Baghdad, Iraq, Feb 1, 2011 / 16:26 pm
An archbishop in Iraq is calling plans for a new Catholic hospital and university in the country “symbols of hope” in an area rife with tension and violence.
Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil in northern Iraq announced to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that the two building projects – planned for Ankawa, a suburb of the Kurdish capital, Erbil – passed a critical phase on Jan. 31 when the regional government granted land for the structures.
A 322,917 square-foot site has been allocated for the university and is near a 86,111-square-foot plot intended for the 100-bed hospital which will have eight operating rooms and a medical wing.
Archbishop Warda said in a Feb. 1 interview that a fundraising campaign was necessary before the building work could begin. He expressed hope that the the two institutions would open within the next couple years.