· Iraq, or ancient Mesopotamia, has long been known as the cradle of civilization, where cities, writing, and the rule of law first developed. But the physical and intellectual infrastructure for the study and protection of this critical heritage have been severely damaged during the past fifteen years of war and embargo. Archaeology can play a profound role in shaping Iraq’s understanding of potentials for its civil future: its many pasts provide alternative visions to that of the rigid, hierarchical state system imposed during its recent history.
· Iraq also faces acute and chronic environmental health problems. These include contamination of its water supply and soils, severe resource inadequacies, and a lack of medical professionals trained in environmental health. These conditions have contributed to an increase in mortality and morbidity from malnourishment, infectious diseases, and many other conditions associated with a failing public health system: Under-five mortality rates in Iraq are now among the worst in the world.
· USAID’s “Higher Education and Development” (HEAD) program seeks to redress these and other sectoral development issues by supporting educational reform at Iraqi universities. Critical components of this effort, aimed at restoring Iraq’s capacity to conduct higher education in these fields, are (1) bringing libraries—including holdings, internet connectivity, and information technology management—up to current graduate standards; (2) bringing faculty up-to-date in their fields; (3) enhancing graduate education and (4) establishing IT capacity to support libraries, teaching and research.
· On Sept 30, 2003 USAID awarded Stony Brook University a 3-year HEAD program grant to improve higher education in archaeology and environmental health in Iraq.
· First-year funding of $4.1 million ($1.2 million for archaeology and $1.9 million for environmental health) was allocated from FY 2002 year-end funds, and released to SBU in November 2003. USAID then granted approval to begin work plan execution in Iraq in March 2004. The budget year was therefore extended to February 2005.
· Promotes long-term higher educational contact and exchange with the American middle class, strengthening pro-democracy elements in Iraq and creating pro-Iraq allies in the United States
· Promotes centers of teaching excellence in Near Eastern Archaeology within Iraq, and establishes a training ground for the next generation of the managers of Iraq’s cultural heritage.
· Brings Iraq’s archaeology libraries—including holdings, internet connectivity, and information technology management—up to current graduate standards
· First-year funding has already brought $1.6 million in direct funding for facilities and IT renovation at Iraqi universities. An additional $35,000 supports related facilities in Jordan that comprise a permanent resource for librarianship and archaeology program training and collaboration.
· First-year funding remunerates 88 Iraqis with direct employment, honoraria, travel funds, stipends, and tuition support totaling in near $600,000. Direct employment includes our Chiefs of Party, Program Coordinators at Baghdad and Mosul, and a General Contractor who employs or subcontracts four IT/telecommunications engineers, one facilities construction engineer, one electrician, four bricklayers/stonemasons/plasterers, two cleaners, two painters, two drivers, two bodyguards, one translator, one secretary, and other day laborers as needed.
· Promotes surveillance for pollution and identifies measures to be taken.
· Create The EHERC centers as resources centers for Environmental Health in Iraq and it will help in future planning for Environmental Health Services.
· Promotes long-term higher educational contact and exchange with the Iraqi middle class, strengthening pro-democracy elements and pro-U.S. teaching allies in Iraq
· Establishes SBU, already a national center of teaching excellence in Near Eastern Archaeology, as the training ground for the next generation of the managers of Iraq’s cultural heritage.
· Enhances U.S. libraries by creating and hosting significant new digital collections.
· First-year funding has brought roughly $540,000 in overhead to SBU and created five new skilled jobs here.
· Will help medical school in exchanging knowledge and information with different Iraqi Universities.
· Mutual benefit in teaching aspect and to have affiliation with Iraqi medical school. Strengthens the scope of learning process for medical students.
· Facilities. Rehabilitation and installation of communications, computers, internet access, and office equipment at the Baghdad and Mosul Archaeology Departments and Libraries is under way, and will be completed in June. Facilities improvements at five medical universities in Iraq now agreed.
· Libraries. We have purchased over 3,000 recent, classic, and rare books to re-stock archaeology libraries; this summer they will pass through New York facilities en route to Iraq. Medical book selections for purchase are now complete. Computerized librarianship training begins this Fall.
· Faculty Studies. 56 Iraqi faculty, post-graduate students and members of the Department of Antiquities will attend 10-week workshops in Amman, Jordan this summer which will catch them up on developments in ancient and Islamic archaeology, cuneiform studies, art history, computing skills, and field techniques.
· Graduate Studies. We have admitted four archaeology students (including two current members of the Department of Antiquities) to Stony Brook University for graduate study. They now have U.S. visas. They will begin Intensive English courses at SBU in July. Four more have begun intensive English instruction in Iraq, in preparation for next year’s admission cycle.
· Internationalization. In May, we launched an informational website in English and Arabic (see http://www.stonybrook.edu/usaidhead/). Five members of Baghdad and Mosul Universities attended the Fourth International Conference for Archaeology and Assyriology of the Near East in Berlin in April, where they opened research contacts with international colleagues.
