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2013.04.10 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

National Experts to Speak at UNO Arab Spring Workshop April 13, 14

Omaha - On Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will host an “Arab Spring” workshop featuring Middle East experts from around the country, including the University of Oklahoma’s Joshua Landis, a top expert on the current issues in Syria.

This year’s workshop is titled “Minorities, Media, and Democratization” and will feature a keynote address on April 14 from Landis, who has appeared as Middle East analyst on news stations including PBS, CNN, Fox News, NPR and the BBC.

Events begin at 5 p.m. on April 13 and admission is free. All events take place in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) Collaborating Commons, Room 132, on UNO's Dodge Campus.

“Bringing in Joshua Landis to speak about Syria is a real coup,” says Moshe Gershovich, director of the Middle East Project Fund and the Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies, two of the sponsoring organizations for the event. “Everyone who closely follows what is happening in Syria knows Dr. Landis.”

This year’s workshop is a follow up of last year’s inaugural workshop, expanding the 2012 program to include a diverse range of scholars from across the country

“Last year we brought together primarily local experts from Nebraska and neighboring states to discuss what is going on in North Africa and the Middle East,” said Curtis Hutt, special projects coordinator for the Middle East Project Fund and Schwalb Center. “We decided to go all out this year. Not only do we want to strengthen the academic connections made, but we also seek to put the University of Nebraska at Omaha on the map for Middle Eastern studies.”

A full list of participating universities include UNO, UNL, Creighton University, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, the University of Colorado, the University of Oklahoma, University of Denver, Wichita State University, and Illinois State University.

In addition to the Schwalb Center and Middle East Project fund, the workshop is sponsored by UNO’s International Studies and Programs, UNO’s College of Arts and Sciences, the UNO Department of History, UNO Department of Political Science, UNO Religious Studies Program and UNO Islamic Studies Program.

The primary donor for the workshop is Charles Mikhail, honorary president of the Middle East Project Fund and an attorney-at-law from Biloxi, Miss. Mikhail originally comes from Ramallah, in the Palestinian West Bank.

"Charles' generosity has made it possible for us to do this,” says Gershovich. “UNO and the city of Omaha should be very thankful for his continued generosity which enables us to organize high-quality academic events like this.”

A full schedule of events and locations for the workshop can be found at http://www.unomaha.edu/history/arabspring2.php.

For further information on the workshop, call the Middle East Project Fund at 402.554.3175 or email mgershovich@unomaha.edu, or chutt@unomaha.edu.

For media requests, contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or by email at cdreed@unomaha.edu.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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