|Public Affairs - Press Release|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 4, 2005
MUW International Series focuses on Middle East
By Jill D. O’Bryant
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Mississippi University for Women will continue its International Series on the Middle East during the spring semester with a special lecture, a lunchtime lecture series and a film series in an effort to educate people about this area of the world.
“The series is intended to foster international education and understanding, as well as an awareness of international issues and other cultures and nations,” said Dr. Thomas Velek, International Series director and associate professor of history. “This is a vital part of the mission of any institution of higher learning in the 21st century.”
In the past, the series has focused on regions such as Latin America and Africa, as well as specific countries such as France and Germany.
“The Middle East was chosen because of the current interest in the region and important events and issues associated with the region,” he said.
Werner Fornos, president of Population Institute and United Nations representative of the International Council on the Management of Population Programs, will give a special lecture on March 1, 6 p.m., in Painter Hall room 113. He will speak on the topic of “Population, Natural Resources, and Conflict in the Middle East.”
Fornos, president of Population Institute since 1982, has addressed almost every major international population forum since the 1974 World Population Conference in Bucharest.
Author of “Gaining People; Losing Ground,” he has received many awards, including the 2003 United Nations Population Award, the Humanist of the Year Award and an Order of Merit from Germany, the highest distinction granted to a non-German citizen in recognition of humanitarian efforts.
Three lunchtime lectures are scheduled for the spring semester. They are held the third Wednesday of the month at noon in Painter Hall room 113. Those attending are free to bring a lunch.
The first lecture, “Lessons from the Middle East: The Status of Women’s Education in the United Arab Emirates,” is scheduled for Feb. 16 with Dr. Deborah Bailey, assistant professor of family studies, and Dr. Anne Balazs, head of the Division of Business and Communication and professor of marketing, leading the discussion.
A roundtable discussion on “Iraq Two Years Later” will be held March 16 with Dr. Brian Anderson, associate professor of political science, and Marco Obaid, network administrator.
Set for April 20, Velek will give a lecture titled “The Holocaust and the Foundation of the Israeli State.”
Velek hopes the series will be fun and entertaining as well as thought provoking.
“Some of the movies are just wonderful stories and excellent films,” he said. “We often hear of the Middle East from news stories that focus our attention on a big news issue – terrorism, Iran is trying to
get a nuclear weapon, etc. Many of the lectures and movies bring a new perspective to the region, a new face.
“They help us understand the depth and richness of the region and its people. This helps us make better decisions about those big issues.”
Four films are scheduled for the spring semester film series, which is financially assisted by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Mississippi Humanities Council.
“Kippur” will be shown Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. in Painter Hall room 201C with Dr. Ken Vickers, assistant professor of history, giving the introduction.
A special screening of “Noam Chomsky - Distorted Morality: America’s War on Terror?” will be shown in Nissan Auditorium on March 10, 6 p.m. This film is presented in cooperation with the MUW Honors College.
“Control Room” with the introduction by Dr. Michael Longton, associate professor of Spanish, is set for March 11, 6 p.m., in Hooper Auditorium.
The final film in the series is “Marooned in Iraq.” It will be shown April 14, 6 p.m., at the Columbus Arts Council in downtown Columbus with Dr. Will Glass, professor of history, giving the introduction.
All events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Velek at 662-329-7386 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The International Series website is www2.muw.edu/~tvelek/Int_Series.html
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