Thursday 7 July 2016


Iraqi students at the University of Northampton are inviting people to join them in remembering the victims of the Baghdad bombing at a candle-lit vigil.

The memorial, which takes place from 6pm to 8pm today (Thursday), has been organised by Iraqi students at the University, including PhD student Alyaa Al Barrak, who has been personally affected by Sunday’s terrorist attack.

More than 250 people were killed when two cars packed with explosives were detonated in the Karrada district of Iraq’s capital city, while families were shopping for the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

So-called Islamic State (IS) has said it carried out the suicide attack.

“We are all devastated – I am from Baghdad and a close friend of mine has lost her entire family in the attack,” said Alyaa.

“It is really important that people looking in from the outside understand the people who carried out this attack are not Muslims – they claim they are, but this is proof they are not, as they have claimed the lives of at least 250 Muslims.

“We will be remembering the dead, injured, those who are still missing and anybody affected by this atrocity during the memorial vigil, and would like to invite others to stand with us and remember.”

Iraqi students make up around five per cent of the international student population at the University of Northampton, with 45 undergraduates and 10 studying for a postgraduate programme.

The University of Northampton and the University of Babylon signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2013, which allows staff and students to collaborate across a wide range of subject areas. Nursing and Computing students at both institutions have the opportunity to take part in a study twinning exchange, which enables them to split their course between the two universities.

The vigil takes place on the steps of Newton building, Avenue Campus, St George’s Avenue, Northampton, between 6pm and 8pm on Thursday 7 July.

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