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Monday, 17 October 2011

University of Leicester announces groundbreaking English language training initiative in Kurdistan

A British university is breaking new ground in international collaboration by working with a Kurdistan University to set up an English Language centre for students. It will be located in Erbil (Hewler), the capital city of the Federal Region of Kurdistan - Iraq.
This capacity-building project between the University of Leicester and the University of Kurdistan-Hewler (UKH), in northern Iraq, will provide new opportunities for students to take English language qualifications in their home country, and in the region.   The UKH-University of Leicester International English Language Centre will equip students for courses in English at home or abroad and will be an important focus for strengthening English language speaking in the region.
The focus will be on capacity-building, with a programme of development visits by staff from Leicester's highly rated English Language Teaching Unit to work with and train up lecturers in Kurdistan to build a centre that will administer qualifications and assist in improving the English language skills of the population -- an aim that the Kurdistan government sees as a key part of its modernisation programme. As opportunities arise, staff could be seconded to Kurdistan.
The announcement comes as the government of Kurdistan pursues the growth of higher education as one of its top priorities. In recent years the country has invested in its existing universities and built new ones, including UKH (established in 2006), where courses are taught in English.
Over a succession of visits  between Leicester and Kurdistan universities, including  Dohuk, Nawroz, Salahaddin, Soran, and UKH,  important academic partnerships across a range of subjects, from English and Translation Studies to Geology, Computer Science and Engineering, have created the framework for the new Centre.
Roger Smith, the Director of the English Language Teaching Unit in Leicester, says the new venture will “make an important contribution to the professional development of English language provision in Kurdistan.”
He added: “We have plans to work with our partner to increase access to internationally recognised English language tests and qualifications.”
"We've been delighted with the performance of the students from Kurdistan who are currently studying in Leicester and we hope this relationship will encourage more to follow."
The current English language provision in Kurdistan and neighbouring countries has not kept pace with rising demand which has made it difficult for talented scholarship candidates to meet the UK Border Agency's visa requirements.
Professor Douglas Tallack, Leicester's Pro-Vice Chancellor (International), said collaboration was planned on curriculum development, assessment, drawing up materials and tutor training.
“Universities which simply visit Kurdistan to recruit students make little contribution to capacity building in Kurdistan and the wider region”, he said.
David Hall, the University’s Registrar, added: "We are not going into this collaboration to make a profit but as a two-way relationship of academic collaboration that will benefit both sides and help to raise our profile in a dynamic country that is energetically engaged in democratic modernisation post Saddam."

Friday, 14 October 2011

Take in Erbil, Iraq's Dubai

The city's newly renovated downtown area, with the ancient Erbil Citadel in the background. Mariwan Salihi for The National

Why Erbil?

Erbil is the Iraq you don't know about from the news. Spared from the carnage seen elsewhere in the country, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region calls itself - with a mix of aspiration and optimism - "the second Dubai", because of the many new shopping malls, five-star hotels and skyscrapers under construction.
But, unlike Dubai, humans have lived here for nearly 10,000 years, making it one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. Erbil has also been capturing the world's attention for all the right reasons, with National Geographic and The New York Times both listing Kurdistan as a top travel destination for 2011.
The city's heart is Erbil Citadel (www.erbilcitadel.org), sited on a naturally defendable 10-ha plateau, which explains why the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Sassanids, Medes, Romans, Abbasids, Ottomans and others have all based themselves here. The citadel is undergoing renovation with assistance from Unesco, ahead of a projected World Heritage Site listing, but parts remain open to tourists.

A comfortable bed

The latest entrant in Erbil's five-star market is the Park Hotel (www.divan.com.tr; 00 964 750 128 5908) opposite Sami Abdulrahman Park on Gulan Road. Scheduled to open next month, it will be home to QH 21 Sushi and Grill Bar (the first of its kind in Iraq), Seasons World Cuisine (with live cooking stations), Chopin Piano Bar and Saray Pastries, among others. It will also house the biggest in-hotel spa and gym in Iraq. Rooms are projected to cost from US$255 (Dh937) per night, including taxes.

