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“Quest for Democracy in the Middle East: Turmoil and Triumph”

Quest DemocracyOn April 18, 2011, a panel of five speakers (two Egyptians, one Palestinian, one Libyan, and one Iranian) discussed recent and ongoing events in the struggle for democracy in Northern Africa and the Middle East. The guest lecturers were Dr. Mohamed Aboul-Ela of Egypt, Dr. Mohamed Sabbahi of Egypt, Dr. Mahmoud Sadri of Iran, Dr. Emile Sahliyeh of Palestine, and Khairiya Tekbali of Libya.  Their knowledge of the political and socio-economic influences in these areas spans seven decades.  Their personal experiences and connections, as well as first-hand involvement, brought depth and meaning to the conversation.  For more information about the current turmoil’s and triumphs in the Middle East’s quest for democracy access the TWU library website: http://www.twu.edu/library/

“Reforming Islamic Societies: Prospects and Pitfalls”

Reforming Islamic SocietiesDr. Abdulkarim Soroush, one of the world’s most prominent Islamic scholars, gave a presentation entitled “Reforming Islamic Societies: Prospects and Pitfalls” at the College of Arts and Sciences Public Affairs Forum, also sponsored by TWU’s Global Connections Initiative, on Tuesday, November 16, 2010.  Named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2005, Dr. Soroush is the director of the Institute for Epistemological Research in Tehran and a former senior fellow of Iran’s Academy of Sciences. In 2008, he was a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.  He also has held regular visiting professorships at Princeton, Yale and Harvard universities and at the University of Amsterdam.  More on Reforming Islamic Societies...

"Politics of Islam: Searching for Common Ground"

Politics of IslamDr. Mohsen Kadivar, Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University, presented “Politics of Islam:  Searching for Common Ground” for the Spring College of Arts and Sciences Public Affairs Forum on Thursday, February 11, 1010.  His presentation compared and contrasted competing perspectives on the nature of religiosity, the role of Islam as a “public religion,”  and the relationship between private sphere, civil society, and politics from an Islamic point of view.   His presentation challenged both the traditional authoritarian view of Islam in Muslim countries and the stereotypical view of Islam in the West.  More on Politics of Islam...

“Eagle and Dragon: Evolving Trade Relations between China and the U.S.”

Eagle and DragonCollege of Arts and Sciences Public Affairs Forum “Eagle and Dragon: Evolving Trade Relations between China and the U.S.” took place on Tuesday, March 25, 2008.  Three distinguished guest speakers were in attendance: Director Yao, Consulate General People’s Republic of China, Houston, Mr. James Chen, Executive Regional Director – Asia/Pacific, Office of the Governor, Economic Development, Austin, and Dr. Anil Kumar, Senior Economist, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.  Director Yao discussed the U.S.-China relations from cultural and business perspectives.  Mr. Chen gave a presentation about the China – Texas trade relations.  Dr. Amil spoke about the relationship between China and the U.S. from the Federal government policy perspective. 

For decades, U.S. and China have recognized the importance of maintaining economic and political ties.  Most analysts have characterized present Sino-American relations as complex and multifaceted.  Yet, many states’ business communities, including Texas have been showing a strong and enduring business interest in China.  The Summer Olympic Games were held in Beijing, China in 2008 and the World Expo will be held in Shanghai in 2010.  The Public Affairs event will help gain insight into the U.S. and China trade relations and at the same time, the event will play a role in broadening our horizons from the global perspective.  More on Eagle and Dragon...

“The Iran-American Conflict: in Historical Comparative Perspective”

Iran-American ConflictThe escalation of tensions between Iran and the United States were viewed in historical context during a public affairs forum presented by the Texas Woman’s University College of Arts and Sciences.  The forum took place on November 13, 2007 and featured speaker Dr. Mahmoud Sadri, professor of sociology at TWU.  Dr. Sadri provided perspectives of political theory, sociology and history in exploring the roots of the conflict, the prospects of de-escalation of hostilities and scenarios for diplomatic engagement. More on The Iran-American Conflict...

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