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Iraqi Network for Social Media ( INSM)

Jul 7, 2011

Al-Sharqia Produces a Series Based on Bloggers’ Stories

After the obvious increase in the number of Iraqi Bloggers and their role, an Iraqi TV station have decided to produce a series based on the stories that Iraqi bloggers have published since 2003.  
Al-Sharqia, which is an Arabic TV station, is the producer. “East Gate” is the tittle of the series and it is planned to be televised in Ramadan. With this Al-Sharqia will the first Iraqi conventional media to credit bloggers and the social media activists.
After the invasion of Iraq, bloggers all over the country have published many secret documents, and for this those who were identified have been prisoned and tortured. Bloggers have participated in informing the public and shared in publishing many documents that have proved the magnitude of corruption that Iraqi are suffering from.    

                                                  Official Ad for the series by Al-Sharqia

Azadi Square Affects Continue at AUIS

by: Bahman A. Hassan

April 2011 was a special month for Kurdistan. Not because 10 people were killed and hundreds were wounded, but because people started to speak and voice the injustices. People were deceived by western institutions, meetings with US officials and nightclubs with Turkish girls. Kurdistan became a safe battle filled, where elites of tribe and political leaders have controlled everything, starting from oil contracts, mosques to educational institutions including universities. Anyone visited Kurdistan have believed that this region was exemplary a masterpiece of a group of revolutionary leaders.
In the spur of a moment, stability, democracy, and prosperity, all together faced a crushing challenge. After two months of continuous demonstrations, all these slogans became uncovered and people saw the essence of these fancies.           
However, many belittled the consequences, now people discuss every topic, including the ones that for years have been forbidden. For more than 60 days people from all ranks came out to the streets and voiced what they needed. Nothing, in fact changed, except the April events wakened the political parties and showed the souls who are loaded with ideas into change.
Thus far, nothing was unexpected. All universities joined the efforts to start a new beginning. AUIS, as well, took a small part. We were all proud. Despite the “threats” posed by many AUIS faculty members to stop students, AUIS students had decided to partake and face the consequences. Words of the dean of the Students are some to be remembered.
AUIS fears of endangering its credibility; thus, the administration wanted to stop students and not to join Azadi Square. Soon AUIS withdrew and denied all the accusations that were in the local media. “We give students freedom to participate in any activity outside the university.” was the argument made after the local media accused AUIS of restricting students’ boundaries. This, perhaps, is part of what students have experienced in the “most liberal university” in the history of the region. Students at Azadi Square, were chanting, “Freedom, equality, and democracy.” few of the dogmas that AUIS is trying to teach its students. Perchance, I shall not reject these ideas, yet I rather want to ask, why AUIS couldn’t let these ideas to be practiced in reality?
I may be able to answer part of this question. According to the information that SET could attain, more than 50 percent of AUIS’s income comes from Kurdistan Regional Government, which its PM is the founder and head of AUIS’s Board of Trustees. People were calling for his resignation; this was not a jock that was to be heard around AUIS. The threat on the government was the threat on AUIS, and anyone could tell this form the face of AUIS faculty members. Closing this private university paid by KRG was almost becoming reality. Hence, the ironic restrictions by AUIS were understandable.
Luck or more better to say bullet was in favor of both AUIS and KRG. The demonstrations were resolved and suppressed when gun-power put into work. When the demonstrations resolved, participants, journalists and activists faced serious threats.  Threats continued to prolong and even increased. This seems to be the case at AUIS as well. Recently, this blessed institution have involved in this filthy game.
When students organized their march and joined Azadi Square, many teachers have joined students. They supported what students supported and they showed their sympathy. Some of them participated in the demonstrations and wrote about what was happening to inform outsiders. For the sake of their safety we refuse to give their names. This never being what the administration wants; thus, now the university is putting pressure on them. They have been called in and asked not to interact with students because, “it is not in the favor of the university”.
Now, AUIS under the pressure of some pro-ruling students is putting pressure on the instructors who partook with the students in the demonstrations. This is an unfair game and AUIS must stop this.
Unfortunately, from the beginning AUIS suffered from personal preferences. Though, the university claims to have concert rules and unchangeable standards, this never being what we have experienced in reality. One not favored by the administration was always vulnerable to be dismissed. Lamentably, this image still exists.
The fight between neo-cons and conservatives, sex scandals and constant back clashes with those who left AUIS, can show the internal conflicts among AUIS faculty members. Thus, anyone upholding an idea smells different from the ones of Green Zone will not have a space at AUIS. Via an ironic hereditary system, the father and daughter, wife and husband and brother and sister, serve at AUIS. This doesn’t matter as long as they don’t smell a mixture of sweat and garlic, in other word as long as they are not “having” anything against the administration they will be “fine”.
AUIS does not have any right to put pressure of any of its students and teachers. The university is gravely suffering from the lack of “qualified instructors”, and with it will change nothing. Now many are on the go-list (SET will soon publish few of them), which will leave AUIS with nothing other than last moment-hiring, as it is the costume. It’s time for AUIS to stop teasing students and teacher and concentrate on the university needs as an educational institution not a political reckoning arena.   

