VIDEO: American University of Kurdistan opens in Duhok

"AUK will become a center for academic excellence and research."

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – On the 25th anniversary of the Kurdish uprising in Duhok, which also marks the birthday of the legendary Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani, a grand opening ceremony was held for the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) at Duhok.

Kurdistan Region’s high-ranking officials and foreign diplomats and representatives attended the ceremony on Monday.

President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani told the audience that, “The opening of the American University of Kurdistan on a day like today adds another level of joy and weight to such a blessed day, and I hope this university becomes one of the best in the Middle East.”

“The development of any nation is on the shoulders of scientists and professionals. Such people are created at universities and I hope this university becomes the base for making such people,” President Barzani added.

The university started accepting applications in 2014 and now has 260 students. The newly established building of approximately 30,000 square meters can accommodate up to 3,000 students.

According to the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, AUK will become a center of academic excellence and research. 

Michael Mulnix, the first president of the AUK said, “Education at this University  is value-based…and we are committed to shaping leaders with the provision of education with high quality. We are not just graduating students; we are graduating leaders for Kurdistan and the world."

Masrour Barzani, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council, said in the concluding speech, “My extended family has been deeply committed to the promotion of the educational initiative…therefore, the building that we are opening today is named after General Mullah Mustafa Barzani.”

He thanked the external supporters for financial contributions. “The development of institutions such as the American University is of vital importance in the development of our society,” Barzani added.

The following is Masrour Barzani's speech at the opening ceremony of the AUK

Reporting by Baxtiyar Goran
Editing by Ava Homa and Karzan Sulaivany
Photos by Farhad Ahmad