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Kurdish 'Arab Idol' Contestant Promotes Iraqi Kurdistan DinarDailyUpdates?bg=330099&fg=FFFFFF&anim=1

Kurdish 'Arab Idol' Contestant Promotes Iraqi Kurdistan

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Kurdish 'Arab Idol' Contestant Promotes Iraqi Kurdistan Empty Kurdish 'Arab Idol' Contestant Promotes Iraqi Kurdistan

Post by Kevind53 Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:27 pm

Not Dinar related, but fun ... and shows all is not gloom and doom over there.

Abdel Hamid Zebari for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse Posted on June 11.

When she stepped into the realm of art and music as a contestant on the Arab talent show Arab Idol, Parwas Hussein did not know that she would become an idol in the eyes of the people of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and gain widespread popularity.

Hussein, 26, has become a national idol after being accepted to the show, which airs on MBC every Friday and Saturday. Not content with merely voting by SMS, the standard way to keep participants on the show, the Kurdish people sent an official diplomatic delegation to Beirut to support Hussein.

Hussein is the first Kurdish contestant to participate in Arab Idol. She has ably passed many rounds and reached the contest's semifinals. Hussein, however, could not speak Arabic; she auditioned accompanied by a translator. Hussein would write out the lyrics of the songs, translate them into Kurdish to grasp the meaning and then memorize the Arabic lyrics. Despite this, the judges were impressed by her talent and she was admitted to the show.

Arab Idol is the Arab version of Pop Idol, created by Simon Fuller and distributed by the British company FremantleMedia. The first season of Arab Idol began Dec. 9, 2011, and aired throughout the world on MBC1.

In support of Hussein, The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) sent Deputy Prime Minister Imad Ahmad and his wife to Beirut to participate in one of the episodes.

The media described Hussein as an ambassador of Iraqi fraternity.

On Friday [May 31] Ahmad appeared in the audience watching the show and supporting Hussein. He was warmly welcomed by the show's hosts.

Kurdish support, however, did not stop there. A mass campaign was launched on social-media websites — namely, Facebook and Twitter. When Ahlam, an Arab Emirati singer and one of the judges, said during the second episode that Hussein represents Iraq and not the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (which is a part of Iraq), she was fiercely criticized by the Kurdish members of the audience. Subsequently, Ahlam offered her apologies to the Kurdish people, and Hussein was introduced in the show as a Kurdish contestant from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. In a letter addressed to the Kurdish people, Ahlam apologized for the statement that was seen as offensive. Ahlam said she considered Hussein's participation in the show to be a “message of love and peace.”

The letter, titled “My message to the Kurdish people, Ahlam,” which was posted on Facebook, reads: “In response to the reaction of the Kurdish people following yesterday’s episode, I want to clarify that I did not intend to offend the Kurdish people. [Hussein's] participation communicates a sublime message, one of peace and love. She represents the place she came from. Since she sang in Arabic, we did not hesitate to welcome her talent. She also sang in Kurdish and delighted us.”

Ahlam not only apologized, but in her letter she also announced her desire to perform in Erbil, especially after becoming acquainted with Kurdish music through Hussein. She wrote on her Facebook page, “Soon, I will hold a concert for my Kurdish fans in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region [to express] my respect and love. And there will be a big surprise, as Parwas will perform with me.”

The support continues. The general committee for tourism, affiliated with the Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism in the KRG, sent an official invitation to the show's judges to visit the Kurdistan Region when the current season ends.

Nader Rosti, spokesman for the general committee, told Al-Monitor that what pushes them to receive the judges in Kurdistan is the direct and indirect support they showed in introducing the region as a touristic country that continues to blossom.

He added, “There is no doubt that one of our aims is to introduce tourism in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to foreign countries by means of different media outlets. This show contributed to introducing Kurdish tourism to the Arab countries. They mentioned, more than once, that Kurdistan is a touristic country that continues to blossom. This is very important to us.”

“This show enjoys wide popularity in the Arab world. It was one of the reasons Kurdish tourism, heritage and culture were introduced to a wide spectrum of Arabs, notably the youth, who watch the show. We hold this in high esteem, and that is why we sent a thank-you letter to encourage them further. We also invited them to visit the tourist areas and to further promote tourism in the Kurdistan Region.”

Kurdish writer Fawzi al-Atrushi, who serves as the undersecretary of the Kurdish Ministry of Culture, dedicated an article to Hussein in which he said, “Revenge, retaliation and taking sides against the others will only usher in more grudges and will further widen the gaps that separate people from their fellow humans.”

He continues: “The solution is to integrate and familiarize oneself with the other without, of course, forgetting about identity — the identity of language, culture and the history that has always been a solid Kurdish identity, having withstood extreme duress. Hussein sends a message in which she tells us that we can applaud, vote for her and like her only because she is able to strike awe in us. And that is what happened.”

During Arab Idol episodes, the Kurdish contestant has performed many Kurdish songs and has introduced Kurdish music and heritage to the Arab world while wearing traditional Kurdish attire in some episodes. Hussein captivated the Arab audience when she performed in Kurdish and Arabic in the same song.

It is worth noting that Erbil, the largest city of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, was named the "2014 Arab Tourism Capital" by the Arab Ministries of Tourism. The KRG is exerting strenuous efforts to introduce the city to the Arab world and attract Arab tourists to visit.

