Sulaimani, Iraq - May 18, 2011 - A group of International Studies and Business Administration students from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani participated in an intimate and open discussion with the British Consul General for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Chris Bowers, who stopped by the campus on Sunday. The seven students, along with Dr. Bryan Smith, Assistant Professor and Convener of the International Studies major, had an open discussion with Mr. Bowers about Iraqi-British relations, the United Kingdom’s immigration policies and fiscal troubles, and some of the most complicated and controversial political issues in Iraq.
“Her Majesty is served well by the Consul General and so was AUIS,” said Dr. Smith, the convener of International Studies at AUIS. “Students learned something about themselves, the limits of politics, the poise and reason of a British diplomat, civil service, international relations and their own responsibilities as democratic citizens.”
The hour-long discussion provided students a chance to meet with a representative of a foreign government that is heavily invested in the Kurdish region. Students also took the opportunity to debate some of Britain’s policies with Mr. Bowers. One such discussion focused on Britain’s deportation policy for illegal residents, while another student asked about the wisdom of the UK’s decision to spend millions of pounds on the royal wedding given their current fiscal situation.
“It was great to learn about the work of the British consul here in Iraq and his country’s long-term goals,” said Dea Dlawar, a third year Business Administration major. “Mr. Bowers had some interesting opinions about Iraqi politics and I appreciated hearing an outsider’s perspective.”
This was Mr. Bowers' first visit to AUIS. Prior to assuming his post as British Consul General in Erbil, Mr. Bowers was the deputy head of the Middle East Group in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. He also worked in the British Embassy in Moscow and in the FCO’s Human Rights Department. Mr. Bowers is also an accomplished journalist. He currently writes a weekly column for Rudaw and was a BBC correspondent in Afghanistan and Central Asia.
For more information:
Kyle Long, AUIS Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, +964 0770 461 5385