Nearby is the Erbil Rotana Hotel (www.rotana.com; 00 964 66 210 55 55); its restaurants offer international, Italian and Lebanese cuisine, a piano bar, and a swimming pool for the summer months. Prices start from $410 (Dh1,506) per night.
For those on a tighter budget, the three-star Dim Dim Hotel on 30 M Street (00 964 750 445 8372) is close to the ancient citadel. Double rooms cost from $117 (Dh671), including breakfast, internet and taxes.

Find your feet

Most of the city's downtown area is easily explored on foot. After seeing the citadel's main attractions, including the Kurdish Textile Museum (www.kurdishtextilemuseum.com), head to the Qaysari Bazaar in the downtown area, which has been recently reconstructed using traditional architecture, for organic Kurdish cheese or honey and to buy souvenirs such as kalash (hand-made white Kurdish shoes). Cool down at the fountains in the Parki Shar (City Park), then visit the famous Machko Chaykhana, the historic teahouse located at the foot the citadel), which has been a traditional meeting point for the city's intellectuals and journalists.
The city's rich history is chronicled in the small Erbil Civilization Museum on Salam Barzani Street (admission free; open from 9am to 1.30pm, closed on Friday). Frustratingly, the 3,500 artefacts are housed in inadequate display cases, often with mislabelled and misspelt English labels. The staff act bored and appear ill-informed.
On the way to the airport is the suburb of Ainkawa, with a predominantly Assyrian Christian population who speak neo-Aramaic, and an Assyrian museum.

Meet the locals

Erbilis love to picnic in their city's many large parks. The sprawling Sami Abdulrahman Park, with rose gardens, lakes, restaurants, cafes, a large public library and several large statues of famous Kurds, is one of the most beautiful in the Middle East. Minaret Park (named after the ancient Mudhafaria, or Choly minaret, located inside the park) is a place to share a cabin on the Erbil Teleferique (cable car) with the residents and head to the adjacent Shanidar Park. A one-way ride costs around $7 (Dh26) per cabin and takes only 15 minutes - enough to learn some Kurdish phrases.

Book a table

Erbil's multi-ethnic population is reflected in its dining, with specialist restaurants spanning the culinary spectrum. Kurdish-Iraqi food is itself a mix of influences from Turkey, Persia, India, Greece, Lebanon and Syria. Erbil considers itself the kebab capital of Iraq, and you can judge the veracity of that at Abu Shahab City (near Naz City, on Gulan Road), a large complex with several buildings that offer fast food and local cuisine. Its Iraqi grill (kebab, chicken tikka and more) is delicious, but nothing beats their famous speciality, quzi sham, a biryani dish with meat and chicken, all covered with a layer of fried pastry. A meal for two usually costs around $50 (Dh184).

Shopper's paradise

Retail-therapy options range from the 13th-century bazaar to five swanky, Dubai-style malls. Family Mall on 100 M Road has Iraq's first Carrefour hypermarket, while the newly built Majidi Mall (www.majidimall.com) on Koya Road has the broadest range of international brands. Another 20 malls are planned for Erbil, which aspires to be one of the top shopping destinations in the Middle East.

What to avoid

Erbil is secular and liberal, and probably one of the more tolerant areas in the wider Middle East. But, as throughout the region, it's still wise to dress modestly.

Don't miss

Surprisingly for many first-time visitors, Erbil offers an unforgettable nightlife experience in Ainkawa. Order shisha and drinks at the Mamounia Sky Bar at Noble Hotel (www.fairouz-group.com) while taking in the breathtaking night panorama of Erbil's modern and ancient skyline.

