Monday, November 16, 2015

Yemeni Fulbrighter Engages University through Forum on the Middle East

Students engaging in after lecture Q&A
I am a current Yemeni Fulbright graduate student in the Department of Communications and Journalism at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with my academic advisor to develop and organize a cross-disciplinary colloquium series titled, “Islam and the Middle East after Arab Spring,” the first of its kind at UNM.
Professor Kassem discusses key events leading to the Arab Spring
I became involved with the colloquium because I was one of only two students in the department from the Middle East. My advisor and I thought that the lecture series would be an opportunity for me to share my first-hand knowledge, and also for the University of New Mexico community to learn about my region of the world.

The best aspects of organizing this event were getting more involved with the community of the UNM, contacting different people from the different schools, looking for speakers and announcing the lectures. Importantly, I had the opportunity to introduce the speakers before lectures, which offered me the chance to stress the importance of the series to the UNM community.  Eventually, seven speakers agreed to attend; all of them from different social, academic, ethnic and political backgrounds. All speakers adopted a variety of perspectives and held Q&A with both professors and students from the different colleges of the UNM.

Professor Gilboa discusses media coverage of the Middle East
Some Topics Covered:

-    Roots of failure: Failed states of the Middle East. Speaker: Dr. Sami Shakir.

-   The root causes for the Arab Spring. Speaker: Dr. Khaled Kassem

-    Western media coverage of the Middle East. Speaker: Prof. Eytan Gilboa

As a Fulbrighter, I was uniquely prepared to serve as organizer because I had the opportunity receive academic training at UNM. Importantly, being a Fulbrighter also allowed me to embrace the Fulbright spirit of engaging and exchanging with a new culture. Additionally, as a Middle Eastern student, it was important for me to organize the lecture series because I believed that the community of the UNM needs to hear and learn more about Middle Eastern issues and their impacts on regional and international politics.

Fatima studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and will complete her M.A. in Communication in 2016.

No comments:

Post a Comment