Ref NoRMB/11
TitleOral history interview with Professor Ghazi Derwish on 14 October 2015
Date14 October 2015
Extent3 wav files and 1 transcript
Name of CreatorUniversity of Surrey, Alumni and Development Department
Redrup, Kate
Derwish, Ghazi
DescriptionInterview conducted by Kate Redrup.

Part One
00:00-01:20: Introduction; Chemistry; doctoral degree in Physical Chemistry, under supervisor Professor V S Griffiths, Vice Chancellor

01:20-04:20: Why Battersea? Secondary school in Bagdad; scholarship from Iraqi government to study in UK; O-levels and A-levels at Croydon Polytechnic; enjoyed being in London; applied to London colleges; Battersea first choice; group of Iraqi students in Battersea; met principal Dr West on arrival, and Mr Arrowsmith, editor of Polyfocus; Head of Chemistry, Dr Gauss [Goss?].

04:20-05:48: Scholarship, fully paid; allowance for books and clothes; rented room with family, Thornton Heath

05:50: End

Part Two
00:00-00:26: Introduction

00:26-02:50: Impressions of Battersea: describes events in Battersea Park; historic architecture of Battersea Main Building; Edwin Tate Library; canteen; hotel and catering course restaurant

02:50-16:15: Subject: Contrast to teaching in Iraq; Professor Kenyon, chemical reaction named after him; Arthur Gauze; Dr Salman; Dr Arcus, Organic Chemistry; Griffiths, Lee, Dr Reid; new spectroscopy laboratory; organotin compounds; chemistry essay competition; large class sizes; Polish students; Pole lecturer Earnest taught German for chemists; Professor Ingall; Professor Hughes; The Chemical Society; Dr Salmon; International Evenings at Battersea, belly dancer

16:15-18:29: Students' Union: Edited students' magazine, Polyfocus; checked through by Howard Smith

18:29-23:56: Studying at Battersea: practical side of course in laboratories; up to date equipment; fume hoods; no protective goggles; describes experiments which went wrong

23:56-27:40: Work Placements: Brixton technical institute for construction workers; laboratory supervisor; Isle of Grain oil refinery, Thames; invited to join faculty after course, but returned to Iraq; recalls graduation at Royal Albert Hall, with Queen Mother.

27:40-32:39: After graduation: employment at University of Bagdad 1959-1992 in physical chemistry; visits from Battersea professors, Dr Lee and Dr John Jons; Dr Lee rode motorcycle to campus

32:39-37:54: Battersea highlights: student life; belonging; acceptance of foreign students; Croydon Polytechnic English teacher, Mr John Reagan, very encouraging; chose to live away from other Iraqi students to improve English; train into London, theatre, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap; Lyon's Corner House; Natural History Museum, British Museum

37:54-45:27: Battersea facilities: University of London Motor Club; rowing; Oxbridge University Boat Race in April 1952; played sports on Saturdays, had practicals on Wednesday afternoons; food in rented accommodation; mentions The Refectory; describes finances; visited Indian restaurant in London, Kohinoor, £4 for dinner; recalls family visit

45:27-52:35: Socialising: consideration of accent; transport on train; dancing lessons

52:35-55:57: Visiting professor; most of family now live in UK; met Dr Jon Johns in 2002; Dr Adel Sharif, Centre for Osmosis Research

55:57: End

Part Three
00:00-15:37: Social clubs: Iraqi lute player; dabke arabic dance; comedy sketches on stage; international evening; RAG week, 10 Downing Street; union at Birkbeck College; Iraqi Students Society; demonstration outside Iraqi embassy, passports withdrawn; travel with Students' Union to Europe; fall of Iraqi monarchy

15:37: End
Administrative HistoryProfessor Ghazi Derwish graduated from his first degree in Chemistry in 1956; PhD in Physical Chemistry gained in 1959.
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