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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.  

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