BAGHDAD, June 4 They started college just before or after the American invasion with dreams of new friends and parties, brilliant teachers and advanced degrees that would lead to stellar jobs, marriage and children. Success seemed well within their grasp.
Four years later, Iraq's college graduates are ending their studies shattered and eager to leave the country. In interviews with more than 30 students from seven universities, all but four said they hoped to flee immediately after receiving their degrees. Many said they did not expect Iraq to stabilize for at least a decade.
"I used to dream about getting a Ph.D., participating in international conferences, belonging to a team that discovered cures for diseases like AIDS, leaving my fingerprint on medicine," said Hasan Tariq Khaldoon, 24, a pharmacy student in Mosul, in the north. "Now all these dreams have evaporated."