CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq - The Al-Aziziyah school held a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 27 in the province of Wasit, Iraq. It was attended by the Wasit Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), Brig. Gen. Stephen Sanders, the U.S. Division - South and 36th Inf. Div. deputy commander for support, as well as local officials from the city itself, eager to show their support for the completion of the project.

"This is a symbol of all the projects the PRT has accomplished in Wasit," said Samuel Madsen, Wasit PRT team leader. Madsen was one of the guest speakers at the ceremony, held in the main hall of the school. The hall was packed full of students and faculty excited to show off their new school to the visitors.

"The PRT invested over 300 million Iraqi Dinars in refurbishing this school," Madsen continued. "This school is a gift from the American people to the people of Wasit."
After the guest speakers finished praising the work done to get the school operational, Iraqis and Americans stood side-by-side, scissors in hand, to cut the ceremonial ribbon.

The ribbon-cutting was followed by a brief tour of the school. Afterwards the visitors were brought back to the main hall where the PRT presented 400 backpacks full of school supplies to be given to the students.

"This accomplishment is a symbol of the cooperation between the American and the Iraqi government," said Sanders during his remarks. He also spoke of how the Iraqi Security Forces' role in civil projects has helped provide a more stable environment. "The future of Iraq is dependent on the education and well being of the children," he said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16