Friday 10 November 2023

Fostering Partnership: KRG and Nebraska Universities Join Forces for Mutual Advancement

Washington, DC, USA (KRG-USA website) – In November 2023, Treefa Aziz, the KRG Representative to the United States, delivered a comprehensive presentation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Grand Rounds, shedding light on the Kurdistan Region and Iraq's contemporary history and healthcare challenges.

During this visit, Representative Aziz, accompanied by Delovan Barwari, Director of Public and Academic Affairs, engaged in fruitful discussions with various University leaders in Omaha. The KRG delegation also extended their visit to Lincoln, Nebraska, home to the largest Yazidi community in the United States. In Lincoln, productive meetings took place with senior staff of Congressman Mike Flood's office, Vice Chair Sandra Washington of the Lincoln City Council, Crystal Bock Thiessen, President of the Lincoln Council for International Visitors Center, and representatives from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Conversations with local leaders centered around exploring the potential for establishing a sister-city relationship between Lincoln and Dohuk in the Kurdistan Region.

While in Lincoln, Representative Aziz hosted a roundtable discussion with the local Kurdish and Yazidi communities. The conversations focused on understanding the experiences and needs of the community, with a keen interest in exploring ways the KRG Representation office could provide support and enhance its relations with the local community.

Representative Aziz's visit to Nebraska is a historic occasion, being the first-ever engagement by a KRG Representative with the Kurdish and Yazidi communities in the state. This visit underscores the KRG's steadfast commitment to expand and strengthen its unwavering support for the diaspora. The prospect of a sister-city arrangement between Lincoln and Dohuk illustrates the KRG’s dedication to nurturing cultural and academic ties.

In April 2023, the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), the University of Duhok Medical College, and Duhok’s Department of Health signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance greater cooperation in key healthcare and exchange program initiatives. A visit of UNMC representatives to the Kurdistan Region is expected in 2024.