The 6th International Conference and Workshop on Basic Science (ICOWOBAS) that was held in Salahaddin University – Erbil (SUE), Iraq, on 18-19 March was attended by 23 delegations of Universitas Airlangga, 20 of whom are from the Faculty of Science and Technology. Although it was held in the middle of conflict situation and terrorist threat that occurred in most of Iraq’s area, the organizer, Salahhadin University, was proven capable to coordinate the event well. This is of course inseparable from good coordination and cooperation with all parties, particularly the security.
Support is also shown by the Indonesian Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Bambang Antarikso, who came to SUE specifically to welcome the participants from Universitas Airlangga. He expressed that the presence of the delegates of Universitas Airlangga is a form of Indonesia’s attention to Iraq. In that opportunity, Mr. Bambang Antarikso also handed a souvenir to Vice Rector III of Universitas Airlangga, Prof. Moch. Amin Alamsjah, M.Si., Ph.D.
There was a special moment in this ICOWOBAS event. In the previous years, ICOWOBAS that was held both in UNAIR (2016) and UTM (2009) was only opened by Rector. This time, an extraordinary atmosphere appeared in the event held in Erbil because the 6th ICOWOBAS was opened by the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Haider Al-Abadi.
Besides the 3 universities that pioneered joint conference, namely Universitas Airlangga, University of Technology Malaysia, and Salahaddin University as host, this international conference was also attended by 45 Higher Education Institutes from 12 countries. This shows how huge the support of friendly countries to the advance and development of education, especially higher education in conflicted countries like Iraq. Despite being held in the middle of a conflicted politic situation, it does not break the spirit of the participants or the organizers to succeed this conference for the advance of science.