As Iraq's first Catholic school in 40 years takes tentative steps into the future it will draw on the expertise of two religious sisters trained in educational administration at Brisbane's Australian Catholic University, reports The Catholic Leader.
Daughters of Jesus' Sacred Heart Sisters Samar Mikha and Azhar Koka are returning to Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, in the war-torn country's north after spending 18 months in Brisbane.
They will be giving support to the Margardakh parish school in the suburb of Ankawa. Since it opened three months ago, it has attracted nearly 600 students.
In conjunction with the Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, they aim to give input to the city's first Catholic university where construction is underway.
The sisters from the tiny, endangered religious order belonging to the Catholic Chaldean rite arrived in Brisbane with little English, but left the archdiocese last Wednesday with a command of the language, each having also gained a Masters in Educational Administration.
Sisters Mikha and Koka said they were also leaving with an energising vision of the benefits of education to Iraq as it struggled to heal wounds from nearly a decade of conflict.
Both sisters said they aimed to help develop a high level of Catholic education at the new school. "Many people are coming to understand that the problems in Iraq are not just to do with terrorism," Sr Koka said.
FULL STORY Iraq to gain from Sisters' ACU stint (Catholic Leader)