On Wednesday, in a ceremony Salahaddin University-Erbil (SUE) granted the Kurdish scientist and winner of fields medal Coucher Birkar an honorary doctorate.
The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of KRG, Deputy Prime Minister and Speaker of the Parliament, Minister of Higher Education, Minister of Education, the President of Salahaddin University, a number of KRG MPs, international diplomats, Birkar’s parents, university teachers and students.
SUE president, Dr Ahmed Dezaye, delivered a speech in which he welcomed Prof. Birkar warmly. He said, “SUE takes pride in young Kurdish inventors wherever in Kurdistan… it also takes pride in granting an honorary doctorate to the mathematician Coucher Birkar who every Kurd and every university in Kurdistan is proud of.”
SUE has granted honorary doctorate for the third time in a row so far. In 2014 and 2015, it was presented to Dr Ismael Beshikchi and Dr Mostafa Zalmi respectively. SUE president said, “This is the third but not the last time the University honorary doctorate bestowed on the people who have served the Kurdish cause whether scientifically or politically that will encourage others to take similar steps.”
KRG Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, also presented a speech in which he thanked SUE and the President for granting this award. He said “Excuses would not solve the problems. Teachers and students should waste no time.”
He also said, “Kurdistan needs scientists and we should strive constantly to promote it.”
His Excellency maintained, “Kurds takes pride in the scientists who develop Kurdistan and make it known internationally and locally promote change in society. This is a great endeavour alongside political struggle.”
He encouraged the universities to do their best to promote education in Kurdistan in order to become a shining example. Our real struggle is to fulfil the dream of our forefathers.
After he was awarded the honorary doctorate by SUE president, Dr Birkar said “It is a great honour for me to visit Kurdistan again. I grew up in a village in which education was not very good. Our school was not good and there was the Iraqi-Iran war. I thank everyone who has helped me, especially my parents.”
He further said “It is very important the students are taught to start inventing in different fields because we need more than a Coucher Birkar. With one Coucher Birkar, the country would not progress.”
Dr Birkar asked the KRG government to pay further attention to higher education, and he has plans for significant projects to help progress higher education.
SUE council presented an honorary doctorate to prof. Coucher Birkar for winning the fields medal in mathematics.