars to speak about the issues of democracy and freedom in the new MENA region.

The conference participants are:

Dr. Larry Diamond, Stanford University
Dr. Sandy Lakoff, University of California San Diego
Ambassador Christopher Hill, University of Denver-Josef Korbel School of International Relations
Dr. Eric B. Brown, the Hudson Institute
Dr. Francois Zabbal, Institute du Monde Arabe
Dr. John Agresto, JA and Associates  


Nov 19, 2011

AUIS Students' Syria Support Attracts Media Attention

A number of Arabic and Kurdish new channels, newspapers and websites published the news of the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani's support for the Syrian people.

Speda channel, an Erbil based satellite channel, published a report on the event. The report aired some video footage taken by students' cell phones. The channel asked all the universities to follow AUIS's model of support.

Xendan, Kurdiu, Lvin, Hawlati, and Awene, the most prominent and popular websites and newspaper in Iraqi Kurdistanr region covered the news, before and after the event.

Al Baghdadiyah, a Jordan based Arabic speaking satellite channel, aired interviews of students participated in the event.

Speda Channel's Arabic news dedicated its first two news to the event.

Nov 17, 2011

Anti-Bashar Event at AUIS in Photos


AUIS Students: Down with Bashar Al-Assad

On Thursday, November 17, 2011, a group of the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani students came together to support the ongoing Syrian revolution. The event which was hold in the meetings hall in the basement, saw a great turnout from the AUIS students.

AUIS students, chanting against Bashar Al-Assad, emphasized the everlasting support of the university students for all free people around the world.
Dana Jaf, the moderator of the event, chanted enthusiastic mottoes and songs.

"The Syrian people have raised their hands
They say we don't want Bashar" was one of the phrases repeated throughout the event.

Karwan Gaznay, Hawta Ramazan, and Mahdi Abdullah gave speeches in the event. All the speeches repeated the absolute support of AUIS stundets for the Syrian revolution.

The event ended with the famous Syrian revolutionary song, Go out Bashar, یالله ارحل یا بشار.

Here are some of the pictures from the event:


Nov 15, 2011

Like Sarbast Majeed's Innovative Project on Youtube

Sarbat Majeed, an American University of Iraq-Sulaimani Information Technology student, is going to participate in an international competition on invention. Sarbast's innovative idea is on Youtube and it needs likes to get to the next stage.

Sarbast Majeed's project is now competing with many other projects, and he is the only student from Iraq.

Let's all go to Youtube, and like Sarbast Mjeed's project to help him win the competition.

Here is the link to Sarbast's project on Youtube:



AUIS Students Support Syrian Revoution

On this coming Thursday, November 17, 2011, the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani students will arrange an event in support of the Syrian revolution.

The event will be hold at 12 pm in front of the main building of the new campus.

Nov 4, 2011

Alexander Lascaris, Came to Lecture, Caught up in Hot Discussions

Lascaris speaking to AUIS students. AUIS website photo

Alexander Lascaris, U.S Consul General and the head of the Regional Reconstruction Team to Kurdistan,  made his first visit to the new campus of the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani November 2, 2011.
During the visit, an open discussion between Mr. Lascaris and the international studies students at AUIS was held.

Mr. Lascaris divided a copy of Sharaf Khan Bidlisi's Sharafnama and Federalist Papers no. 10 opening a discussion about the fractions in the American history and Kurdish history.
Mr. Lascaris pointed to the fact that the disunity between the Kurds was the main right not to get a state of their own in the past.

In the middle of his speech, some students asked Mr. Lascaris to stop lecturing and start answering the questions they had about the United States policies in the region.

A student told Mr. Lascaris, "You owe us an apology. Not only because you betrayed hus in 1975, and not only because you betrayed us in 1991, but also because you are going to betray us by the end of this year when you pull out your forces from Iraq."

Mr. Lascaris responded with a disatsified tone saying that the only true point in the claims made is the betrayal of 1991.

Other students questioned Mr. Lascaris on issues such as the Wikileaks reports, the American attitude towards PKK-Turkey conflict, and the American stand on the human rights and freedoms issue in Kurdistan region.

The questions came back and forth leading to a hot 2 hour long discussion.

