New life to archaeology in Iraq, WALADU project now underway
To give a new impulse to archaeology in Iraq, through the modernization and internationalization of Iraqi university programmes in archaeology by developing innovative teaching activities is the aim of the new European project called WALADU, coordinated by the University of Bologna and involving the Universities Ludwig Maximilian of Munich and Koç of Istanbul, together with the three Iraqi universities of Baghdad, Kufa and Qadisiyah.
Funded by the European Union with a budget of 915,000 euro under Erasmus +, the European programme for education, training, youth and sport, the WALADU project aims at setting up a long-term international cooperation between European and Iraqi universities, with the purpose of increasing job opportunities for future Iraqi archaelogists.
The project development – with Nicolò Marchetti of the University of Bologna as scientific coordinator – includes a number of training activities for teachers, researchers and administrative staff of the three Iraqi universities, with intensive and multidisciplinary courses for teachers, researchers and technical and administrative staff, delivered by the staff of the European universities involved. Members of the staff of the Iraqi universities will attend training periods in Bologna, Munich and Istanbul. Moreover, bilingual (Arabic-English) teaching materials will be created and modern equipment will be provided to the new libraries and laboratories in Iraq, in order to integrate practical activities and learnings of students and researchers. The project also includes the setting up of training programmes for students, in collaboration with the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH), with the purpose of increasing the job opportunities of students in the field of classical antiquity sciences.
Moreover, this work will help strengthening long-term international collaborations between Iraqi and European university institutions, through the setting up of an international network in archaeology, cultural heritage and ancient history. During the three years of work, the developments and results will be disseminated on both the national and international levels, replicability in other fields of study.