Al-Hikma University, located at the Zaafarania campus south of Baghdad, was founded in 1956 with
a student body of 45 that expanded to 656 students by 1968.
The student body was 40 percent Muslim, 32 percent Catholic, 21 percent Orthodox Christian,
and about 7 percent Jewish. The number of jews was negligeable during the first years, but rose during
the late 1960's, reaching almost 20% of the graduating class.
In all, about 80 jewish students graduated from Al-Hikma University.
About half of them with a B.Sc in Civil Engineering, and the other half with
a BA. in Business Administration. Two graduated with a degree of Bachelor in Liberal Arts.
Many of the Jewish students were on the Dean's list and graduated with high honors.
Jews were treated as equals and there was no discrimination whatsoever, neither from faculty,
nor from students.
Many jewish students received scholarships from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
(By the way, there is an impressive Calouste Gulbenkian museum in Lisbon Portugal, including a statue of the founder).
Jews were active in extracurricular activities, such as sports, debating society, science club,
senior engineering society, society for the advancement of management, cinema club,
music club, yearbook staff, H.U.T.-Al-Hikma Tribune campus magazine)
Most of the classes were taught in English. The faculty consisted of
approximately half Jesuit and half Iraqi teachers.
In the aftermath of the Baath party coup, the Baathists started nationalizing private educational institutions.
In November 1968, the Jesuits from Al-Hikma were ordered to leave the
country within 5 days. Muslim and Christian teachers continued to teach at Al-Hikma
till the end of the academic year. The remaining three classes of undergraduates were moved to Baghdad university.
Today the Al-Hikma campus grounds are used by the Institute of Technology, a 2 year college.
In all, there are about 1900 Al-Hikma University alumni. Many of them stayed in Iraq but many others
live today in the USA and Canada. They have held regular reunions since 1977, usually every two years.
The latest Reunion was held in Detroit, Michigan in July 2009
There is a possibility that the next Reunion will be held in Amman, Jordan
Sports- J. Sawdayee
Sports- D. Shammash
G. Dallal with S. Abdulezer
J. Sawdayee with lecturer K. Fattah
Music Club - L. Shashoua
H.U.T.- Y. Dabby
Al-Hikma University Reunion 2000
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