Viewing cable 04BAGHDAD556
Title: AMBASSADOR OPENS FIRST AMERICAN CORNER IN IRAQ

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04BAGHDAD5562004-08-19 08:15:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Baghdad
R 190815Z AUG 04
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0826
INFO AMEMBASSY AMMAN 
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC
UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000556 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO PGOV PREF KCUL IZ
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR OPENS FIRST AMERICAN CORNER IN IRAQ 
 
¶1.  Summary.  The Ambassador and Kurdistan Regional Government 
Minister of Culture Fatah Zakhoy opened the first American 
Corner in Iraq on August 8.  The Corner, located in the public 
library in Sulaimaniya, enables visitors to learn about the 
United States and to participate in American educational and 
cultural programming.  End summary. 
 
¶2.  The new American Corner is the first such facility in the 
country and is the largest cultural donation by the Embassy in 
northern Iraq to date.  The Corner is located on the ground 
floor of the newly-built public library in Sulaimaniya, in 
northeastern Iraq.  The Corner includes over USD 85,000 in 
books, furniture, and equipment donated by the U.S. Embassy in 
Baghdad with the support of NEA/PD and Embassy Amman. 
 
¶3.  At the ribbon-cutting event the Ambassador told the audience 
that activities at the Corner "will broaden your perspective, 
deepen your knowledge, stimulate your imagination, and enrich 
your experience."  Minister Zakhoy welcomed the opening of the 
Corner and invited residents to use it to learn more about the 
United States.  Media coverage of the event included all local 
television channels and print publications.  All coverage was 
positive. 
 
¶4.  The Corner is staffed by English-speaking employees and 
includes hundreds of volumes about the United States, a video 
and DVD library, three high-speed Internet-connected computers, 
and videoconferencing capabilities.  Plans are already underway 
to connect university professors from the United States with 
professors and students at Sulaimaniya University through 
videoconferencing. 
 
¶5.  The Sulaimaniya Public Library recently opened to the public 
and currently has approximately 60,000 volumes.  In addition to 
the Internet machines at the Corner, it boasts the largest high- 
speed Internet access point in northern Iraq with over 75 
workstations (25 of which were purchased through CPA.)  Internet 
access is free and uncensored.  In addition, the library has 
three reading rooms, conference facilities, a children's 
library, and a children's theater. 
 
¶6.  Comment.  The American Corner is the largest cultural 
donation by the USG in northern Iraq, a fact not lost on 
Sulaimaniya's political leaders.  The leaders see the Corner as 
a USG statement about the relative safety of the KRG compared to 
the rest of the country.  The PAO has visited the Corner and 
during that visit noted that the Public Affairs section in 
Baghdad is committed to providing programming and staff 
training.  In addition, Embassy Baghdad will ensure that the 
facility and its information collection remain up-to-date. 
 
 
JEFFREY