An Iraqi alumnus of the Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders on Religious Pluralism in the United States (SUSI) has been named Department of State Alumni Member of the Month.
The alumnus, Huner Anwer, was selected for the award for his dedication and enthusiasm in promoting dialogue in Iraqi society. He will be recognized on the State Alumni website and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ official website that reaches more than one million Department-sponsored exchange alumni worldwide. The Bureau’s Office of Alumni Affairs confers the award to an outstanding alumnus each month.
Crediting the SUSI program, Anwer returned to Iraq and founded the Iraqi Dialogue Institute, an organization modeled on the Dialogue Institute at Temple University, which served as Anwer’s host organization during his five-week exchange program. After launching the Iraqi Dialogue Institute, he established a formal partnership between his Institute and the Dialogue Institute.
Anwer is organizing a delegation of prominent Iraqi academics and government representatives to travel to the United States this fall (2011). The delegation will explore topics such as civil rights, the rule of law, religious freedom and tolerance, and the formation of democracy. They will observe democratic and religiously free societies at work, and learn tolerance for religious, ethnic, and racial differences within and across communities. Anwer observed how America is able to overcome prejudices in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious society through dialogue. The Governor of Sulaymaniyah province in Iraqi has agreed to fund the delegation’s trip to the United States.
Anwer is also an active EducationUSA volunteer advisor. After finishing an Embassy-funded training program, he took the initiative to give presentations to several students and academics on how they can study in the United States. Additionally, in partnership with the U.S. Regional Reconstruction Team in his region, he implemented an English teaching project for over 800 professors and students at the University of Sulaimani. He plans to return to the United States to pursue a graduate level internship with the Dialogue Institute at Temple University September 2011-August 2012.
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ website at http://exchanges.state.gov/alumni/alumnus.html. Media Contact: John Fleming, FlemingJT2@state.gov; phone (202) 632-6454