Saturday, May 21, 2016

Afrin University

It has been clear for some time that one outcome of Syria's civil war will be an autonomous Kurdish region, much the way the Persian Gulf War led to an autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.  This is not only about the establishment of governing institutions, but cultural institutions which are unlikely to go away, such as this new university:
Afrin University, the first university based in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), began registering students in August. Though it is not yet accredited, the school's officials already plan to expand its offerings and facilities...
“One of the objectives of the university is to bridge the large gap in the educational field as a result of the Syrian war," Abdul Majeed Sheikho, dean of the arts faculty, told Al-Monitor. "The university gives the students an opportunity to complete their studies and to achieve their educational goals. This is a better solution than the decision to migrate.”
The school's teachers hail from the Afrin area and are required to have doctorates or master's degrees in their specialties. Youssuf said 222 students are enrolled: 121 in the literature program, which includes a Kurdish-language section, 50 in engineering and 51 in economics. The school includes institutes for studying medicine, topographic engineering, music and theater, business administration and the Kurdish language.
“Work is in progress for the opening of the faculty of agriculture and the faculty of human medicine in 2016, and probably the media faculty,” Youssuf said. According to him, the university also has plans for a significant science program as the school expands.
Significantly, the university will also offer courses in Kurdish cultural studies.

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