Jul 3, 2011

“What should you do” Dr. David Baum Asked AUIS Students

Dr. David Baum

While Dr. David Baum’s students continue to suffer, AUIS refuses to listen. After hacking his account, Dr. Baum with the help of his students continues to protest about hacking his account and not letting him to grade his students’ final projects. This event reveals an old discourse between Dr. Baum and the AUIS administration.
Students started a campaign to support Dr. Baum. “We Want Only Dr. Baum to Grade Our Papers” is the name of the campaign that has been announced to support Dr. David Baum. It is worth mentioning that Dr. Baum has taught at AUIS for only two semesters. The conflict began, as Dr. Baum posted on his Facebook account, early of spring semester when he could not come back on time after a short trip to Israel.
“What should we do” was tittle of a note that Dr. Baum posted on his Facebook account. Because of the particularity of the note, SET has decided to publish the note as it was published. Here is the note that Dr. Baum published on his Facebook page two hours ago:
To all my AUIS students. I am very sorry for you today. Dr. James, who I respect, has lied right to your faces. He knows what the truth is but he has chosen instead to be the errand boy for Dr. Moulakis. I have offered, most recently yesterday, to grade your papers, and have done so without requiring a resolution of my contract issues with the school. The school has not responded to my emails. As for me giving you final grades on my own initiative, this is not possible; as you all now know the school hacked and then cut off my email. I have not had access to your papers since Sunday. So, even if I chose to finish the job, the school had already prevented this option. So, do not be fooled by their lies.
What should you do? This is very difficult. I have tried to teach of you to stand by what you believe and what you think is right. What is right is to tell the school that you wil not accept any grade that I do not give you. There is no way that they can be fair to you. They do not know you as I do. On the other hand, at some point we must move on. I've also tried to teach you that sometimes there is no disgrace in pulling back and reconsidering your position. If you choose to continue to fight for fairness, I will stand by you. If you wish to yield to the school and move on, I will understand. Trust me, I will continue the cause back in the States when I return.
I am very proud of all of you. However this works out, you have done the right thing. I am genuinely touched and will always recall your loyalty and sense of justice.”

This note has been taken form Dr. David Baum’s Facebook page.


Jul 1, 2011

AUIS Has Hacked David Baum’s account

After doing the final exams, students are waiting for getting their grades back. But, surprisingly, this seems not be the case for Dr. Baum’s students. Prof. Baum confirmed this and wrote on his Facebook account, “To my AUIS students. The university has hacked my email in order to have access to your papers even without your permission. This is an outrage and you should let it be known that you will not accept any grade that I haven't personally given you. If you receive a grade in a course you've taken from me immediately protest it. It will not be a fair assessment of your work throughout the term.”
This post comes early this evening. Professor Baum’s students started to comment his post and both their support and worry. Students ask while their instructor is no longer here to give them their grads, who will?
Student Eye will provide you with the forthcoming information.


James Harrigan Will Leave AUIS

Dr. James Harrigan

Dean of the Students, Dr. James Harrigan will not come back next semester. However the news was not confirmed formally, it has become arguable among the AUIS students.  The reason the Dr. James will not come back is getting a better job in the states, according the information that Student Eye attained.
The news has been passed away that Dr. Darcy will take Dr. Harrigan’s position.

Dr, Darcy was the dean of the AUIS faculty, and he is well-known for not being friendly with students. Closer to hand, in his first interaction with a group of students, as the new dean, he insulted them.
But after a while, he apologized the students and decided to listen to them, but the students refused and left his office. After spreading of this news, some students feel worry, and they believe that Dr. Darcy will not able to solve the problems that AUIS faces continually.