"But I had come to speak about Federalist 10," said the U.S. Consul General to Kurdistan repeatedly.
Mr. Lascaris used some Kurdish proverbs during his speech and quoting from major Kurdish literary books attracting the attention of the attendants.

The forum ended with students showing gratitude for Mr. Lascaris's answering the questions and Consul General's being surprised for the good English AUIS students spoke.  

Oct 24, 2011

First Democratic Elections Held at AUIS

On Sunday, October 23r, 2011, tens of students came together to elect the President and the executive body of the Engineering and Math club. 

Due to the heated competition between the candidates prior to the day of elections, a notieable number of AUIS student body was present to vote. 

After brief speeches by Dr. Robert Sarracino, AUIS professor, and the candidates, the election process began. 

The executive body of the club was to consist of 5 members, but there were only three candidates. Upon repeated calls from Dr. Sarracino for the girls to nominate themselves, two girls nominated themselves. 

After the election, candidates agreed on the best way to count the votes. After knowing that there were 8 extra votes, it was decided that the margin of difference between the first and the second winner will decide the fate of the elections. 

After counting the votes by a committee of four people, the results were announced in front of the candidates and some of the curious voters. 

The results were as follows:

Dana Khalid            42 votes
Twana Ahmed        25 votes 
Zana Jaff                 15 votes 
Shilan                      4 votes
Hiba                        1 vote 

Thus, Dana Khalid was elected as the president of the Math and Engineering club. 

It is worth mentioning that it was for the first time that a democratic election was held openly at the American University of Iraq-Sulamani. 

Oct 21, 2011

Breaking News: Fire at the AUI-S Boys Dormitory

The aftermath of playing with the fire extinguisher 

On Tuesday, October 21st, 2011, at 1:30 am,  some AUIS dorm students in Raparin district near to the new campus, called for help after seeing thick smoke in their dormitory rooms. The smoke was thought to be resulted from a fire.

Darya Ali, the dormitory supevisor who was called by the dorm students, drove immediately to the dorms.

Fortunate enough, the smoke was not resulted from fire, but from the childish act of some dorm students who had rushed the fire extinguisher.

The dorm students got angry over this act and asked Mr. Darya to act immediately against those who have done it. After a short investigation, it became clear that two drunk students had done that.

Mr. Darya, after speaking with the ones committing the guilt, promised dorm students to report this horrible act to the AUIS administration

Sarbast Majeed, an AUIS dorm student, told Student Eye that it is not enough to punish them.

"This is not the first time that we are destructed. We have come here to study and enjoy a calm life in the dorms. We want immediate measures against these acts,'' he said.

The false fire alarm caused great panic among some of the dormitory students.

Sarbast, who was also harmed by the false fire alarm, said that the dorms need fire escape.

"In the moments of panic, we realized that we don't have the most necessary thing at the time of fire or any other accident, and that is fire escape. We ask the administration to get us fire escape as soon as possible,'' he explained.

Mr. Darya Ali advised dorm students to be respectful to each other and not surpass others' rights.

"This is a place for respectful students only and there is no place for those who don't know who to act in a civilized way with their fellow dorm mates,'' he emphasized.

photos: Sarbast Majeed 

Oct 20, 2011

Dana Khalid Nominated for the Math and Engineering Club Presidency

Dana Khalid while solving a Math problem in the old campus garden

Dana Khalid, and AUI-S sophomore majoring Math and Engineering, is nominated to be the first president of the Math and Engineering club.

On Sunday, October 23, 2011, the Math and Engineering club will hold elections to elect the first president of the club. The election process will be held at 12:00 pm in the basement, B1-11.

Dana Khalid, promises his friends to do his best to promote the club and get students' rights. He says that he will work with his fellow friends and faculty members to help Engineering majors.

Dana Khalid works as a volunteer in the Math tutoring centers and helps students who need help in Math-related topics.

He has also had special classes last semester for students who needed Math tutoring.

Oct 7, 2011

Welcome back to College!

Student Eye staff has warm congratulations for all the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani students, both academic and APP.

We hope that the new school year will be the right time for achieving some of what are trying to get.

Student Eye starts a new phase of its activities with the beginning of the new school year hoping to help AUI-S students, faculty and administration through the news and opinions pieces published on the blog.

