Salahaddin University Participated for the second time in Aladdin Project
(The International Summer University for Intercultural Leadership)
Two students from College of Basic Education/ English Department participated in the Aladdin annual program. Sarwan Sdeeq Hasan (MA student in Linguistics, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Twana Faidhy Jameel (Third year BA student,email@example.com) were the two representatives of Salahaddin University in the International Summer University in Cappadocia, Turkey.
Aladdin Project ( http://www.projetaladin.org/en/ ) is an international summer university annual program for intercultural leadership places under the patronage of UNESCO and the European Parliament. The program had three summer universities so far. The first summer university took place in Bahcesehire University, Istanbul in July 2013, and gathered 53 students from 16 partner universities to discuss the theme "The causes of wars and genocides in the 20th century". The second summer university was in Berlin, Germany that 56 students attended to talk about "Religions, peace and conflict in the 21st century". The last one was this year's program, which took place in Cappadocia Turkey from 19th July to 2nd August 2015, under the title "The power of image: truth, manipulation and intolerance"; around 70 (BA, MA, PhD) students, from 5 continents, 16 countries and 24 universities, have participated in the program
The aim of the program is gathering students from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Latin American Countries and the United States of America for two weeks, in order to develop their intercultural skills and give them the opportunity to study key issue in international affairs with other students from diverse cultural, religious and ethnic background.
With the advent of mass media and the internet, the modern world has shifted from a print culture to a visual culture: a new age of image centered communication has begun. In this transition, the use of analogical thinking has also shifted from verbal metaphors to visual ones. This shift is particularly evident in the use of intercultural communication. This year's program explored the power of images as basic and indispensable tool of cultural interaction: how images are processed, how they function in relation to our innermost beings, and how they form the psychological fabric of our political, social, and economic environment. There was a focus on the role of the various which impact our lives: how visual images create a language with profound psychological meaning, and how print, television, film and the newly-arrived social media manipulate images to create desired emotional effects. This year's program looked at the most controversial areas of image persuasiveness today: advertising, politics and entertainment. Cutting across many disciplines (psychology. Politics, history, sociology, law, religion studies, journalism, etc.), the course was done in the form of a lecture series combined with active participation by students in the form of project presentations and discussion groups.
The first day after arrival, with his Excellency (Assist. Prof. Dr. Ahmed Dezaye) the president of Salahaddin University-Erbil, the opening ceremony started with some welcome speeches by Enver Yucel, the chairman of the board, Abe Radkin, special advisor to the Director General of UNESCO and Executive Director of the Aladdin Project, and some other officials and academicians. His Excellency (Assist. Prof. Dr. Ahmed Dezaye) the president of Salahaddin University also had his words with presenting a seminar by using slideshows about the new modern Campus of Salahaddin University. Then as it was planned, the program transferred to Cappadocia, which was 10 hours away from Istanbul by bus.
The lectures where taught by some professors, politicians and journalists from different countries:
Generally, the program was holding some messages to be conveyed like: peace, humanity, human right, women right, respect different religions and diverse cultural believes, and creating a strong united community instead of the whole world.
Research project was another plan of the program. Students were equally divided into groups of four or five reflecting their different countries and cultural background, to work together on a common research project. Each group had to present a draft plan by the end of the summer university. Final research projects are to be completed after the two-week program and submitted to an international panel of academics in October 2015.
Beside of all these, there were some other extra activities like tours to the historical, traditional and tourism areas at nights and weekend. Some parties also were held in order to make students to get closer and show their traditions.
In one of the night parties, participants should present a program about their culture and traditions. Our two students presented a program with two others from the American University of Sulaimani about: Kurdistan, bloody histoty, Kurdish flag, Nawroz and Kurdish Year and its story, Peshmarga, the huge number of refuges. They also ended the program with some Kurdish dance.
At the same party Mr. Enver Yucel, the chairman of the board, promised to make a big building and name it Peace House. All the participants were honored the titled Pease Ambassadors, and the chairman also decided to hold all the students' names and photos on the walls of the Peace House, besides he asked the participants to come back to Cappadocia every year to describe for the tourists about what had happened in the area during the two weeks of the summer university.
The participants in this international summer university had very positive views about Kurdistan especially Peshmarga. Prof. Nilufer Gole during her lecture at the opening ceremony said "Now, Peshmarga forces are the only hope and pride of the whole world, not only Kurds". Matt was an American student, during the battle between Turkish forces and ISIS on the border, his family called him and wanted him to get back to the US immediately, but he replied "Between me and ISIS, there are millions of Kurds, so you don’t have to be worry about me".
There was a graduation ceremony at the last night of the program. The students got two international certificates (Diploma) from Aladdin project and Bahcesehir University with the partnership of UNESCO and European Commission Erasmus+. Finally, the students departed in tears, because there were very strong relationships between them.
Nhev Jamal Kamal,
Third Year, College of Law,
The International Summer University for Intercultural leadership is a program organized by the Aladdin Project with the support of the European commission, under the patronage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), that took place in Baku-Azerbaijan, from July 24th to August 7th , 2016.
53 students from 26 different universities in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the United States, and Brazil participated in this two week cultural and Academic journey.
Salahaddin University-Erbil (http://www.su.edu.krd ) was the only University that was chosen in the entire Iraq to participate in this program with two students that were chosen based on merit.They are:
The theme of this year’s two-week course was “Migration and the Future of Intercultural Relations”, the lectures were given by internationally-recognized scholars, and during the two-week course we formed groups in order to do a group research.
The research project should be submitted in October 2016 and will be reviewed by an international jury and which will qualify us for the Aladdin Awards which are given every year during a special ceremony in Paris.
During these two weeks we also had the chance to see the beautiful places of Azerbaijan.
The program organized a cultural night show which allowed us to present our cultures and to know more about each other’s cultures.
I was able to show a presentation about Kurdistan Amongst the participants to introduce the history and the culture of the Kurds to them, my work got praised and they were happy to know this information about Kurdistan and they told me to take Kurdistan’s flag everywhere.
Eventually in 6th of August we received our certificates during the closing ceremony which took place in Jumeirah beach Hotel, and the certificates were given to us by the Deputy minister of education of Azerbaijan, and I was able to raise the Kurdistan flag while I received my certificates and I felt so proud that I represented my one and only country Kurdistan.
It is worth to mention that Salahaddin university-Erbil, for the third year (since summer 2014), participating in Aladdin Project by sending two students each year.
The president of Salahaddin University, assistant professor Dr. Ahmed Anwar Dezaye ( firstname.lastname@example.org), also participated in the opening ceremony of the mentioned summer university in Baku and presented the academic bright face of Salahaddin University-Erbil.
Mohammed Azeez Saeed ,Erbil, August 28th, 2016
The Slide show given below presented in this summer university workshop on Kurdistan Region