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International and national experts to discuss peace, democracy in the Middle East at Loyola

September 27, 2013

With plenty to fuel the discussion on the future of peace and democracy in the Middle East—including potential U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war, recent bloody events in Egypt and Iran’s last presidential election—leading experts in the fields of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies will hold a crucial roundtable and Q-and-A discussion at Loyola University New Orleans Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.

The free, public event is set for Nunemaker Auditorium on the third floor of Monroe Hall located on Loyola’s main campus. Parking is available in the West Road Garage accessible from St. Charles Avenue. A public reception will follow the event at 9 p.m. in the Collins C. Diboll Art Gallery, located in Loyola’s nationally recognized J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library.

“This exciting roundtable brings together leading experts in Middle Eastern studies circles, offering an unparalleled look into the major topics of peace-building and democratization in the Middle East,” said Loyola associate professor of history Behrooz Moazami, Ph.D., who leads the university’s Middle East Peace Studies interdisciplinary minor program.

The international and national experts are also participating in the 47th annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association in New Orleans Oct. 10-13.

Some of the panelists for the “Future of Peace and Democracy in the Middle East” roundtable include:

  • Touraj Atabaki is chair of Social History of the Middle East and Central Asia at Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands. Atabaki also heads the Middle East and Central Asia Desk at the International Institute of Social History.
  • Charles Kurzman is co-director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations and sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi is a history professor in the Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Department at the University of Toronto-Mississauga. Tavakoli-Targhi chairs the university’s Department of Historical Studies and is a past president of The International Society for Iranian Studies.
  • John O. Voll is associate director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. He is also an Islamic history professor at Georgetown and is a past president of the Middle East Studies Association, as well as the New England Historical Association.

Moazami will open the roundtable, and Voll will moderate and chair the session. Please contact Mikel Pak, associate director of public affairs at Loyola, at 504-861-5448 to set up media interviews.

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