Iraq-US Cultural and Educational Update

U.S.-Iraqi collaboration in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage continues to strengthen through new and established initiatives. A site management plan for the future preservation and sustainability of the ancient site of Babylon nears completion through efforts by the World Monuments Fund and the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage. U.S. support for education in cultural heritage preservation continues with additional educational programs conducted by the University of Delaware and other academic and NGO partners at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Erbil. In 2013, a new university linkage was also established between Mosul University and Boston University to help Iraq reestablish its tradition of excellence in higher education in the fields of archaeology and cultural heritage management. These initiatives are critical for building Iraq’s capacity to preserve and manage its rich cultural heritage.

The delegations noted that people-to-people ties between the United States and Iraq continue to grow stronger. The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, sports exchanges, and other initiatives bring hundreds of Iraqi scholars, students, youth, and professionals to the United States each year. Both sides are looking to encourage more sports exchanges and to share expertise in sports medicine. Frequent cultural programs are promoting common values between both nations.

The delegations stressed the importance of ongoing consultation and information exchange at all levels, and pledged to convene the next JCC meeting in 2015 to assess progress and next steps.

(Source: Embassy of the United States)

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