Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan

EDUU Education and Cultural Heritage Enhancement for Social Cohesion in Iraq

15/12/2019 - 10:01

EDUU (‘to know’ in the ancient Mesopotamian Akkadian language), seeks to create an EU-Iraq partnership in the fields of education and cultural heritage, connecting universities, secondary schools, and museums.

Iraqi society is a mixture of ancient and modern traditions in a multi-cultural and pluralistic state. In recent decades, this multi-faceted environment has suffered from major disruptions, leading to violence and threats that targeted the country’s historical and cultural heritage. Intentional destruction of monuments, places of worship, books and manuscripts, intertwined with ethnic and religious divisions, have severely compromised the ability of Iraqi people to access cultural heritage, fully practice intangible heritage and to transmit it to younger generations. As a result, freedom of expression and creativity, as well as participation in the rich cultural life, have been strongly undermined.

EDUU has five keys aims:

  1. To increase the knowledge of pre-Islamic societies in Iraq through archaeological research in the Qadisiyah and Wasit regions, and to raise awareness on Iraqi cultural heritage.
  2. To protect cultural heritage and to promote it as a powerful tool for dialogue, mitigating tensions between different sectors of society by improving the skills of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH) personnel and community leaders.
  3. To promote interest in the common cultural heritage and identity of Iraqi society among younger generations, through training and activities in secondary schools and local communities.
  4. To improve local museum assets and engage civil society in cultural heritage initiatives promoted by museums.
  5. To promote and disseminate the value of cultural heritage as a tool for community building in Iraq, and also internationally.


Key achievements so far include:

  • 300 Iraqi students have participated in EDUU activities in schools.
  • 1,000 SBAH operators and community leaders, together with 300 university students, have been involved in project activities and trained in the field.
  • 1,200 hours of training has been delivered on cultural heritage and the English language for archaeology.
  • 15 academic articles have been published.
  • A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Museums and Society has been introduced.
  • An international conference and 3 academic conferences for Iraqi students have been organised.
  • 2 action plans for the development of the didactic room in the Iraqi National Museum of Baghdad, as well as for the King Ghazi Landscape Museum in the Diwaniyah Region, have been developed (4 in total).

EU Contribution

EUR 1 million


2017 -2020


Qādisiyyah, Kufa, BaghdadNineveh


Iraqi secondary school and university students, local community leaders and SBAH officers.

Implementing partner

University of Bologna (leader)

University of Turin (Italy)

Universities of Baghdad, Kufa and Al-Qadisiyah

CRAST - Archaeological Research Center Turin


State Board of Antiquities (SBAH)

UNESCO Youth Committee

Funding Instrument

Civil Society Thematic Budget Line

Link with the WALADU Project

The EDUU project has also benefited from the results achieved by the ‘WALADU - Development and Structuring of BA Courses in Iraqproject, funded by the Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education program of the European Union and coordinated by the University of Bologna. The WALADU project has improved the teaching and research quality of Iraq professors in Archaeology, and enabled the reform of BA courses in Archaeology in Iraq through the following actions:

  • Intensive international and national training for Iraqi University scholars, students and administrative staff members.
  • Modernisation and re-structuring of the BA courses in Archaeology in the Iraqi partner Universities.
  • The creation of modern archaeological libraries and laboratories (WaLib and WaLab) in the Iraqi Universities, in order to support teaching and research activities.
  • International networking, to enhance EU-Iraq academic cooperation and research.

The WALADU project has provided considerable support for enhancing Iraqi Universities’ role in the society as key actors for improving citizens’ quality of life and fostering social development through teaching, research and activation of civil society engagement, which is definitely one of the most important aims of the EDUU project.

Useful links:


EDUU Facebook

EDUU Instagram

Poster and research papers:

EDUU comic books on the importance of cultural heritage and archaeology:

E-learning training course on ‘Museums and Society’:

Editorial Sections: