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Syndicated Columnist Gives an Insider’s Perspective on Happenings in the Middle East

Posted Oct. 3, 2011

Recent Arab uprisings in the Middle East raise questions about the region’s stability and future. The editor-at-large for the Beirut-based Daily Star and internationally syndicated columnist and author, Rami Khouri will engage Cleveland-area audiences in a discussion and dialogue about those events when he gives two free, public talks as the guest speaker in the new series, sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle East Studies (NOUCMES).
 
Khouri is the newly formed consortium’s first speaker in a series of talks by intellectuals and promising young scholars from top research universities in the U.S. The speakers plan to address several themes: Muslim Voices and Publics, Women in the Muslim World and Muslim Societies in Transition.
 
The public has two opportunities to hear Khouri give two different talks: “Did we miss it? Journalism, Academic Research and the Arab Uprisings,” at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4, in Franklin Hall at Kent State University and “Understanding the Causes and Consequences of the World’s Newest Species-Free, Democratic and Sovereign Arabs,” at noon, Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Breen Center for the Performing Arts at St. Ignatius High School, 2008 W. 30th St., in Cleveland. The Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and College of Communication and Information are event partners for the speaker series. The Oct. 4 event is also supported by Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences.
 
Khouri, the director of the Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, is the son of Nazarene journalist George Khouri. The elder Khouri was covering the United Nations when his son was born in New York City in 1947.  Khouri has Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizenship.
 
Following in his father’s career path, Khouri launched his journalism career as a reporter for the Daily Star in 1971.  During the 1970s, he continued writing as a columnist for Middle East Sketch magazine and Middle East Money.  He became editor-in-chief, a position he held two times, for the Jordan Times.
 
Cleveland-area higher education institutions—Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Kent State University and Oberlin College—began to see a need for educational forums to understand the complicated issues affecting the Middle East and to understand the cultural, economic, political and social influences that interplay in the dynamics of its problems and solutions.
 
The consortium leaders include: Pete W. Moore, Department of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University; Neda A. Zawahri, Department of Political Science Cleveland State University; Joshua Stacher, Department of Political Science, Kent State University; and Zeinab Abul-Magd, Department of History, Oberlin College.
 
With financial support from the Social Science Research Council, and in partnership with Civic Commons, Ideastream and the City Club of Cleveland, NOUCMES will host Khouri and other speakers in a series of public addresses and community discussion events titled, “New Perspectives on Muslim and Middle Eastern Societies.”  
 
Registration is required for both events. Click here to register for the Kent State talk. For the City Club of Cleveland forum at St. Ignatius High School, click here to register.