· Visit to Iraq – Assessment and ground truthing.
Drs W Hailoo & S Marqus met with Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Environment. Coordinators for three EHERC in Baghdad, Mosul and Basrah were appointed.
· Established three National Environmental Health Education and Resource Centers (EHERC):
The Chief of Party (COP) was appointed for the Program Coordinating Office and support staff was hired. To carry the out the task, an orientation was given to the COP by the USAID officer in Baghdad. Supplies and equipment were purchased for COP office.
· Orientation for Center Directors and Coordinators
Center staff and coordinators, and the COP were invited to the Stony Brook University, Long Island, New York, USA for an extensive orientation course. The course began on May 5, 2004 and ended on June 4, 2004. They had the opportunity to meet with the President of the University along with Deans of Faculty and Staff in Stony Brook University. They attended advisory board meetings and exchanged knowledge and views on environmental health and sciences. The staff stayed for two weeks and the Coordinators and COP for one month.
· Program: Professional and Management Structure/USA
The Assistant Program Director was hired on April 1, 2004
Administrative Assistant April 12, 2004. Health Science Center
Library Director was hired on February 15, 2004 to help upgrade and modernize the library in the school of medicine in Iraq.
· Advisory Board
The Advisory Board was appointed and headed by the Dean of Engineering at Stony Brook University. The board gave guidance and advice to the program and they met regularly or on demand.
· Rebuilding and Modernizing Academic Libraries
Systems are ready to rebuild and modernize medical libraries in Iraq. Thorough studies have been done to assess the needs of the libraries in school of medicine. Books in field of health environment and sciences were greatly needed. Books lists were created and have been submitted to publishers. The first shipment is scheduled to ship to Iraq in July 2004.
The definition and numbers of mini-grants have been selected. The EHERC have posted the announcements for the grants at the medical schools in Iraq. Applications are being reviewed and the most qualified researchers will be selected. The proposals will be presented to Stony Brook University scientific committee for approval.
· Environmental Health Conference
The place of choice to hold the conference is Dohuk Administrative and scientific committees
Have been nominated. The second half of January, 05 is scheduled to hold the conference, taking in consideration the time needed for preparation for such conference, and papers with researches studies to be submitted and decide.
· Support post-graduate and undergraduate students from Iraq to attend summer archaeology field schools and projects elsewhere in the region, exposing them to practical skills for cultural heritage management efforts. Given permissions and an acceptable security situation, we would offer a one-semester long archaeological field school in Iraq in the third year of the project.
· Ensure that Iraqi students at Stony Brook can complete a full MA program in Near Eastern archaeology, enhancing their chances for admission to first rate PhD programs and providing a U.S.-friendly stream of well trained faculty for the Department of Antiquities and Universities in Iraq.
· Create Remote Sensing and GIS training centers at Baghdad and Mosul Universities, so that they may train future Dept. of Antiquities employees to monitor and track Iraq’s cultural heritage.
· Begin a second round of graduate study applications in 2006.
· Create a digital library of up to 6,000 Mesopotamian archaeological site reports and cuneiform text publications, giving all Iraqi museums and universities, and international scholars access to basic data on ancient Mesopotamia.
· Add key Mesopotamian archaeology and Cuneiform Studies journals to online resources.
· The second year we will propose three additional EHERCs: Arbil in the north of Iraq, Babylon southwest of Iraq and Kurkuk north-central of Iraq. The centers will be equipped with same kind of equipment as the three centers in Bagdad, Basrah and Mosul.
· The third year we will propose three more EHERC: Sulmanyia in the north of Iraq, Kut east- central and Nasyria in the south of Iraq. The centers will be equipped with same kind of equipment as done for the first three centers.
· On the second and third year we will extend the training in environmental health for 10 MD candidates to Masters Program at Stony Brook University in specialty of Environmental Health, Public Health and Occupational Medicine. Five of them will be trained in the first year, and the rest on the third year. The eligible candidates will be selected from trained doctors in first year of program in the two-week training course which is equivalent to 6 US credits.
· The new Centers will be supplied with books in environmental health and public health. Journals with periodicals will be provided on the first year. The third year, online resources will be created for the Centers.
· Training inside Iraq for Lab Technicians, Hygienist and Junior MD’s in Environmental Health and Safety will be held in the second year.
· Additional Mini grants will be allocated for researchers and scientists in the field of environmental health and occupational medicine to highlight environmental pollutions and propose remedies solution
· GPS and Laptop with GIS software had been studied thoroughly with Iraqi Coordinators from the three Centers. The implementation of this system will be proposed in the third year with training courses on the system to be started in second year.
· The conference of Environmental Health will be proposed in the second year in Babylon province. The national and international scientists will be gathered in this conference.
· A field lab vehicle will be purchased in 2nd year to be located in Baghdad for field surveillance and research.
