Shatha Khalil *
The troubled political, security and economic reality of any country is an important reason for the emigration of scientific competencies abroad, including the Arab countries, most of which suffer from political unrest and civil wars affecting the people of science and knowledge , forcing them to migrate outside their countries.
Due to the political and security turmoil in Iraq, large waves of brain migration have been occurred, which is increasing because of the continuing political unrest there.
The emigration of scientific competencies began in Iraq from 1963 until today, a scientific loss and loss of the national economy.
In Iraq, there is no respect for the scientific capabilities and competencies that sincerely wish to serve their country, and hostile views prevail towards the qualifications of the outside, and dealing with these competencies as alien to the soil of the homeland.
Reasons for the displacement of scientists and its dimensions:
1.The scientific dimension: The developed countries offer attractive factors to scientific cadres, which possess the qualifications and expertise, from developing countries including Iraq, as they are given economic, social and psychological respect, in exchange for the investment of these competencies in favor of their economic, social and scientific development.
2. The economic dimension: The scientific “brain drain” is a great material gain for the host countries, as these countries get scientific cadres ready for which no financial expenditure has been made. Thus, it can be said that it constitutes a great economic profit for the developed countries and large scientific and economic loss for Iraq can not be compensated.
3_ Political dimension: The scientific elite in any country is the main political and scientific nucleus because of their role and status and the direct impact on life and political and socio-economic and cultural events, because of the awareness and political maturity, scientific knowledge they have and this is feared by the regimes in the country.
After 2003, after the fall of the ruling regime, Iraq witnessed a state of political, security and economic chaos. The sectarian and political conflict intensified and the country reached the gates of civil war. Internal, regional and international forces were behind this organized chaos which it casts in the favor of these forces that it has left its negative impact on the Iraqi scientific elite, regardless of their political or sectarian affiliation and to push a good number of professors, doctors, engineers and artists to leave Iraq because of harassment and threats and killing, Iraqi universities and institutes lost hundreds of the finest scientific staff whether they were martyred or left Iraq because of security chaos and sectarian conflict, and this is the biggest scientific and material loss for the Iraqi people and its future.
Among the hundreds of immigrant minds lost by Iraq, “for example”:
• Abd al-Jabbar Abdullah, who is one of only four students studied by the famous scientist Einstein, and for his excellence and scientific excellence Einstein gave his own pen, and received the Medal of Science Key from the American President Harry Truman, and mathematical equations developed by Abdul Jabbar in aerodynamics Is still the gateway to the study and research of this science.
• Doctor Taleb Khairallah Majool: An Iraqi doctor, a cardiologist and interventional catheter. He was the director of the Iraqi Center for Cardiology before 2003, which transferred the modern catheterization technique to Iraq and trained the cadres during the period of economic siege and saved the lives of thousands of patients. After 2003, he was threatened by killing and left Iraq for the United Arab Emirates, where he was appointed director of the Department of Cardiology at Dubai International Hospital, where he received support worthy of his certificate and scientific potential, and invented a modern method of inter-catheterization called” Dubai way” .
Majoul participated in the Lyon conference and won first place among 15,000 doctors from all over the world. He was asked bymedical teams from the United States, Britain and France to be trained by the Iraqi doctor, Iraq has lost him.
• Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-British architect winning the 2004 Pritzker Prize, the highest engineering award. Hadid’s works were part of the permanent exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the German Museum of Architecture in Frankfurt, and her work in different countries except her mother land .Hadid has been a professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and has taught many students to take advantage of her experience and ideas.
She designed in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, the first Iraqi engineering building in America.
Obstacles facing the return of scientific competencies
According to experts and specialists in scientific studies that there are many obstacles facing the return of the Iraqi scientific competencies and hindered it and sometimes prevented it , including security and political turmoil, including:
1. Housing problem.
The problem of housing is one of the most important and complex problems facing the return of scientific competences to Iraq, as this scientific elite located abroad, especially in America, Canada, Western European countries and other countries, got work and housing, health and social care and in the event of their return, they can not buy a house or a residential land because of the insane rise in prices, so this problem is very important and must be found solutions.