Abdel Hamid Zebari is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor’s Iraq Pulse. A reporter from Erbil who works in print and radio, he has published in local and international media, including Agence France-Press and Radio Free Iraq (Radio Free Europe).

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/kurdish-contestant-arab-idol.html#ixzz2Vx9ZNVHl

*****************
Trust but Verify --- R Reagan Suspect

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."1 Thessalonians 5:14–18

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Kurdish 'Arab Idol' Contestant Promotes Iraqi Kurdistan Empty American University Graduates Students From Across Iraq

Post by Kevind53 Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:30 pm

By: Abdel Hamid Zebari for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse Posted on June 4.

Zaydan Khalaf, a Yazidi student, didn’t feel he was different from any other student as he was completing his two-year master's degree at the American University of Iraq in Sulaimaniyah (AUIS). Khalaf formed friendships with Iraqi students of different nationalist affiliations and ethnic groups, as well as with students from abroad. He was never harassed for having a different religion, creed or nationality.

On May 30, AUIS celebrated the graduation of more than 60 students from across Iraq with bachelor's degrees in business administration, information technology and international studies, while 29 other students received master's degrees in business administration. A large number of officials attended the ceremony.

The AUIS Board of Trustees held a meeting in Sulaimaniyah in 2006 to create an American-style educational institution in Iraq. They wanted to establish a university in which gifted students from across Iraq and the region could study, regardless of their affiliations.

The university opened its doors in 2007, and 45 students from various regions were accepted in the first phase, during which the university launched a master's program in business administration.

AUIS is recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and certified at the national level in the US by the American Academy for Liberal Education.

Zaydan Khodida, who finished his master's degree in business administration, told Al-Monitor, "During the two years that I spent in university, I did not notice any difference at the religious, ethnic or even nationalistic level. There were students from across Iraq — from the center and the south, from Kurdistan and abroad — Shiites, Sunnis and other ethnic groups. As for us, the Yazidi students, we were 22."

He added, “I currently have friends from Baghdad, Basra and all of Iraq’s cities, and I am always in contact with them. These friendships were formed during university days.”

Followers of the Yazidi religion in Iraq were subjected to many attacks after 2003, and many Yazidi students were forced to leave Iraqi universities after they were harassed by terrorist groups that believe that Yazidis are not Muslim and that they should therefore be killed.

Khodida said there are more opportunities to get a job in the Kurdistan Region or other provinces of Iraq when students have a degree from AUIS. He added that students who graduate from AUIS speak English well, in addition to Kurdish for ​Kurdish students and Arabic for Arab students. Foreign companies always look for efficient people, he added, and this is what the university produces.

Concerning the process by which students are accepted at the university, Bazar Ali Boscani, an AUIS spokesperson, told Al-Monitor that all Iraqi students are eligible to apply to AUIS — be they residents or nonresidents. They are, however, subject to the terms of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, whereby minimum grades of 70% average in the scientific and literary sections are required. Non-Iraqi students must get an equivalent to their diplomas from the Iraqi Kurdistan government’s Ministry of Education.

Boscani pointed out that there are more than 1,000 students enrolled in the university, not including those who are working toward a master's degree and those enrolled in courses organized by the university to improve their English. This year saw the graduation of the university’s second class.

Boscani also noted that students come from Kurdistan, Iran, Kuwait and Syria, adding, “We consider this to be a good start, and we hope that the number of these students will increase in the future.”

He also said that the higher a student’s GPA in high school, the lower the tuition fees, and added that this is a form of support and encouragement provided by the university for students in the preparatory stage. This is done in order to push them to make greater efforts to obtain higher degrees when they graduate from high school.

Boscani added that if a student’s GPA when he or she graduates from high school is between 95% and 100%, tuition is $1,500. As for students with an average of 75%, they pay $6,500 annually, but that amount decreases when their GPA increases.

Concerning the number of colleges, he said, “At first, we had three colleges for business administration, international studies and information technology.”

“This year,” he added, “we opened two colleges for general engineering and mechanical engineering, and two others for the English language — one for English literature and another for languages and journalism.”

According to Boscani, AUIS graduates easily find good job opportunities, except for those who go on to finish their graduate studies in Europe and the United States. Boscani noted, “We currently have students completing their post-graduate studies in American and European universities, but about 98% of our university graduates get jobs.”

He added, “We have a career center at the university that helps students find job opportunities before graduation and there is a great demand for graduates of our universities, because they are following a new educational system.” He added that AUIS is filling the void in the fields of administration and informatics, and they graduate with excellent English skills.

There are currently 19 public universities in Iraq: Al-Mustansiriya University, the University of Basrah, the University of Mosul, the University of Technology, Kufa University, Tikrit University, Al Qadissiya University, the University of Anbar, Al-Nahrain University (formerly Saddam University), Babylon University, University of Karbala, Thi Qar University, Kirkuk University, Misan University, Al Muthana University, the Iraqi University, Diyala University and Wassit University.

The universities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, however, number five: Salahaddin University, the University of Sulaimani, the University of Dohuk, the University of Koya and the Hawler Medical University, in addition to dozens of private universities spread across the country.

Abdel Hamid Zebari is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor’s Iraq Pulse. A reporter from Erbil who works in print and radio, he has published in local and international media, including Agence France-Press and Radio Free Iraq (Radio Free Europe).

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/iraqi-university-unites-different-groups.html#ixzz2VxAfO78e

*****************
Trust but Verify --- R Reagan Suspect

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."1 Thessalonians 5:14–18

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