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An automobile accident in England has forced the postponement of a signing ceremony in Norfolk for an exchange agreement between Old Dominion University and Salahaddin University in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Mohammad Sadik, president of Salahaddin, had been scheduled to visit the ODU campus July 24-26 and sign an International Memorandum of Understanding (IMOU) together with the ODU president, Roseann Runte.

But Moskov Amarian, the ODU associate professor of physics who has been working on the agreement for 18 months, was notified late Wednesday that Sadik was injured in a car accident in England, where he had stopped en route from Iraq to the United States. The president, according to a spokesman, suffered a broken arm and required hospital treatment.

Sadik decided to return to Iraq and cancel the visit to this country, which also was to include stops in Washington and Boston.

The IMOU, which will be executed at a later date, will allow faculty and student exchanges involving all academic areas. But Amarian said his chief goal is to attract physics graduate students from Iraq to study at ODU and do research, as Amarian does, at the Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) in nearby Newport News.

Amarian was a nuclear scientist in the old Soviet Union, and he worked at research facilities in Europe before joining the ODU Experimental Nuclear Physics Group in 2004.

This article was posted on: July 20, 2006

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