Source: http://www.thenational.ae

Monday, 10 October 2011

یانەی هەولێر: بردنەوە لە یانەى كوێت مەحاڵ نییە

یاریدەدەرى راهێنەرى تیپی تۆپی پێی یانەى هەولێر رای گەیاند بارودۆخی تیپەكەیان زۆرباش و جێگیرە و بردنەوەیان لە یانەى كوێتی كوێتی لە یاریی گەڕانەوەى قۆناغی چوارگۆشەى زێڕینی جامى یەكەتیی یانەیلی ئاسیا مەحاڵ نییە. 

مەحموود عەزیز سكرتێر لە یانەى وەرزشی هەولێر بەئاژانسی كوردستان بۆ دەنگوباس (ئاكانیوز)ى راگەیاند، هەفتەی داهاتوو شاندی تیپی تۆپی پێی هەولێر بەرەو كوێت بەڕێ دەكەون بەمەبەستی ئەنجامدانى یاریی گەڕانەوەى قۆناغی چوارگۆشەى زێڕینی جامى یەكەتیی یانەیلى ئاسیا بەرامبەر یانەى كوێتی كوێتی كە رۆژى 18ی ئەم مانگە دێتە ئەنجامدان. 

لە یاریی چووندا هەفتەی رابردوو لە یاریگەى فەڕەنسۆ هەریری لە هەولێر هاتە ئەنجامدان یانەى هەولێر نەیتوانى سەركەوتن بەدەست بێنێ كاتێك بە ئەنجامی (2 – سفر) گۆڵ بەیانەى كوێتی كوێتی دۆڕا. 

عەزیز گوتی، دواى یارییەكە چەند كۆبوونەوەیەكى تایبەت لەگەڵ تەواوی یاریكەرەیل و دەستەى راهێنەرەیل ئەنجام درا و هەوڵمان داوە دۆخی تیپەكە رێك بخەینەوە، تا رادەیەكی زۆر توانیوومانە گرێكوێرەى ناو دەروونی یاریكەرەیل بەرامبەر بە یانە كوێتیەكە بكەینەوە. 

لاى خۆیەوە عومەر مەجید یاریدەدەرى راهێنەرى هەولێر بۆ (ئاكانیوز)ى روون كردەوە، ئامادەكاریی تیپەكەمان رۆژانە بەردەوامە، 6 یاریكەر بەهۆى یاریكردن لەگەڵ هەڵبژاردەى عێراق لە پاڵاوتنەیلی جامى جیهانى ئامادە نابن، ئەوەش كاریگەریى دەبێت لەسەر تیپەكە، بەڵام هەوڵ دەدەین هاوسەنگیەك رابگرین بۆ یاریی داهاتوو. 

مەجید دووپاتی كردەوە، بردنەوە لەگەڵ یانەى كوێت مەحاڵ نییە، تەنیا دەبێت زۆر بەهەستیارییەوە یاریی بكەین و هەڵەكان دووبارە نەكەنەوە. 

لە: محەمەد كارێزی. نووس: سەرباز ساڵح

Source: aknews.com

كرة اربيل: الفوز على نادي الكويت ليس مستحيلاً

Ph Credit: aknews.com

قال سكرتير في نادي اربيل الرياضي اليوم الاحد، ان اوضاع الفريق جيدة ومستقرة، وان فوزه على نادي الكويت الكويتي في مباريات الاياب لمرحلة المربع الذهبي لاتحاد أندية آسيا ليس مستحيلاً.

واوضح محمود عزيز لوكالة كردستان للانباء(آكانيوز) اليوم ان "فريق اربيل الكروي سيتوجه الاسبوع المقبل الى الكويت بهدف اجراء مباراة الاياب ضمن مرحلة المربع الذهبي لكاس اتحاد الآندية الآسيوية، مع نادي الكويت الكويتي" مبيناً ان "المباراة ستقام يوم 18 تشرين الاول الجاري".

وكانت مباراة الذهاب قد اقيمت الاسبوع الماضي على ارض ملعب فرانسوا الحريري في اربيل، وقد اخفق فريق اربيل في تحقيق نتيجة ايجابية، وخسر المباراة بنتيجة (صفر-2) امام نادي الكويت.

