Sharing my Knowledge to Benefit Iraq Chopie Hassan

In 2000 I arrived in the Netherlands to join my husband as he obtained the documents to stay in the Netherlands. He fled Iraq in 1997 because of his involvement in political activities. My husband and I met during our study at the University of Salahaddin in Erbil, at Chemistry Department.

The Netherland gave us peace and a safe haven, and the country accepted my small family. My husband and I started to build a new life and to integrate into the community.

We decided to give something back to a country giving us peace and a safe place to live. We did not forget our responsibilities to our fatherland. After learning the language in six months I could attend the first-year study of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences at Leiden University. After 5 years I obtained my master’s degree and the second success in my life was obtaining a Ph.D. degree in 2015.

Currently, I am a senior scientist working at a pharmaceutical company. I realized that now is the time to share my knowledge and what I learned from my study and from the Dutch culture with my Kurdish folk in Iraq. When IOM contacted me to join CD4D programme I did not hesitate for a minute to say yes. I was very glad that CD4D offered me the opportunity to go back and to share my knowledge with the universities in the Kurdish Region.

IOM’s CD4D project was a very good opportunity to get in touch with the universities in my fatherland.
When IOM send my CV to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) responded very positively to my proposal to give workshops and seminars at the pharmacy college of the Hawler Medical University in Erbil and Sulaimani Medical University in Sulaimani.
On April 29 I started at Sulaimani University with two workshops and a seminar to PhD students about medicine development, based on research into illnesses. This was well-received, because it is a very effective way to give students a practical insight in the effects of medicines and the development of research - it led to fruitful discussions. The university asked me to repeat the workshops and the seminar twice a year if possible.
Although it was at the start of Ramadan, they were very enthusiastic.
Pharmaceutical research remains a challenge

They explained the struggles they have in the research area and were very interested in an opportunity for an internship programme for Ph.D. students linked to Dutch universities. The Kurdistan Regional Government acknowledges the importance of knowledge transfer, I am sure this could be arranged.

Photos taken by Mr. Fadi Trkjya, IOM Iraq


Fadi Trkjya, IOM Iraq