Last week, Ahmed Mohammad Salih, instructor of English and linguistics at Tikrit University and a staff member in its Office of Cultural Relations, visited UW-Madison to explore potential avenues of collaboration in the fields of second language acquisition, applied linguistics, leadership, and more. In addition to meeting with staff and faculty, Mr. Salih presented the university with several recent works of contemporary Arabic literature published in Iraq. He also met with UW-Madison students studying Arabic.
Mr. Salih’s visit was prompted by last year’s March 30 MOU signing via video-conference between UW-Madison and Tikrit University. He served as translator at that event.*
Read Mr. Salih’s message below:
The aim of my visit is to discuss means of cooperation and coordination between our two universities at academic levels under the MOU signed between us. It is to activate this MOU and get tangible things done. The message I want to share with the University of Wisconsin-Madison is we are ready to start any possible activity for the time being. Also, we shall do our best to invest and utilize all our potentials to do so. The brainstorms we discussed are hopefully of help to begin. In fact, our concern was how to start and achieve something for the benefits of our two campuses.
We do believe that Iraqi scholars and professors will play a great role in this process. Not only do scholars play such a role in Iraq, it is even so for humanity and the international community. Historically speaking, its civilizations date back to 6000 years ago. Iraq was the cradle of civilization where they had taught algebra, chemistry, and astronomy. They were very creative and productive, it is where writing was invented.
Iraq was under the UN embargo in 1990s; Iraqi scholars did a great job at that time to alleviate the situation although it was difficult to provide new technology and other related items to Iraq. Additionally, scholars can share the message of peace. Iraqis believe strongly in peace, solidarity, and prosperity for the international community. We are sure they will change a lot when they come back to Iraq through the experience and ideas they bring to their campuses. Working together is a way to enhance relations of friendship and cooperation between our two nations, Iraq and U.S.A.
We do believe it is the best time for universities all over the world to connect Iraqi universities with them because universities need more to fund all activities and plans. They do not have efficient laboratories and other related facilities. Most importantly, it is because they are productive and creative, they can add something to human knowledge. We would like to see universities open to Iraqi scholars whenever they can help. In Iraq, we have many areas that need to be explored or investigated. Joint cooperation can help those who are interested in these areas to conduct researches and surveys.
I have been impressed by the potentials and facilities they have at the U.S.A universities.
*Visits from Tikrit University’s faculty in medicine, law, and agriculture are underway, thanks to funding from the U.S. Embassy and the government of Iraq. UW-Madison is a member of the Iraqi Consortium, a group of U.S. universities that is considering applications to host degree scholarship students fully funded by the Iraqi government through a program of the Academy for Educational Development (AED). It has also applied to receive a group of Fulbright Iraqi scholars in science and technology.