واضاف عزيز "بعد مباراة الذهاب، عقدنا اجتماعات عدة مع جميع اللاعبين وهيئة التدريب، وحاولنا تنظيم اوضاع الفريق، وقد استطعنا الى حد ما جعل اللاعبين يجتازون الحاجز النفسي اثر اخفاقهم في تلك المباراة".

من جهته، قال مساعد مدرب فريق اربيل الكروي عمر مجيد لـ(آكانيوز) ان "استعدادات الفريق تجري بشكل يومي" مبيناً ان "ستة لاعبين سيغيبون عن مباراة الاياب في الكويت بسبب ارتباطهم في مباريات المنتخب العراقي الخاصة بكأس العالم، وهذا الامر سيحمل تأثيرات على فريقنا، ولكننا نسعى الى ايجاد توازن في لاعبي المباراة المقبلة".

واكد مجيد على ان "فوز نادي اربيل في مباراة الاياب بالكويت ليس مستحيلاً، فقط يحتاج الامر الى خوض المباراة بحس عال، وعدم تكرار الاخطاء نفسها التي وقع فيها في مباراة الذهاب".

من: محمد كاريزي، تر: وفاء زنكنه

Source: aknews.com

اربيل تشهد ورشة عمل خاصة بآليات جذب السياح الى كوردستان

Ph Credit: Huner Ali, 'ERBIL PARK' 

أربيل: عقدت في مدينة اربيل اليوم الاثنين، ورشة عمل متخصصة لتطوير القطاع السياحي في كوردستان، وآلية جذب السياح الاجانب الى الاقليم، بمشاركة عشرات الشركات السياحية المتخصصة.
ونظمت الورشة في فندق(بيست ان اربيل) بمشاركة رئيس هيئة السياحة في اقليم كوردستان، وشركات سياحية متخصصة، وتعقد لمدة يوم واحد.
واوضح رئيس هيئة سياحة كوردستان مولوي جبار اليوم ان "الورشة نظمت من قبل المديرية العامة لسياحة اربيل، بمشاركة 40 شركة متخصصة في القطاع السياحي، وجمعية الشركات السياحية".

واشار الى ان "مباحثات موسعة ستجرى في الورشة بهدف ايجاد طرق لتشجيع وحث الشركات السياحية على تطوير هذا القطاع المهم، وجذب السياح الاجانب الى الاقليم، فضلاً عن تشجيع الشركات الكوردية المحلية على تطوير السياحة".

واضاف جبار "كخطوة اولى، ستقوم كل شركة سياحية بتخصيص عشرة من منتسبيها للتأهل باعتبارهم مرشدين سياحيين، من قبل فريق الماني متخصص"مبيناً انه "تم تثبيت هذا المقترح في ورشة العمل، وباعتبارنا جهة ذات علاقة نعمل على تنفيذه، لأن واحدة من اهدافنا تتمثل في التمكن حتى عام 2015 من جذب 4 ملايين سائح الى كوردستان".

بدوره، قال رئيس جمعية الشركات السياحية في الاقليم اسماعيل محمد "لنتمكن من جذب السياح الاجانب، فنحن بحاجة الى دعم حكومة الاقليم" منوها انه "ينبغي على الجهات ذات العلاقات في الحكومة ان تقدم الدعم لاصحاب رؤوس الاموال بهدف انشاء الفنادق والموتيلات والمرافق السياحية في المصايف والمواقع السياحية مثل جنديان، وبيخال، وكلي علي بك، ومناطق اخرى، لأن السائح قد يرغب في قضاء الليل عند زيارة المناطق السياحية، الا ان انعدام اماكن المبيت يضطره للعودة الى مراكز المدن". 

Source: aknews.com

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Kurdish plane-maker eyes turbine engine

Ph Credit: kurdishglobe.net

When Anwar said he wanted to build a plane, people thought he was crazy

Nariman Anwar, 34, sits in his garage in Erbil city's industrial area, looking at the photos and videos of his first plane. He took photos and filmed all the steps of building the plane, from the beginning until he flew the plane. On July 12, 2010, Anwar made his first successful flight, after four years of intense work. 

