View Full Version : Professionals who have fled Iraq

05-12-2007, 11:57 AM
It's been said that many professionals fled Iraq prior to or at the beginning of the war. (unless that's just another media lie) I was curious if any studies or surveys have been done since the start of Operation Fard al-Qanun. Are they returning or is this a problem area that needs to be addressed? (or perhaps isn't being addressed enough?)

What is being done now and what are some of your ideas to solve this issue?

05-13-2007, 06:22 AM
In a nutshell, Iraq's "brain drain" has gotten worse. Unfortunately, I don't have time right now to provide open-source material that supports that, but it wouldn't take much searching to find.

05-13-2007, 01:50 PM
There was a slow, but steady drain of professionals during Saddam's regime, and a lot of them returned to Iraq during the first year with high hopes. Since then, the flow has reversed once again and now the "brain drain" has become a serious problem - and has grown even worse since the spread of sectarian fighting.

Iraq resurrects Saddam policy to stem brain drain (http://theimpolitic.blogspot.com/2007/05/iraq-resurrects-saddam-policy-to-stem.html)

05-15-2007, 10:55 AM
AP article on Iraqi education (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070514/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_graduates_of_war&printer=1;_ylt=Asjr2c2jcabRUZYXexOR2EIUewgF).

As high school seniors across America giddily try on prom dresses and plan graduation parties, Iraqi students consider just making it to school a cause for celebration.

The security situation is so shaky that some schools have canceled graduation ceremonies and many have closed for weeks at a time.
Education officials are in talks with the security services, tribal leaders and politicians to ensure schools are protected when students take final exams next month.

The education crisis mirrors the breakdown of nearly all public institutions across Iraq ...

More than 300 teachers and Ministry of Education employees were killed last year and 1,158 were wounded, the ministry reported. A U.N. report released last month said the killings continued "at an alarming level" this year.
The attacks have paralyzed the government's plan to build 1,000 new schools this year and even forced it to close existing schools across the country, Hussein said ...

05-15-2007, 10:25 PM
Iraqi university system near collapse. (http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=j4hq71783rqvwf5836kxllw8nj911lsk)


Estimates of the number of professors killed since the 2003 invasion range from 250 to 1,000. At the University of Baghdad alone, 78 professors have been killed, according to the London-based Council for Assisting Refugee Academics.


. The Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration estimates that at least 30 percent of all professors, doctors, pharmacists, and engineers in Iraq have fled since 2003. To stem the exodus, the higher-education ministry recently adopted a policy that requires medical and dental students to work in Iraq for several years after graduation in order to receive their diplomas.


According to Mr. Jawad, the political-science professor, more than 100 courses at the university have been canceled this semester for lack of instructors. At Al-Nahrain University, says Mr. Kamal, some departments have lost all their faculty members.

In addition to assassinations, insurgents have bombed university campuses, killing dozens of students and faculty members. And in their quest to secure sectarian enclaves, militias have made universities throughout the country unsafe for anyone of the "wrong" ethnic group.

The higher-education ministry recently decided to allow students and professors to transfer to other universities in the face of such threats. More than 1,000 academics and 10,000 students chose that option this year. But an even larger number of students, especially women, have stopped going to college altogether, with some universities operating at 10 percent to 20 percent of their usual capacity.


The article also indicates a sectarian and political agenda being foisted upon university education, backed by violence.

06-05-2007, 01:02 PM
Cheated of Future, Iraqi Graduates Want to Flee (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/05/world/middleeast/05college.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin)

They said would leave their country feeling betrayed, by the debilitating violence that has killed scores of professors and friends, by the growing influence of Islamic fundamentalism and by the Americans, who they say cracked open their country, releasing spasms of violence without protecting the moderate institutions that could have been a bulwark against extremism.

“I want to tell them thanks for liberating us, but enough with the mistakes,” said Abdul Hassein Ibrahim Zain Alabidin, a Shiite Turkmen studying law at Kirkuk University, in the north. The errors, he said, “led to division and terrorism.”

Iraq’s roughly 56,000 graduates began their college careers under far different circumstances. With the world’s strongest power expected to democratize and modernize their country, they said, they felt special, chosen, about to be famous on the worldwide stage.

“I thought we would be like stars,” said Ahmed Saleh Abdul Khader, 21, a biology student in the southern city of Basra.

I have no comments other than I feel bad for these people. In order for Iraq to succeed, the professionals need to stay. But can you really blame them for leaving?