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President Barzani speaks at commencement ceremony of the American University of Kurdistan

President Barzani speaks at commencement ceremony of the American University of Kurdistan

President Nechirvan Barzani participated in the sixth commencement ceremony of the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) in Duhok this evening. The event was also attended by Mr. Latif Rashid, the President of Iraq, Mr. Mohsen Mandalawi, the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Mr. Masrour Barzani, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government; and several officials from the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. University professors, researchers, and the families of the graduates were also present.

President Nechirvan Barzani delivered a speech at the ceremony. The following is a readout of his speech:

Before I begin, I would like to extend a special welcome to His Excellency, the President of Iraq, who is attending this ceremony with us today, as well as to the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Mohsen Mandalawi, who has traveled from Baghdad to join us.

Dear Graduates
Distinguished Guests,

Good evening.

It is with great pleasure that we gather for the sixth commencement ceremony of the American University of Kurdistan this evening. First and foremost, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the graduates. I also extend my congratulations and gratitude to the parents, families, and educators who have played a significant role in their success. I wish them continued success and advancement. My congratulations also go out to all graduates from universities and colleges in Kurdistan and Iraq this year.

Graduating from university marks a momentous occasion that every student eagerly anticipates for years. Yet, graduation does not signify the end of learning and growth, but rather the beginning of a new chapter brimming with responsibilities and obligations. I have every confidence that these young individuals are well-prepared to excel and positively influence society.

As you embark on your professional journey or pursue further education, remember that the knowledge you have gained will continue to expand and deepen through practical application and hands-on experience. This will enrich your perspective and individuality, enabling you to contribute more effectively to the advancement of our country.

The prosperity and progress of a country heavily rely on a robust educational foundation. A strong Kurdistan necessitates a knowledgeable and proficient cohort equipped with expertise across various domains.

Therefore, it is imperative for our students to prioritize self-learning and strive for continuous improvement, while our educational institutions remain adaptable to the latest advancements in science and technology.

The university bears a responsibility to produce graduates capable of meeting the demands of the workforce, the market, economic progress, and the current and future needs of the country. This is essential for propelling our country towards a more advanced global position.

Increasing investment in education yields favorable outcomes. Our education system and universities should prioritize the humanities, human growth, and the cultivation of human resources.

Our educational curriculum should aspire to cultivate a new generation equipped with critical thinking skills, proactive behavior, and a capacity for innovative ideas. This generation should be primed to contribute to the construction of a strong and cohesive society, while also serving as custodians of our rich and diverse cultural heritage. Instilling within them a profound sense of love and pride for their homeland, we must encourage them to prioritize patriotic sentiments and actions, always placing the interests of our country above all else.

Furthermore, rejecting extremist, violent, and racist ideologies is not merely a choice but a moral imperative. We must firmly oppose them with unwavering determination, fostering open dialogue, mutual understanding, and cooperative efforts to seek peaceful resolutions. Through these actions, we can effectively safeguard human life and uphold the dignity of every individual.

Climate change, alongside the risks and benefits of artificial intelligence, and the ethical imperative of its responsible implementation, along with the challenges posed by population growth, water and food security, among others, present formidable threats to both the present and future state of the world. It is paramount that we equip ourselves adequately to address these multifaceted challenges.

Graduates from universities should possess the skills and willingness to contribute towards finding solutions and addressing these pressing issues and risks. The only viable approach for humanity to combat these challenges lies in the diligent application of scientific knowledge, collaboration, collective decision-making, and strategic planning.

Dear Attendees,

I have full confidence in the intellect and capabilities of our young generation, as well as the dedication of our committed educators. Therefore, I maintain an optimistic outlook, believing that tomorrow will surpass today. Witnessing the graduation of these young individuals from university fills me with hope that the future of the Kurdistan Region will be bright.

What fills me with even greater joy and instills an immense sense of hope for the future is the inspiring narrative of one among the 60 graduates who are being conferred their degrees from this esteemed institution today.
She stands out as a bright and skilled Yezidi young woman who has conquered the challenges posed by ISIS. Despite encountering numerous obstacles, she remained resolute in her pursuit of completing her university education. Her resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to earning her degree are truly commendable. I think she is among the students, let’s give her a round of applause and wish her success in life for herself and all others. She serves as a role model and a source of encouragement for others affected by ISIS, regardless of their background. On behalf of myself and everyone else, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to her.

Dear Attendees,

As you are aware, an agreement with the federal government and the Iraqi political parties, which aims to address prevailing issues, has thankfully led to political stability.

In the Kurdistan Region, we eagerly anticipate the successful outcome of the ongoing efforts to reach a consensus and resolve the underlying matters, particularly those concerning the well-being and livelihoods of the salaried workers and the general public.

We express our gratitude to Iraqi Prime Minister, Mr. Al-Sudani, as well as the Iraqi leaders and parties who have collaborated in this endeavor.

I extend my congratulations to Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and the Kurdistan Regional Government for efforts towards an understanding with Baghdad. I reaffirm my unwavering support for their diligent endeavors in resolving the prevailing issues.

I am encouraged with the progress made in the relations between Erbil and Baghdad. May there be continuity in these positive developments, ultimately leading to a comprehensive resolution of all problems. Such a resolution will undoubtedly serve the best interests of Iraq as a whole, including the Kurdistan Region.

Together, we have the potential to construct a prosperous and strong country that holds a rightful position both within the region and on the global stage. We can harness our resources and utilize our influence to foster enhanced development and provide exemplary services.

Our interactions with neighboring countries and the wider region are progressing based on the principles of mutual respect and shared interests. It is crucial to emphasize that the Kurdistan Region will consistently serve as a catalyst for peace and stability in the area.

Once again, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the graduates. I want to convey to them that the future of the country rests upon their shoulders. They will steer this country and strive to create a better future for forthcoming generations. We wholeheartedly wish them success in their endeavors.

I express my sincere appreciation and endorsement for the establishment of the Board of Accreditation of Education and Higher Education Programs and Institutions, as well as the initiatives undertaken by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and the Kurdistan Regional Government to enhance the education system of the Kurdistan Region.

May you all have a pleasant time. Thank you.

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