|Photo: Chris De Bruyn|
Most of the AUI-S students are here for quite normal reasons. For example, some of them have not gotten a good degree, so guess what? AUI-S accepts less than fifty. On the other hand, some are here because they were too smart. I know a friend who is now planning to study Environmental Sciences who has gotten 98! Yes 98. I mean 98 for me is a joke. I have never seen a 98 in my life, or in my dreams.
But I always like to go into details and find out more about the real reasons behind the students' being here in AUI-S.
When I look at some students in the eye, I see no more than girls. They don't know what liberal arts are or what AUI-S stands for. They don't care if Socrates was a philosopher or a grocer. They don't know that we have a library with almost no books and there is a blog which has made life hell for some people. They don't know about any of these. But they know all the hot girls on campus, who are not too many. They can count all the girls who like red color and those who like grey. They mostly wear sunglasses, even in cloudy days, so as not to be seen while looking at the girls. They can be seen mostly at the cafeteria, in front of the cabins opposite to the main building, and while the girls play basketball. We have to pray that the next generation of leaders that AUI-S is speaking about all the time will not come out of these guys.
There are some others who regret being in AUI-S. While it is unclear why they chose to come in the first place, their reasons for their dissatisfaction are fair, generally. One of them told me that he came to AUI-S to study Business but he has gotten lessons in every field but business. Another friend of mine whom I always call "IT guy" is still studying British Literature while he is a junior. A Business senior complained to me and said, "I am a Business major and I will be among the first group of AUI-S graduates, but I have not gotten Introduction to Business course yet. So yes they say, we came for beard and lost the moustache (a famous Kurdish proverb). In one of the classes, a professor asks for an IT student to help him with a technical problem in the class's computer, and the IT student apologizes and says, "We have not studied that yet". This might seem tragic in the first look, but it is not! It is rather funny, because there were 2 other IT students in addition to the one with the brave answer.
We as Iraqis, a part of the Middle East, which is also a part of East, have a kind of sympathy for the western people. No wonder why our president's hobby is to smile while taking pictures with marines forces. Economically, something is valuable when it's scarce, and blondes are rare around here of course! The problem is that this thirst for the "others" doesn't last too long. The first assignment that the blonde gives or the first swear that comes out from the blonde's mouth reminds him of the fact that blondes are also humans, with yellow hair and beards. So the fact that someone is blonde doesn't make him/her protected from students' criticism. So please don't come and count the sacrifices your forces have given . As far as I know, money is what builds a university not blood. If it was otherwise, we would have had more than a million universities in Sulaimani only.
Another reason for being in AUI-S is to get the chance to go to the United States of America. AUI-S is almost like the main reception of the American embassy in Baghdad these days. Students are busy applying for all different programs in U.S. The whole thing is so fast that if you don’t check your AUI-S email every day, you may lose the chance to get a summer internship. Last year, an entire class had gone to Erbil to be interviewed for IYLEP and only one friend of them had been unaware of the opportunity. Quite surprisingly, the only one who was accepted for IYLEP for that year was that left-out student, who has applied later. The new AUI-S students don't appreciate the new opportunities provided by the Exchange office, because they have not seen the previous era. Two years ago, a special lady in this university had a special list. She was telling favorite students about the programs and the rest was enjoying their breaks at home. Some students stood against that and put an end to that injustice. Now, on the head of every hour, Miss Melanie Standish send an e-mail to all AUI-S students with no difference and writes, "would you like to enjoy this summer studying the influence of the American-Chinese relations on the prices of rice in the Middle East?" or " Apply and don't miss the opportunity, we have a special offer today. MEPI has opened its doors wide open for anyone who likes to spend sometimes travelling." Funny the e-mails might be, but they spark hope in me each time I see an email that there is no special and privileged group of students today. A step on the right direction, as Iraqi Prime Minister likes to say when he doesn't know to describe something.
I have chosen AUI-S because it is a gallery
You see couples, naughty mammals
Teachers getting the salary
You can go abroad for summer
See New York, or visit Dummer
The students are confident that they are future leaders
So why to know Mathematics, or change mile to kilometers?
You can think critically, even if you don't have a brain
It is like saying: don't buy ticket but try to ride the train
We don’t look like the junk colleges around us
They study engineering to successfully drive bus
By their first names we call our lovely teachers
Paul: Paul, Joshua: Joshua, Peter: Peters
It is not a secret to say that our ladies are polite
They are smart, articulate and the only source for delight
We have the best college ever in the entire Middle East
I am serious, yes dead serious, don't laugh please!