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Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan - November 8, 2016 - The American University of Kurdistan is sponsoring its first ever annual essay contest. Contestants, who must be KRG residents between the ages of 17 and 24, can enter their essays in this year's competition anytime beginning today and ending December 8th.

Essays must be typed, in English, and between 800-1000 words. Entries that do not meet these requirements or show evidence of plagiarism will not be considered. All essays must be submitted online to Winners will be notified via e-mail.

Contestants will write their essays on one of three prompts:

  1. Examine the use of social media in today's society and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of their use within your community.
  2. What impediments to success do today's women face, and what course of action must be taken to confront those challenges?
  3. What do you think the next ten years will look like for Kurdistan, given its current social, economic, and political state?

The contest will be adjudicated by a panel of AUK professors based on the following criteria: accurate use of language (25%); originality of thought (25%); relevance to topic (25%); and style (25%). First place fetches a sum of $500. Second and third place essayists will receive $250 and $100, respectively.

The organizer of the contest, Ms. Nuha Serrac, explained her vision of "AUK as a platform for young people to share their thoughts and opinions." According to Serrac, "the university's role as an agent of change in the community starts with our youth." The essay contest is one initiative in the university's continuing efforts to engage and strengthen ties with the local community.

The American University was founded as a not-for-profit educational institution in 2014.

Further information and details regarding contest regulations and entry requirements can be found on the AUK website. Other questions can be directed to