Welcome back to college!

Sep 27, 2011

AUI-S is ranked number one among private universities

In an assessment conducted by the KRG Higher Education ministry for Kurdistan Region’s private universities, the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani was ranked number one.
However, as it was clearly stated in a report posted on xendan.org, affiliated to the KRG prime minister and co-founder of AUI-S, the university has serious problems. Yet due to its links with other academic institution first place was given to AUI-S.
The report stated, “American University of Iraq, Suaimani. Studying in this university is in English. It has a good quality, yet the university needs more openness and more cooperation with Higher Education Ministry. The, AUIS, has academic ties and long run plan.”
This hint may suggest that AUI-S does not have strong ties with Higher Education Ministry. Meanwhile his news was warmly welcomed by AUI-S students.

Sep 10, 2011

Fun with AUIS "Beautiful Girls"

By Astios 

One News and some Comments

The News: AUIS Uses some Beautiful Girls at AUIS in its New Ads for the University

A pessimist boy:
Do we really have any beautiful girls at AUIS?

Another girl:
That is discrimination. AUIS shouldn't differentiate between its students based on beauty. Didn't Jefferson say 
"All women were created equal?"

Dr. Cargol, first AUIS chancellor:
I really don't care. That is not attractive in anyway.

A Business Student:
Beauty doesn't attract customers anymore. Iraqi people have begun to listen to their minds instead of their hearts when it comes to money.

A student intending to apply:
If that is so, I don't have to worry about my classes at AUIS

A financial aid student:
I think AUIS has put a price on that as well

Dr. Barham Salih:
That is absolutely another embodiment of my slogan, "Krdar Sharta" -Actions Count-

Dr. Aso Salih, head of security:
I don't care if there are beautiful girls in the ads, but I will not allow them to stay alone in the cabins -if there were any in the new campus-

Ms. Rosalind:
Since there is no grammar mistake there, it is fine.

A sexist boy:
Boys are not only stronger than the girls, but they are also more beautiful than them. Boys should be used in the ads instead of girls

A religious student:
This is another sin committed by AUIS. Beautiful girls are the most deceptive trick of Satan

A girl participated in the ads:
We are not in the ads because of our beauty only, but because of our intelligence as well. Should I write my GPA to prove it?

An AUIS student who has been reading philosophy lately:
What is beautiful for you can be ugly for me because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Melanie Standish was not Ready to Say Goodbye to the Student Eye Staff

Melanie Standish, the expelled head of International Programs and Exchanges office at AUIS, excludes Student Eye staff from her farewell email.

Standish, who was under severe criticism from AUIS students due to allegations of favoritism and inability, accuses Student Eye of publishing "nonsense".

"I have not written to all AUIS students so if you have received this email ...  I’d prefer not to be on the student eye blog again as “playing favorites” or some other nonsense," wrote Melanie to all AUI-S students except Student Eye staff. 

She also asks the students not to let Student Eye staff see the email. But Student Eye reached the email and here is the full text of it :

Dear Students,

I am writing to you today to let you know that I will be leaving AUIS at the end of next week to return to the States.  I will not return.  This is for various reasons but none are because I did not love my work here.  I have not written to all AUIS students so if you have received this email, it would be great if you could keep this to yourself.  I’d prefer not to be on the student eye blog again as “playing favorites” or some other nonsense.  It’s impossible for me to know 500+ students well in 9 months, and I’m not prepared to offer my home in the US to the entire AUIS student body.

I just want to say to you that it has been an absolutely amazing experience to work with all of you this year.  I came here knowing very little about the people of Iraq and am leaving with some wonderful memories.  I wish you all the best of success in your future endeavors. 

If there is anything I can do to assist you, I would be more than happy to do so.  My personal email address is*************  If you are traveling in the States and need a place to stay, or you need my advice or something about programs or studying in the US, I would be more than happy to help you in any way I can.

There will be some changes to the IPE and Career Services Offices next year.  Please be patient.  Some of these changes you may like, some you may not, but the important thing to remember is that you have the ability to control your own destinies and that if you work hard enough (and are patient), you will be able to get most of what you want.

I wish you all the best.