Stony Brook University’s English/Arabic USAID-Iraq HEAD Program website, at http://www.stonybrook.edu/udaidhead/
By late January 2004, SBU had designated and refit Program Administration offices in the fifth floor of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, installed computers, phone and fax lines, furnishings, and office equipment, and stocked them with office supplies.
In January 2004, recruitment efforts resulted in the hire of Jason Ur as replacement lecturer for E. Stone while she is involved in the USAID program.
Based on meetings while in Iraq in December 2003, G. Muhammad, in Baghdad, and Yasin al-Jaboori, in Mosul, were designated as Institution Coordinators. These coordinators will be instrumental in coordinating the activities directly related in working with the universities.
(Left, Clockwise from left) W. Hindo, J. Pournelle, E. Stone, and A. Nazar review provision of communications, computers and furniture for Baghdad and Mosul Universities (Right) Professors Elizabeth Stone and Paul Zimansky review graduate admissions and work plans with B.K. Abdullatif, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Baghdad University. (Center) Some offices have been renovated, but donations to the Archaeology Department will free scarce furnishings for other Arts faculties, who have no outside assistance. Photos: (L) P. Zimansky, (R.) J. Pournelle, March 2004
The Baghdad U. Department of Archaeology proceeds with cleanup and preparations to accommodate a student computer lab. Since December 2003 (top), a temporary store-room (left) has been cleared and plaster teaching casts re-mounted in a refurbished corridor (right). In May 2003, these spaces were stripped bare and choked with ash, litter, and soot.
Photos: Top, C. Filstrup, Dec 2003. Bottom, J. Pournelle, 14 March 2004.
The American Center for Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan. (L) With USAID assistance, ACOR is expanding. Renovations include the addition of a third floor. (R) Hostel rooms overlook ruins of a late Roman villa. Photos: C. Filstrup, J. Pournelle
Some of the nearly 650 participants in the Fourth International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (4ICAANE), on the steps of the main gallery of the Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Among them are three senior faculty members from the Department of Archaeology, Baghdad University, one from the Department of Assyriology, Mosul U., and a recent Archaeology graduate of Mosul U., now documenting post-war reconstruction for Reuters.
(Left) Zuhair Rijab al-Samarrae (U. of Baghdad), with colleague at the Pergamon Museum. For many Iraqis, this was their first opportunity to visit and study antiquities excavated in Iraq by the German Archaeological Institute over the past century, such as the reconstructed Ishtar Gate of Babylon (Right).
A Baghdad U. graduate, now employed at the National Museum, receives letters of
recommendation for graduate admission. (Right) E. Stone and P. Zimansky
interview an applicant from Mosul. U. Of 26 applicants, eight were admitted,
promised full support, and pledged to participant in intensive English
instruction to prepare them for graduate training.
Photos: (L) J. Pournelle, (R) P. Zimansky, March 2004.
Donations have been made by Environmental Research Systems, Inc. in support of the USAID-Iraq HEAD program of ArcView 3.3 software plus extensions for 60 computers and manuals We also received a donation of ArcGIS software.
International Freight forwarder Aramex will handle load consolidation and freight forwarding. Photos: J. Pournelle.
The organization for Environmental Health project was completed in Februry, 04. With all lines of authorities, activities and communications are clearly pointed out as illustrated below.
The SBU/USAIUD Environmental Health program received an overwhelming support form the Iraqi higher education and government leadership.
The Iraqi Minister of the Environment during his visit to Stony Brook University, Minister Abdul Rahman Kareem, Dr. W. Hailoo, Project Director, Dr. Norman Edelman, Vice President and Dean of the School of Medicine, Stony Brook University
Wajdy Hailoo, MD, MSc, DIH
Professor and Division Head
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
School of Medicine, State University of New York
Stony Brook, New York
Assistant Program Director, Coordinator
Shawqy Marqus, MD, MPH, DPH
Senior Research Scientist
Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
School of Medicine, State University of New York
Stony Brook, New York
Health Education Specialist
Will be hired in August, 04.
The candidate will be in charge of organizing educational activities according to the work plan. She will have appropriate environmental and/or public health background and relevant academic experience. She will preferably hold a degree in medical education and is bilingual. She will be responsible for coordinating, producing and following up on all the educational aspects of the program in the U.S. as well as in Iraq
Spencer Marsh, PhD
Director of Health Science Library
Stony Brook University
Dr. Marsh is a senior librarian and well familiar with medical publications, publishers and all management aspects of library needs. He will be responsible for managing and supporting all the program library needs and efforts.
Staff Support, Secretarial
Senior Staff Assistant
Martin Schoonen, PhD
Richard Reeder, PhD
Henry Herbouitz, PhD
The mission of the Advisory Board for the Environmental Health HEAD Program in Iraq is to advise and help direct the Program leadership in its efforts to structure, implement and evaluate a successful program while assuring its highest quality to the benefit and educate specific to the Iraqi people’s needs. To achieve this mission, the Board play a significant role in advising and helping with the objectives listed below: