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November 8, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU examines Mid-East promises, perils

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Marwa Maziad, a doctoral candidate in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and a specialist in Middle East media and politics, will be among the panelists when Slippery Rock University's Center for Middle East Studies presents "Promises and Perils: Perspectives on Social Chance in the Middle East" Nov. 11.

The 7 p.m. panel in the Advanced Technology and Science Hall also includes: Eric Tuten, SRU assistant professor of history; Abbas Noorbakhsh, a professor in SRU's School of Business; and Daniel McIntosh, SRU assistant professor of political science.

Maziad, earned her bachelor of arts degree at the American University in Cairo and her master's degree at the University of Washington. She is a Middle East specialist and op-ed writer for Almasry Alyoum, Egypt's leading daily independent newspaper.

She has 10 years experience teaching and lecturing internationally in higher education institutions in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, on topics pertaining to international relations and intercultural political communication.

She has held academic positions as a faculty member of Qatar University's department of social sciences as well as Northwestern University in Qatar's Journalism Program.

A photojournalist by training, Maziad has produced two documentary films; "Conversation 1: American Perceptions of the War on Iraq" (2003) and "USA-SA: A Dialogue between American and South African Women" (2004) that address common challenges and opportunities facing women in both countries and beyond

She is fluent in Arabic, English, French, Turkish and Hebrew.

The SRU panel will deal with the so-called "Arab Spring," which fostered global interest in the region.

"More recent events in countries such as Egypt and Syria complicate notions of easy change and the 'victory' of democracy, while tentative interactions between the U.S. and the new President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, indicate that positive change may occur," said Aksel Casson, instructor in SRU's department of professional studies and interdisciplinary programs and program organizer.

"Because circumstances in the Middle East vary so widely, and so quickly, it is important that we make ongoing efforts to remain informed," he said. "And because ignorance and/or bias remain part of a post-9/11 world, it is even more important that we deconstruct prejudices. Our program, a panel discussion about social change in the Middle East, is designed to educate and inform the campus community, and it addresses three University Outcomes: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Social Awareness and Civic Responsibility; and Global Interdependence." he said.

The free program is sponsored by the President's Commission on Race and Ethnic Diversity, SRU's departments of professional studies and interdisciplinary studies, philosophy, political science, history, the SRU Women's Studies Program and the International Arts and Cultures Series.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.