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Maryville College hosts Mid East series

Rami Khouri, executive editor of the Beirut, Lebanon-based The Daily Star, will open Maryville College’s Fall 2006 Community Conversations Series Sept. 20 with a presentation entitled “What Has Broken Down?

The Perils and Promise of Communication between the Arab World, the Middle East, and the West.”

The event, which will take place at 7 p.m. in the Music Hall of the College’s Fine Arts Center, is the first of three “conversations” planned this semester to examine issues surrounding the crisis in the Middle East.

The series is being called “When East Meets West: The U.S. and the Middle East.”

As executive editor of the largest English-language newspaper published throughout the Middle East, Khouri conducts research and writes extensively on the range of roles Middle Eastern culture, politics and religion play worldwide.

He is a senior associate at the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflict at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a fellow of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs in Jerusalem.

Previously the editor-in-chief of The Jordan Times and writer for international publications such as The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post, Khouri was also general manager of Al Kutba Publishers in Amman for 18 years and continues to be a consultant for the Jordanian tourism ministry on biblical archaeological sites.

He is the author of “A View from the Arab World,” an internationally syndicated weekly political column at the Web site

Khouri has severed as a Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University and was appointed a member of the Brookings Institution Task Force on U.S. relations with the Islamic World.

On Oct. 17, Michaella Browers, assistant professor of political science at Wake Forest University, will present “Democracy Promotion in the Arab Region and its Discontents” in the Music Hall of the Fine Arts Center.

A political theorist by training, Browers writes of the modern history of Arab and Islamic political thought.

Her latest book is entitled “Democracy and Civil Society in Arab Political Thought: Transcultural Possibilities,” in which she argues against claims about a Muslim or Arab democracy gap by uncovering a varied debate taking place among Arab intellectuals from a broad range of ideological persuasions concerning democratic thinking.

She further concludes that the seeds of democratic political reform in the region were well planted prior to the U.S.-led war on Iraq and the Greater Middle East Initiative.

Photographer and former MC professor David Young will follow up the two lectures with a related talk, “A Photographer’s View of the Middle East,” scheduled for Nov. 7 in the Music Hall of the College’s Fine Arts Center.

A former staff photographer for the Presbyterian Church USA Office of Communications, Young has traveled in the Middle East five times since 2000. His photos capture the images of people and places throughout Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Egypt. He has published eight books, the most recent entitled Photo Conversations: Photographs That Look Back.

Community Conversations is conducted to facilitate conversations and discussions between members of the entire Maryville College community, citizens of Blount County and surrounding areas, College alumni and prospective students.

All events begin at 7 p.m. and are free of charge and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Maria Siopsis, chairperson of the Community Conversations Series committee, at 865.981.8163 or


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