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Komar University, Sulaymaniyah Kurdistan any info???
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dorothy1



Joined: 08 Jun 2008
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Komar University, Sulaymaniyah Kurdistan any info??? Reply with quote

Anybody have any recent feedback on this place? Interviewing here and wondering what people think? Not much recent information that I can find.
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Queen Jo Jo



Joined: 06 May 2014
Posts: 6
Location: Mombasa, Kenya

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there - I'm in the same boat & have found a little bit of info now so please PM me if you like.

I've also spoken to Kurdish friends there (none have heard of KUST though) & most are fairly positive about life there but I think the salary that will be offered may not allow much to be saved. However, depends on whether you're going for the experience or the money I guess.

Cheers
Jo
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12098
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ISIL have just taken over Mosul, vi et armis. I thought the NE was supposed to be safe !
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returnee2014



Joined: 06 Jun 2014
Posts: 12
Location: United States

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm leaving for Komar in two weeks. I don't want to post the details of my contract, but i'll say that I'm sacrificing 1000 dollars a month to go there instead of Saudi.

The upside are the intangible benefits of being present for the amazingness of the current events there.

Sulaymaniyah is relatively safe despite the proximity to the conflict zone. I don't even feel safe in my own big city home here in the US. Statistically I'm no more likely to be taken hostage by islamists than I am to get shot here.

The climate is very nice there as well.

I'd say that if you really want an opportunity to witness/participate in a historical event, i.e. intellectual and economic renaissance, head to Sulaymaniyah. The same does not go for all provinces tho. Stay the hell away from Mosul, Kirkuk and perhaps Erbil too.

School starts 7/6 and they seem very eager to get me over there asap. They talked a lot of curriculum development. I've only got 20 contact hours and the rest is divided up into curriculum committee/testing/etc.. Contract stipulates teachers design/submit a syllabus for every class they are assigned. They seem to be very serious about the business of education. I see it as a real opportunity to develop along with them. They even asked me to teach some academic courses that fit with my degree studies. I'm very excited about it.

By the way, the requirements to get there are rather lax btw. Nothing like the hassle of getting into Saudi. You just fly in thru Istanbul direct to Sulaymaniyah on your passport, no visa. The medical requirements are likewise lax, i.e. fewer tests and immunizations and no ridiculous requirements like having the doctor fill them out by hand in triplicate.
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 346
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you communicated with anyone besides the school?

It's easy to see why they are anxious to get you and lax about requirements. You are going into a potential war zone at the same time the US embassy is evacuating lots of staff. No one will be there to help you if there is serious trouble. I was around for the "amazingness" of the Iranian revolution. Things can quickly spin out of control. I'm not trying to discourage you from your adventure, (if I were younger, I might be doing the same thing), but develop a tactical/situational awareness and have an exit strategy. Avoid traveling alone, but if you do, be sure someone reliable knows where you are going. Carry your passport at all times, (preferably well concealed), and a good supply of US dollars or Euros with you. You never know when you'll have to make a run for the border. Unfortunately, that border is Iran, not much of an option for Americans, Turkey is the only viable option.

Good Luck, and watch your six!

Here is the latest State Department warning:

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/iraq-travel-warning.html
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El Hobo



Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 35
Location: Iraqi-Kurdistan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2buckets wrote:
You are going into a potential war zone at the same time the US embassy is evacuating lots of staff.


The US is evacuating it's staff to Iraqi-Kurdistan, where this chap is going; it is probably much safer than where he currently lives.

The US may not discriminate between Iraqi-Kurdistan and Iraq proper, but the British Foreign Office does:

"The FCO does not advise against travel to the Kurdistan Region (the provinces of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah and Dohuk).

The Kurdistan Region is administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government which has considerable powers of autonomy within Iraq."

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/iraq/safety-and-security

Personally, I've rarely lived anywhere safer. All this apparent derring-do looks great on my resume though.
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returnee2014



Joined: 06 Jun 2014
Posts: 12
Location: United States

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips. I can't imagine a scenario where I'm fleeing Slemani because it's being over-run with militants. ISIS and the Kurds are determining their rough areas of influence and coming to a truce more or less. The Kurds feel stretched thin as they have to suddenly defend a larger territory and take back surrounding villages and also deal with refugees. But ISIS should be feeling even more stretched, with their offensive on Baghdad looking pretty weak, especially when you consider this sudden appearance of US-Iranian cooperation with new drones headed that way. Even if they did capture Baghdad, it would take everything they have to hold it. There's no way they could afford to launch a campaign against the Kurds.

The type of threat that I fear in Slemani is a kurdish muslim student engaging in terrorism. But then, there's a school shooting in america literally every other day now.
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El Hobo



Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 35
Location: Iraqi-Kurdistan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

returnee2014 wrote:
The type of threat that I fear in Slemani is a kurdish muslim student engaging in terrorism.


I would say that is quite an irrational fear. You should perhaps fear being killed in a traffic accident instead (they like to remove the seat belts in the taxis).
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El Hobo



Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 35
Location: Iraqi-Kurdistan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

returnee2014 wrote:
They seem to be very serious about the business of education.


Hmm...

returnee2014 wrote:
I see it as a real opportunity to develop along with them.


You expect so much; I hope you are not disappointed.
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returnee2014



Joined: 06 Jun 2014
Posts: 12
Location: United States

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Hobo wrote:

I would say that is quite an irrational fear.


I'm glad to hear you say that.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12303
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I don't agree with all of the writer's conclusions, here, at least, is someone who knows what he's talking about making some very valid points about the current situation in Iraq.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/opinion/isis-will-fail-in-iraq-and-iran-will-be-the-victor.html?emc=edit_th_20140617&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=22183462&_r=0

Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12098
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iraqi Kurdistan safe ? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 346
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Hobo"

"The US is evacuating it's staff to Iraqi-Kurdistan, where this chap is going; it is probably much safer than where he currently lives. "

Yes, but they will be well protected regardless of how safe Iraq-Kurdistan may be perceived. The US gov't can hardly afford to have these people at risk because of the political optic. In some ways Iraq-Kurdistan may be more dangerous for the evacuees. I can see ISIS leaders saying:Hmmm, we can't get them in Baghdad, but let's send some homicide bombers/snipers up there and make some history and TV time.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Johnslat:

"Although I don't agree with all of the writer's conclusions,"

Are you referring to me here?
____________________________________________________________
scot47:

"Iraqi Kurdistan safe ? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm."

Agree!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

returnee2014

"there's a school shooting in america literally every other day now."

I think that is a bit of an exaggeration. Keep in mind, statistically, more people die from "medical misadventure" than gun violence. The vast majority of gun violence occurs between gangs involved in drug distribution turf wars.

returnee2014:

Also, keep in mind that johnslat, scot47 and myself each have decades of time in the middle east.


Last edited by 2buckets on Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12303
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear 2buckets,

I was referring to the writer of the NY Times article that I posted a link to. Very Happy

Regards,
John
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El Hobo



Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 35
Location: Iraqi-Kurdistan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
Iraqi Kurdistan safe ? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.


I'm sure you've traveled enough to know that one can have a misconception about a country. You have access to Google, if you doubt its safety, search and post results. It may be hard for you to believe but crime and terrorism here are virtually unheard of.

Iraqi-Kurdistan is de facto, a nation state of its own, bordering Iraq proper. Turkey also borders Iraq and maintains a safe and peaceful society, so there's no reason to believe that Iraqi-Kurdistan cannot do the same.

I've spent the last week reassuring family and they found nothing disturbing in their panicked research. It is hard to believe, granted.
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