He built two planes before his third was a success. He worked on his first plane for a year and six months, but the plane failed to take off. The second plane took him nine months, and was another failure. The third plane took only six months to build, but then he spent a year testing it. 

"On July 12, 2010, I went to Harir Runway [north of Erbil city] to fly my plane. I did not tell my mother or anyone else, even the friends who helped me build the plane, that I was going to fly the plane. I did not want to worry them," said Anwar. 

He added, "I just called an ambulance and a fire truck, in case of an emergency. First I drove the plane just to check the plane was OK. A few minutes later, I just took off. I went up 1,000 feet and I didn't even have a parachute." 

After three more flights, he was able to land the plane without any problems. "When I stepped out of the plane, I saw tears in the eyes of one of the ambulance guys. And the others looked very shocked; they thought the plane would crash at any moment." 

Anwar learned how to fly in China. In 2006, he went to China to take private lessons to become pilot. Later, after his finished his first successful plane, a German flight instructor came to Kurdistan to train Anwar, for which he is grateful. 

Anwar believes that if Saddam Hussein were still in power, he would be hanged. Under Hussein's regime, Kurds were not allowed to be pilots or take aviation classes. There were aviation colleges in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul, but none in the Kurdish areas. 

Anwar's first goal is complete, which was to build a plane and fly it. His second mission is to open an institute to train people, especially mechanical engineering graduates, on how to build planes and become pilots. 

He said the Kurdish government promised to give him full support to open the institute. However, he said he can't do the job alone; he needs experts from outside, such as aviation instructors, mechanical engineers and plane designers, to teach at the institute. 

He also wants the government to open a center for inventors. "Many talented people visit me with great ideas but they don't have money to put their ideas into work." 

Right now, Anwar is working on a new plane. This will be a four-person plane, which can fly to 16,000 feet with a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour, and should be able to fly for eight hours, nonstop. 

The plane is in the final stage, and should be finished in about a month and a half. He plans to fly it soon after. Anwar works as a car mechanic every day until 2 p.m., and then starts work on his plane. After his next project is complete, he plans to build a plane that uses turbine engines. 

For Anwar, building planes was a childhood dream. He said when he was 3 years old he deliberately jumped off the roof of his house to see if he could fly. This resulted in a serious head injury, and his father took him to a doctor in Baghdad. The surgeon, Sa'hd Wutry, told Anwar's father his son would be either crazy or a genius when he grew up. 

When Anwar started to build his latest plane, he approached some government officials to talk about his idea. "Many of them, including my family and friends, thought that I had a mental problem." 
Anwar believes talented people do not care about what other people say about them. "They are just focused on their goal, and in fact they see their vision."

Qassim Khidhir

Monday, 3 October 2011

Official: Sheraton Considering Erbil Hotel


A delegation from the international hotel chain, Sheraton, recently visited Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital Erbil to explore the possibility of building a hotel, an official in the Kurdish Ministry of Tourism said.

“So far each of the Marriot, Hilton and Turkish Divan brands are building hotels in Erbil,” Omed Kayfi head of Kurdistan Region tourism department told Rudaw. “Sheraton has also visited the Kurdistan Region to assess the security, tourism and business conditions here to decide whether or not to build a hotel.”

McClatchy newspaper chain reported in July that Marriott will manage a 200-room hotel and 75-room executive residential building.

The interest of international chains in Iraqi Kurdistan is seen as a sign of the region’s relatively stable security and its success in attracting foreign business. Many parts of Iraq are still off-limits for international businesses due to instability.

Sheraton was established in the US state of Massachusetts in 1937 and has long had hotels in the Middle East.

