2016 Study trip to KurdistanLast Updated On: 21/04/2016
Together with the Kurdistan Regional Government-Iraq (KRG) Representation in Austria the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna organised a study trip for a group of 13 MAIS students to explore Kurdistan-Iraq from March 24 – 29, 2016. The students, originating from 9 countries all over the world, were accompanied by the Chair of the History Department.
Students explored ancient sites, such as the Gaugamela battlefield, the 2,700 years old Jerwan aqueduct of King Sennacherib, the ancient Kingdom of Sennacherib as well as the Erbil citadel, the oldest continuously inhabited neighbourhood in the world (over 6,000 years old). The students also had the opportunity to visit the Ezidi Holy site of Lalesh; the Jalil Khayat Mosque in Erbil; the Baharka camp, one of the numerous camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) close to Erbil; and Naserke, a Ba’ath military base turned into an internment camp of the Kurdish people in 1988. Furthermore, the group attended the Good Friday Mass in St. Joseph’s Church in Ankawa.
The official programme consisted of meetings with Falah Bakir, the KRG Head of the Department of Foreign Relations; Minister Karim Sinjari, KRG Minister of Interior; the Deputy Governor of Duhok; as well as a meeting with the Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Chaldean-Catholic. The students also exchanged views with students of the American University in Duhok and received a briefing by the General of the Peshmerga forces, General Sirwan Barzani. A surprise encounter with Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, completed the trip to the Kurdistan Region.
In addition, the students explored the local mountain scenery of Piriz Mountain; walked through the town of Akre, where they had Chai with some of the locals; and visited the Grand Erbil Bazar, where they had the opportunity to buy some Kurdish accessories and delicacies.