Friday, March 10, 2006

Baghdad-Diary\ January 13th.

Education is about to vanish!!!

Good day, this is another day from Baghdad. The days are almost the same here; I have lost the sense of time. The hope I have is the reason I’m still sane in this insane world. My hope is my scholarship which I won to study in the United States. I don’t know what I would be doing if I haven’t won the scholarship. It’s hard to find a job here as I mentioned before, and applying for the Master or Ph.D. degree is something that needs a miracle to be done for the Iraqi students. You can apply but you won’t get it

Thousands of students apply for the higher studies every year, but only few students can be accepted. The reason behind this is the lack of supervising staffs in the Iraqi universities. Many university professors were either killed or they fled the country after the war for the sake of their own security.

There are these envious and vicious groups of terrorists who don’t want my country to stand back on its feet, and they are threatening and killing the educated people of Iraq. They want the country to go back to the Stone Age without education and knowledge.

I applied for the higher studies in my college after I graduated in 2005. I have a B.A. degree in English literature from University of Baghdad. There were about 200 students applying for the higher studies in my college at the same time when I applied. Some of the Iraqi universities and colleges closed the Master and doctoral studies in their departments’ because there are no enough professors to teach and supervise those students.

There is a staff of professors and supervisors in my department who are responsible for the Master and Doctoral studies, they had to interview all of the students who applied to decide whom is eligible to pursue with the higher studies. I was interviewed in a miserable situation; it was very hot in July and there were no electricity in the department at that time. Besides, the place was filled with so many students waiting in line to be interviewed. And there was a competitive exam in August which me and the other students took in an atmosphere compared to hell! The temperature was over 50 degrees, and again, there was no electricity to cool the examination hall, the hall was messy and dirty and there were no good windows to let air come in from the outside. The situation is similar to any other classroom or hall at college!

The shock was that only five students among this huge mass would be accepted to study for their Master or Doctoral degrees! Only five among over 200 students!! The reason, again, is the lack of professors in the Iraqi universities. Those students came from different cities in Iraq to study in here because it is the only place whose departments still have Master and Doctoral studies.

The result came out after a month; I wasn’t accepted. But I didn’t care for it because I was already accepted in the Fulbright Scholarship Program to have my Master degree in the U.S.A.

Oh, have I told you that education is totally free in Iraq?

Peace from the land that was once peaceful…

Photos taken in College of Arts\University of Baghdad. The damaged building is the college's library. It was hit during the war, then burned after the war! It stayed the same for about a whole year. And when it was rebuilt, it stayed out of books and resources!


Hajar said...

Salaam, I hope all is well and I hope you find America to be as wonderful as you expect it to be, ensha Allah.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

*sigh* What to say to that?

Nothing will ever get better until the violence stops. I wish your country could know the peace of mine. I know we are not perfect, but we are over all a tranquil place to live. At least Minnesota is. That's not quite true in areas subject to extreme weather, although we have our share of that. Where I live crime is not a huge problem. It maybe is more so in the larger cities. But I have never had to live in a war zone. I hope you enjoy your stay with us.

Robert Ludlum wrote the Bourne series. You might have heard of the movies. They made movies out of "The Bourne Identity", The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum". Matt Damon was excellent in the Jason Bourne role.

Original_Jeff said...

M. Smile,
Your GRE test is coming up soon, so I hope you are not reading this comment. :-) Good luck!

p.s. Do they sell shirts with "Baghdad University" printed on them? That would be *very* distinct to wear when you get to your university here!

attawie said...

It was so hard to go to the university and face the burned library each day. I remember those days and it was like hell. We used to look from the windows to see the nice view of our university, after the war even the view was stolen. Only burn and destroyed places are left. Then we started to look from these windows you see in the pictures and lament the day when it was burned. My friends and I (including M. Smile) we used to look at the burned books and say how someone could do such a horrible thing.

Good approach for the diary. Keep it going.
Salam wa noor on Iraq.

24 Steps to Liberty said...

i havent commented here for some time. im sorry for that, im just so busy with the news we all know.
listen, you will do just fine and great in the US. with your eagerness and ambition, you will be teaching in baghdad university 10 years from now and decide who gets the MA and the Phd. hee.
take care of yourself and please keep in touch.

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