Project Team Supporting Traditional Cultural Practices in Northern Iraq Meets with NGOs
Oct. 3, 2023, 7:52 p.m.

In the framework of the project of “Ninewa Plains: Towards Agricultural Restoration, Support to Traditional Cultural Practices in Northern Iraq”, the UOD ran a special session with a number of NGOs’ local and foreign representatives. This activity was organized on September 25, 2023, in the Cultural and Social Center of the UOD in the presence of the Vice Presidents, Dr. Lukman Hadi, and Dr. Nabaz Ibrahim, Dr. Rund Hammoudi, the Director of International Relations Office, Dr. Nizar Ameen, the College of Law’s teacher, Dr. Nashwan Shawkat, the College of Engineering’s teacher and the Project Coordinator, and Dr. Omran Omer, the College of Political science’s teacher.

The main goal of this event which gathered NGOs with the teams of the project was to deliver the outcomes achieved by the project teams as a result of their work in the region of Ninewa Plains as recommendations to the NGOs to implement their activities based on what the people in this region need. The NGOs which were invited to this event were those whose work is related to the fields of agriculture, culture, co-existence and humanitarian field. Approximately, 10 NGOs took part in this session. They were MCC, UNICEF, SIPRI, Caritas Czech Republic, AGO, AVSI, JRS, Rwanga, JIZ-EPSI, and HAWAR.Help. Moreover, this event witnessed the active participation of the representatives of the NGOs discussing their experiences in the Ninewa Plain.

The session commenced with an overview on the project and its objectives by Dr. Nashwan Shawkat, followed by an introduction of Marketing and Wild Plants activities and aims by Dr. Nabaz Ibrahim. Then, an introduction of Advocacy activities and aims was given by Dr. Omran Omer. The first part of this session ended by receiving questions from the participants and answering them by the UOD team, to clarify everything for the participants regarding the project.

Afterwards, the second part started which was allocated for an open discussion among the UOD’s team and the NGOs representatives to discuss the role of NGOs in the Ninewa Plain, obstacles, opportunities, their relationships with the government and future endeavors. The representatives of the NGOs actively expressed their prospectives and views of what the Ninewa Plain needs and gave suggestions for aiding the people of this region more effectively.

Among the discussion, one of the representatives suggested that the NGO community must change the mindset of different groups and organizations working alone into collective work in order to reach better solutions. In addition, another NGO member declared that more good service mapping is needed in the region so as the NGOs provide services fairly and quantitively. One other recommendation urged that the NGOs are better to be aware of each other regarding their plans and works.

It is worth mentioning that the project of “Ninewa Plains: Towards Agricultural Restoration, Support to Traditional Cultural Practices in Northern Iraq” has been ran by different teams from the UOD meeting the objectives of the project and it has been supported by USAID in collaboration with the universities of Purdue, Indiana and Notre Dame. Many seminars, trainings, conferences and exhibitions have been organized within this project. Also, the teams of the project have been produced many policy briefs, leaflets, interviews, and awareness activities at the region of Ninewa Plain. One of the significant results of this project is community and UOD botanical gardens to be finished in the near future, that will serve as protectresses for wild plants common in the Ninewa Plain and provide real and digital herbariums along with a seed bank as it is decided. knowing that that the UOD’s Botanical Garden which is located in the UOD’s Malta Campus is planned to be open in the next November, 2023.


The University of Duhok (UOD) is a public university in the city of Duhok, which is about 150 km northwest of Erbil (Arbil, Hewlér), the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan Region (KRI). The city is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by high mountains. The university campus is a large green area in the city's west side that provides an exciting view of the city and surrounding nature. UOD was founded in October 1992 with only two colleges to meet the region's growing demand for graduate professionals. Today, the UOD has a 19-college with 67 departments, nearly 24000 students, and over 4000 academic and administrative staff. Students thrive in one of the best regional academic communities, studying in programs such as Agriculture, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Architecture, Engineering, Humanities, Linguistics, Basic Education, and Economics as well as Spatial Planning. UOD has strong engagement through its International Relations with many Higher Education institutions and centres of excellence worldwide, such as Purdue University, Indiana University (IU), New York University (NYU), The University of Noter Dame (ND), The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA), BridgeWater State University in the USA, The University of Warsaw - Poland, The University of Glasgow - Scotland, The University of Twente - The Netherlands, Leipzig University, LLC University, University of Oldenburg, The University of Vechta, Europa-Universität Flensburg, TU Dortmund university, THM Giessen University in Germany, The University of Tuscia, The university of Pavia, Sapienza Università di Roma in Italy, The University of Deusto, The University of Barcelona, The University of Granada (UGR) in Spain, Lund University - Sweden, The University of Sussex in the UK, Tampere University - Finland, and so many more. The University of Duhok is an active member of the International Association of Universities (IAU), The UNIMED, the Mediterranean Universities Union, and The Association of Arab Universities (AARU).

UOD’s Media; September 26, 2023

Fatima Mahmood

Photo Credits: Husain Titimi