Nahrein Network team visits Baghdad

5 January 2018

Eleanor Robson (L) and Saad Eskander (R) meet the Iraqi Minister for Higher Education, Dr Abdul Razzaq al-Issa

UCL's Nahrein Network team visited Baghdad in December to develop collaborative research partnerships with Iraqi universities, domestic organisations, and Government institutions. The Nahrein Network, supported by a £1.8 million grant from the AHRC's Global Challenges Research Fund, is designed to strengthen the sustainable development of cultural heritage and humanities in the Middle East. 

Principal Investigator Professor Eleanor Robson, Research Associate Dr Mehiyar Kathem and Co-Investigator Dr Saad Eskander met with a number of institutions in the fields of culture, education and civil society. This included meeting with the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr Abdul Razzaq al-Issa, who stated his support to the Nahrein Network and where a number of collaborations are being prepared. Other meetings in Baghdad were held with UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture and members of Baghdad University and Nahrein University, as well as domestic NGOs. At the request of the Ministry of Culture, the team delivered a bespoke fundraising workshop to a number of its employees. The team also met with British Ambassador to Iraq, Mr Jon Wilks, who praised the work of the Nahrein Network and its importance at a time of reconstruction and healing. All partners and supporters acknowledged the significance of the Nahrein Network, coming at a critical period in Iraq's transition from conflict and instability.  

In addition to offering Visiting Scholarship placements for Iraqi academics and professionals in the UK, a scheme that is currently open to applications, the Nahrein Network will open in February Iraq's first centre for cultural heritage sustainability at the University of Irbil. 

Visit www.ucl.ac.uk/nahrein or follow on Twitter, @NahreinNetwork, to find out more about the work of the Nahrein Network.