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Kurdish Banner Proudly Displayed at Winthrop For Grad
With a renewed push for the displaced Kurds to become an independent state, Ghareeb appealed to Winthrop President Jamie Comstock Williamson to put up the Kurdish banner, not the Iraqi flag, to acknowledge his home region.
After hearing his impassioned plea, Williamson agreed. The banner – with its red, green and white stripes with a centered yellow sun disk representing the Kurdistan Regional Government - was erected on Alumni Drive a week before Ghareeb’s May 8 graduation.
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Dozens of international flags line
Winthrop University's Alumni Drive
to represent the home countries of its graduates.
The most recent addition is a dream come true for
one of the university's first two Iraqi students
, both of whom received their master's degrees in sport and fitness administration on May 8.
hails from the Kurdistan Region and requested his region's banner to hang on Alumni Drive. With a renewed push for the displaced Kurds to become an independent state, Ghareeb appealed to
Winthrop President Jamie Comstock Williamson
to put up the Kurdish banner, not the Iraqi flag, to acknowledge his home region.
After hearing his impassioned plea, Williamson agreed. The banner – with its red, green and white stripes with a centered yellow sun disk representing the
Kurdistan Regional Government
- was erected on Alumni Drive a week before Ghareeb’s
May 8 graduation
Ghareeb came to the United States in early 2011 and spent a year learning English in immersion courses. He started classes at Winthrop in fall 2012 and threw himself into American culture – attending such sports events as Carolina Panthers games, experiencing the Clemson/Carolina college football rivalry and traveling to half of the U.S.'s 50 states.
Ghareeb will return in June to the mountainous Kurdistan region in the northern part of Iraq where he works as an assistant professor at
in Erbil. He hopes to publish
his master's thesis
which recommends an exercise regimen for soccer players that relies on balance and strength conditioning exercises to prevent injuries.
"I often wake up in the morning and get down on my knees and thank God for everything," Ghareeb said. "Since the flag is up, I thank God for being a part of this. It is one of the highlights of my life."
Having students like Ghareeb on campus is
one of the highlights of Winthrop's educational experience
. This semester Winthrop has 203 international students among its 6,000+ population. The university works to prepare students for global citizenship and the 21st century workplace.
• Winthrop is recruiting more international students to campus and encourages the university’s mostly South Carolina-born students to travel abroad as part of its
Global Learning Initiative
which promotes global knowledge, attitudes and engagement throughout the university’s general education program.
• Winthrop has joined the
Generation Study Abroad Commitment effort
Institute of International Education
which will help the university triple the number of students who currently study abroad.
• Winthrop has launched a new Global Ambassadors Scholarship program to recruit out-of-state students and support them in study abroad experiences. The scholarship program and other high-impact experiences are supported by a newly created
Dare to Rise fund
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