There are 22 public universities, 9 private universities, 36 research centers and 3 technical education foundations in Iraq today. All of them are being linked to the Net by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research to bring information access to iraqi scientists and students which has been missing from the country for more than 2 decades . The plan for the first 8 to create a virtual science library with more than 17,000 scientific journals containing millions of abstracts and full-text articles took another step forward today.
The initial project cost estimate is $1.7M. The funds for the project are expected to be recruited from the usual cast of international funding agencies such as the World Bank and also some from donor countries. The preparation activities currently in process are being paid through the national budget. The US Trade Development Agency has also sponsored an ICT Training Center project in Iraq. Sun donated a server and 10 Sunrays for a central ICT Training Center at the Technology University of Baghdad. They received the equipment a few months ago and four of their IT specialists already received Sun training by our partner STS in Jordan. The new Sun will be the central training center and more regional regional centers shall be linked to the main center. Two regional centers have already been established, one in the South, one in the North. The estimated project cost is $10milion for 5 years to establish 20 ICT Training Centers across the country.
Today's delegation was just striking for the simple kindness, fun sense-of-humor and the thirst for knowledge to improve their lives for their families. It was a great reminder that people are the same everywhere. No matter the culture, race, religion, class or even favorite world cup team these people are moving forward in spite of an unbelievable background. Yet, together they only look forward with grace and hospitality and most notably of all, courage.