Wednesday, April 25, 2012

vive la différence

U. Basrah Geology Students
Scroll back to the beginning of this blog in 2003, and you'll read of university corridors stripped even of basic wiring and strewn with rubble and ash. Women who braved the streets were forced under the black of the abaya, reduced from their former regional and social variations in attire to the uniformity of a flock of crows. So imagine my delight on return to Basrah U. after less than a year, to find the Geology Department moved in to its new, bright, naturally lit, well-appointed building. Flatscreens for HD laptop projection in every classroom; labs now outfitted with the basics necessary for undergraduate hands-on work. Women compose half of the student population, and dominate the upper class ranks, a fact of which Dept. Chair Badir Albadran is justly proud.N ext step: outfitting labs for specialized research: this is still hampered by the difficulty of letting reliable contracts for delivery, installation, and maintenence.

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