Are you aware of the myth ‘Pandora’s box?’ The story proceeds as a young woman named Pandora opens a mysterious box, which instantly releases all the misery of mankind, causing her to see visions of a severely destructed world. Afterwards, Pandora closes the box, and is left with only the hope that she can undo the harm she has brought about.
The situation of many Iraqis is analogous to this story; several unexpected problems have arisen and the only thing left for them to hold onto is their hope. Having said this, this hope has often proved to be the catalyst for recovery and development throughout history. A fitting example of this is Korea’s economic recovery after the extreme poverty it experienced after a devastating war in the 1960s. The situation Korea faced during the time is comparable to the current status of Iraq in that both tragedies tell a story about war, poverty, agony, and pain. However, the strong determination of the Koreans, also known as their ‘can-do spirit,’ Korea was able to achieve ‘The Miracle of Han River’.
Beginning February 26, Iraqi officials will be joining a special one-year economic program sponsored by KOICA(Korea International Cooperation Agency) at the KDI School. During this period, we expect that the officials will not only learn about Korea’s economic infrastructure but also recognize the Korean ‘can-do spirit’, which has been a driving force in Korea’s transition. The KDI School aims to assist and support the incoming students through stimulating academic programs and numerous opportunities. These tools will provide students with the skills that are necessary to develop a dynamic economy and infrastructure in Iraq. What we hope is that by bringing back these experiences, we will be able to observe a strong revival in Iraq so that the hope they currently have will be manifest in their development.