In the 1980there were attempts to convince Sheraton to lend its name to a hotel in the Kurdish capital, currently called Erbil International Hotel. But a deal was not reached “for financial reasons” said Luay Abdulhadi, the current manager of Erbil International. In Kurdistan, the hotel is popularly known as Sheraton.

The reported visit by the Sheraton delegation comes months after Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani issued a decree only allocating land for investment projects to well-known international brands. Amid widespread concern over local corruption in investment projects, a government committee is currently reviewing all projects to ensure they are complying with existing laws.

As Kurdistan opens its doors to international businesses, some have criticized the lack of a comprehensive plan to develop tourism sector and the poor quality of tourism services.

Sarbast Amedi, the director of tourism in Dohuk province, said the five-star hotels in Kurdistan only meet the standards for four-star hotels in neighboring countries such as Turkey and are equivalent to three-star hotels in Europe.

He said the government needs to do more to convince international hotel chains to invest in Kurdistan.

“Well-known international hotels will only succeed in Kurdistan if we don’t impose our own cultural norms and customs on them… Otherwise even if they come here they will fail,” said Amedi.
He added that the government should not try to close down night clubs in hotels because of objections from religious people.

The only international hotel chain currently operating in Kurdistan is Rotana, run by a hotel management company of the same name that operates in the Middle East and North Africa. 

According to the Tourism Board, around 1.3 million people visited Kurdistan in 2010, with approximately 20,000 of them coming from outside Iraq. The Board expects an even larger influx of tourists to Kurdistan this year. 

There are currently 183 hotels, 107 motels and 40 tourist resorts in the Kurdistan Region but only six of the hotels are five-star. Of those, three are in Erbil, two are in Dohuk and one is in Sulaimani. 

Saturday, 1 October 2011

بۆرسەى هەولێر لە چەند رۆژى داهاتوودا دەكەوێتە كار

سەرۆكى دەستەى بانكەنۆتى عێراقى دوێنێ هەینى راى گەیاند پێداویستیەلى یاسایى و تەكنیكیى دەست بەكاربوونى بۆرسەى هەولێر بۆ ئاڵوگۆڕى دراو بە پێى ستانداردى ناودەوڵەتى كۆتاى هاتووە و لە چەند رۆژى نێزیكى داهاتوودا دەكەوێتە كار.

عەبدورەزاق سەعدى بە ئاژانسی كوردستان بۆ دەنگوباس (ئاكانیوز)ى راگەیاند دەستەى ناوبراو هەموو پێداویستییەكى بەكاركەوتنى بۆرسەى هەولێرى بەپێى ستاندارى ناودەوڵەتى تەواو كردووە.

هەروەها گوتى بۆرسەى هەولێر بە كردەوە لە چەند رۆژى كەمى داهاتوودا دەكەوێتە كار، ئەویش دواى ئەوەى حكوومەتى هەرێمى كوردستان بۆرسەكە لەرێى ئەلیكترۆنییەوە بە بۆرسەى بەغداوە دەبەستێتەوە.

دەستەى بانكەنۆتى عێراقى لە ئادار/مارسى رابردوودا مۆڵەتى كردنەوەى دوو بۆرسەى ئاڵوگۆڕى دراوى لە هەولێر و بەسرە بەخشى.

سەعدى گوتى عێراق پێویستى بە كردنەوەى بازاڕى ترى ئەلیكترۆنیى دارایى نییە، چونكە ئێستە دنیا بەرەو كەمكردنەوە و تێكەڵكردنى بازاڕەیل دەڕوا.

بۆرسەى عێراق لە ساڵى 2004دا دەست بەكار بوو، لە ساڵى 2009دا لە ئاڵوگۆڕى دەستییەوە بۆ بەكارهێنانى شاشەى ئەلیكترۆنى هاتە گۆڕین و لە حەوتوویەكدا پێنج رۆژ بۆ ماوەى دوو سەعات دەكرێتەوە.

لە: جەعفەر وەنان. و: عومەر عەلى

بەغدا 1 تشرینى یەكەم/ئۆكتۆبەر (ئاكانیوز)