U.S. is proud of historic partnership with the Kurdistan Region: U.S. Deputy General Consul
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – U.S. Deputy General Consul Zehra Bell on Sunday during the fourth commencement of the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) in Duhok on Sunday, underlined that the United States of America is “deeply proud of our historic partnership with the people of the Kurdistan region of Iraq.”
“Our bond is one forged of common values out of a belief that to be underestimated is merely an opportunity to show the world that they were wrong,” the U.S. Deputy Consul General added.
“That to doubt our strength, serves only to make us stronger. As a symbol of our enduring partnership, the United States is constructing the largest U.S. consulate in the world in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, but no matter how large, the diplomats working inside that building will be no match for the future diplomats graduating today from a AUK with these degrees.”
“You have the power to represent the best of America and the best of the Kurdistan Region all at once. The U.S. State Department is proud to have partnered with and supported AUK.”
She also underlined that “our ongoing State Department grants to build out your educational tools and our collective effort to pursue International and U.S. accreditation are just a few examples of what we can achieve by working together.”
“It is only through collaboration, dialogue and unity that we can create a brighter future for you and the Kurdistan region of Iraq
“It is only through collaboration, dialogue and unity that we can create a brighter future for you and the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Graduates, as you leave this institution, you are not just armed with knowledge, but with the potential to make a meaningful impact on the world. I urge you to embrace the freedom of choices that your education has afforded you and never take them for granted. “
Ticket to freedom
In her speech, she also underlined the importance of education and how she believed early in her life that education was a ticket to freedom. “It would open the door for me to financial independence and enable me to chart out my own future. I suspect many of you feel the same way today.”
“I was the first person in my family to go to university and graduate. I am the daughter of immigrants and I come from a traditional Muslim family. My mother's choices were limited, she had an arranged marriage at a young age and missed the chance for a higher education. I came to believe early in my life that a higher education would be my ticket to freedom,” she stressed.
“It would open the door for me to financial independence and enable me to chart out my own future. I suspect many of you feel the same way today.”
When she was young, U.S. Deputy Consul General Bell managed to get a full Harvard scholarship after studying hard. “I was determined not to take for granted for one minute what my education can do for me. And indeed, almost overnight, my education changed my life.”
“My education did not just change my life. It changed the lives of my family and their perceptions of what women can achieve.
“My education did not just change my life. It changed the lives of my family and their perceptions of what women can achieve. Once you taste freedom, you can still not get enough. During my time at university, I traveled often and dreamt of a career that would show me the world.”
“During the final week of my senior year, I was called to Washington for an interview to become a U.S. diplomat. I had a choice: do I stay and study for my final exams? Or do I fly to DC and interview for the job of my dreams? I don't think my next choice will surprise you: I bought the next ticket to Washington.”
“I went from being the daughter of a mother with no choices to becoming a woman with the whole world before me.”
“I arrived as a student but I left Washington with an offer in my hand to become an American diplomat and represent the United States of America on the world stage. I went from being the daughter of a mother with no choices to becoming a woman with the whole world before her.”
“I look at so many of you students today. And I feel that hope surge in me again, because I see the amazing choices before you. You have choices that your parents did not have. You have choices that your grandparents could never have even dreamed of. You owe it to them to embrace the opportunities before you to live consciously and powerfully cognizant of your potential and your ability to change the future.”