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Cablegate: Karbala University Fast-Break a Slam Dunk

VZCZCXRO5816
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3162 2750801
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 010801Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9721
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 003162

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV SOCI IZ
SUBJECT: KARBALA UNIVERSITY FAST-BREAK A SLAM DUNK

This is a PRT Karbala Reporting Cable

(U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified - not for
internet distribution

1. (SBU) Summary: PRT Karbala hosted Karbala University
representatives to an iftar on September 15. The PRT
described its activities and the Karbala guests explained
their needs. In cooperation with Karbala University, PRT
Karbala hopes to assist Iraq regain its tradition of academic
excellence. End Summary.
Home-Court Advantage
--------------------
2. (SBU) The PRT played host to administrators, professors
and students from Karbala University at an iftar (Ramadan
fast-breaking meal) at sunset on Monday, September 15.
Seventeen guests--including the Acting President, Vice
President and the deans of several of the institution's eight
faculties--attended. The PRT's outreach to the university's
7,000 students expects to raise awareness about the PRT, and
inspire the province's best and brightest to assume the
mantle of progress in a post-PRT Iraq.
3. (SBU) Our guests only had a cursory understanding of the
PRT's mission and were pleasantly surprised to learn of our
activities and keen to enlist our support. Three law
professors and the PRT agreed on the need for improved
commercial laws and legal training. The professors elicited
PRT support in identifying exchange programs and
international seminars.
4. (SBU) The History Department chairman seized on our
explanation of QRF to request books, and the Dean of Science
stressed his faculty's need for training and equipment. The
Media Section chief and an English professor were intrigued
by the possibility of acquiring training in information
technology and the prospect of TOEFL testing at the
University. The Dean of the Agricultural College voiced
interest in the PRT's poultry-production project.
Comment
-------
5. (SBU) Comment: Although western educated, our guests
likened life in pre-liberation Iraq to being trapped in a
time-warp and found the challenge of introducing modern
pedagogical methods daunting. By the iftar's end, the
professors were excited about the prospect of working with
the PRT to facilitate Karbala University's entry into the
21st century. The students are eager participants in Iraq's
academic quest for world-class excellence. End Comment.
CROCKER

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