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American University Baghdad
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morningcoffee



Joined: 30 May 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bulgogiboy wrote:
snip


Appreciate the comment. A few things (edit):

- the university is in Al Faw palace, which is a former military base close to the international airport. I understand that the situation in greater Baghdad is very volatile and I would not intend to wander down the street and visit street markets etc.

- Unless my Google-Fu has failed me, the ISIS bombing you referred happened in 2016 and left 260 odd people dead... ISIS is much much weaker force in 2018 and has significantly less presence in Baghdad.

- Wouldn't mind living in garrison style facilities. As long as there is a gym and reliable internet connection, things would be okay.

- Have been in contact with people in Kurdistan recently and the main issues they've spoken about are power outages and of course, the flight ban.

- People would've tried to discourage you from working in Iraq, no doubt, yet you still decided to go. Arguably, the situation in Basra would've been more dangerous...

Like I said, I appreciate the comment. I'm not completely sold on the idea of going and I might not even be offered the job, so this may all be academic. I have worked in high security environments before and think I have a pretty good handle on calculated risks.


Last edited by morningcoffee on Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only 260 killed? That’s ok then. And I was working a 28 day on/28 day off rotation with maximum security, spending the off days in Europe with flights paid, whereas you’ll be stuck in your portacabin and nearby vicinity for the best part of the year. And Basra has had very few bombings in recent years compared to Baghdad. I wouldn’t have gone to Baghdad then and I wouldn’t now. There’s a difference between taking a calculated risk for 6 months holidays a year and a large salary (as i did) versus being stuck in Baghdad most of the year on a really average ME salary of 3500 usd (as you’re contemplating). But hey, if you’re desperate enough then I wish you the best of luck.
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morningcoffee



Joined: 30 May 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bulgogiboy wrote:
Only 260 killed? That’s ok then.


You also said that the attack occurred 'not so long ago', when in fact it was in 2016 (which is quite a long time ago when you consider how fast the spread of ISIS has been). Do you have any links for the increased risks for expatriates in Kurdistan? Can you recognise the difference between potentially working a former military base with security infrastructure still in place (e.g. high walls, surveillance towers) versus the streets of greater Baghdad?

If you're going to play oracle, factual inaccuracies and unsubstantiated claims detract from your credibility on the subject.

bulgogiboy wrote:

And I was working a 28 day on/28 day off rotation with maximum security, spending the off days in Europe with flights paid, whereas you’ll be stuck in your portacabin and nearby vicinity for the best part of the year. And Basra has had very few bombings in recent years compared to Baghdad. I wouldn’t have gone to Baghdad then and I wouldn’t now. There’s a difference between taking a calculated risk for 6 months holidays a year and a large salary (as i did) versus being stuck in Baghdad most of the year on a really average ME salary of 3500 usd (as you’re contemplating). But hey, if you’re desperate enough then I wish you the best of luck.


See, I think risk is independent of reward. Whether I get paid $3.5k or $13.5k per month, the risk remains the same. No amount of money would entice me to get myself into a situation where I thought it would be highly likely that I would die. Looking at the current circumstances, I don't believe this to be the case, hence why I'm interested. I guess that's where we differ. And hey, if you have any contacts for working in Basra, PM away.

EDIT: included information from Nomad Soul's post


Last edited by morningcoffee on Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:24 pm; edited 3 times in total
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11439
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

morningcoffee wrote:
The university is in Al Faw palace, which is in the 'international zone' and one would imagine, relatively safe.
....
Unless my Google-Fu has failed me...

and wrote:
Can you recognise the difference between potentially working in the heavily fortified International Zone versus greater Baghdad?

Your "Google-Fu" is off. Al Faw (previously Camp Victory under the US military and soon to be AUIB) is not in the IZ; it's located on a man-made peninsula near Baghdad Int'l Airport. Something to consider for potential security lockdowns.

See:.
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Mencjusz



Joined: 08 Mar 2018
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In general, the violence in Iraq is decreasing with every month according to various sources. For example, according to iraqbodycount.org the number of monthly civilian deaths from violence decreased from 1119 in Jan. 2017 to only 291 in Dec. 2017.

https://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/

Ofc, this does not mean that you are safe, risk-free. The situation can change anytime.

The argument is basically about personal preferences; whether, as an individual, you can live in garrison type facility, which has for e.g. gym, swimming pool etc., but you are very limited to do anything outside this facility. From a perspective of a researcher, I can say yes, no problem. From a perspective of an adventurer, it would be rather no.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11439
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something to keep in mind...

Although foreign faculty may live and work in a highly guarded facility, that may not be the case for students, staff, and teachers who come from various parts of the city and country. If they're unable or unwilling to travel to the facility due to volatile/dangerous conditions in their neighborhoods or en route, classes can get cancelled, and expats can find themselves abruptly without a job. That's what happened to many teachers throughout the MENA during the Arab Spring.

BTW, you can't compare Iraqi Kurdistan to the rest of the country. Read up on the history, culture, and recent politics of Iraq.
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morningcoffee



Joined: 30 May 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Something to keep in mind...

Although foreign faculty may live and work in a highly guarded facility, that may not be the case for students, staff, and teachers who come from various parts of the city and country. If they're unable or unwilling to travel to the facility due to volatile/dangerous conditions in their neighborhoods or en route, classes can get cancelled, and expats can find themselves abruptly without a job. That's what happened to many teachers throughout the MENA during the Arab Spring.


Interesting point. But honestly, I could think of much worse things to happen while working in Iraq than losing my job...

nomad soul wrote:

BTW, you can't compare Iraqi Kurdistan to the rest of the country. Read up on the history, culture, and recent politics of Iraq.


Not sure if this was directed at me, but yes, I have a sufficient understanding of the Kurdistan situation.
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you do end up in AUB, please post a bit about what it's like. I'd be curious to know what the conditions are like. If the security they have is nothing short of rock solid then consider leaving. The long and the short of it is that Baghdad is an incredibly dangerous city in terms of terror attacks and bombings (much more so than Basra).

I hope any of the instructors that go to AUB have a positive experience and manage to stay safe. On the plus side, there won't be much to spend money on, so you could at least bank more or less the full salary. Good luck to all who are brave enough to venture there, sincerely.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15328

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will be a long time before it is safe for individual Americans or Europeans to wander about in the towns and cities of the region.
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Mencjusz



Joined: 08 Mar 2018
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any news, any updates about recruitment?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11439
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mencjusz wrote:
Any news, any updates about recruitment?

You've already had a screening interview with HR for a non-TEFL position. What were you told about the next steps in the process (assuming you asked during the interview)?

BTW, if the position you applied for is still being advertised, it means the university is widening their pool of potential candidates.
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Mencjusz



Joined: 08 Mar 2018
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you know what is HUMINT? Different people, different experience, different stages, maybe more information.

My experience and what I was told is only one among many.
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