2- The problem of scientific promotions
One of the important problems facing the return of the scientific competencies that left Iraq during the various periods, and the vast majority of these scientific cadres have worked and are still working in recognized Arab and foreign universities, but if they return , thy will face the laws of Iraqi universities, which don’t recognize the previous service and was not calculated for the purposes of scientific promotion and retirement under bureaucratic and non-scientific justification, where the returnees return to university service from zero.
3 – the problem of calculating university service
It is one of the important problems facing the return of the Iraqi scientific competencies, and in order to clarify the essence of the problem must be known as: –
– A large proportion of those who left Iraq because of oppression and political persecution or for economic or other reasons are holders of higher degrees Masters and PhD and had a university service in Iraqi universities and institutes and some of them are working today or working in Arab or foreign universities.
– Some of the scientific competencies were working in the executive authority (ministries …) and with high and important administrative levels, and some of them migrated out of Iraq for the reasons mentioned above and the others could not leave the country for various reasons.
– Some of the young people who emigrated from Iraq and for the reasons above received high degrees (Masters and PhD) and today they work in prestigious Arab and foreign universities and have proof of that.
– It is necessary to calculate the university service for those who are politically discharged and hold high degrees (master’s and doctorate) and returned home after April 2003 and they are serving in Iraqi universities and institutes in a full university service for the purposes of promotion and retirement.
– It is necessary to include fellows who hold high degrees (Masters and PhD) and who did not leave the country and work today in the various departments of the state with all the privileges that will be obtained by their colleagues working in Iraqi universities and institutes.
In order to protect the rights of the Iraqi scientific competences and give them their legitimate rights and in order to avoid what happened to the law of scientific competencies issued in the seventies of the last century of horrible routine and excessive bureaucracy, it is essential that the returnees service of Iraqi scientific qualifications be counted as a full university service and apply the service law which was issued in 2008 on them and which requires substantial amendments in many of its articles and paragraphs.
It is a big mistake to neglect and lack of interest in this trained scientific elite that possesses the scientific and technical capabilities needed by the society, economy and science in Iraq, where the preparation of scientific cadres of the degree holders need 30 years, the loss of this elite means the loss of Iraqi society twice the time period, 60 years.
Some suggestions for a solution
We offer some suggestions that may be an attraction for the return of talent to the country
1 – Legislating a law on the return of the Iraqi scientific talents by the legislative authority that it guarantees their economic, scientific and other rights.
2- Iraqi embassies and cultural attachés abroad should provide a complete calculation of the Iraqi scientific competencies in the different specialties in that country.
3. The ministries should study and determine its needs from the different scientific specialties returning to the homeland and coordinate with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research regarding this matter.
4. Each Ministry should establish a clear program to absorb the return of scientific competencies and solve their problems, and foremost of which is the housing problem, within a time plan ranging from one year to one and a half years in order to provide adequate housing for them.
5. The inclusion of the scientific competencies who did not leave the homeland with all the material and non-material privileges that will be obtained by the Iraqi scientific talent according to the Iraqi scientific competencies law.
6. To keep the professors referred to retirement and according to their wishes, as advisers in universities and ministries, and all according to their competence and desire, in the event that they are unable to continue the teaching work, and to take such a legal form.
7. When referring to retirement – and of course it must be optional for the faculty member, it is to receive the total last paid salary and not on the basis of basic salary, and to achieve this is a tribute and reward to the university professor.
The radical treatment of these factors with a purpose of the return of the scientific capabilities to rebuild Iraq and the development of science and technology requires the leaders of Iraqi political parties to unite according to a unified national program that includes: renouncing the ugly principle of sectarian quotas, the rejection and renunciation of violence and political assassination, and the adoption of the principle of peaceful transfer of power at various levels and to work on the sound and fair principle , the right man in the right place regardless of political affiliation and the adoption of the principle of democratic , free and direct elections in universities and scientific institutes, starting from the presidency of the university and the deanships of colleges and heads of Scientific departments, and the distribution of scientific and administrative powers equitably between the university and the faculty and scientific department to serve the scientific process.
Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies