Campus News

UK Forum To Focus on Egypt, Tunisia

To view a transcript of the video, click the attachment below the photo viewer. Video by Natalie Baxter/UK College of Arts and Sciences.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2011)The ripening and ever-changing democratic movements in the Middle East have taken the world by storm with their speed and resilience.

This rapid change in areas such as Egypt and Tunisia have raised questions throughout the University of Kentucky campus: Who are the protesters and what are their grievances? Why are different segments of the population coming together? What are the economic impacts on individuals and the society?

UK faculty, staff, students and community members will come together to discuss these issues, in a thought-provoking forum, entitled "Democracy in the Middle East: Focus on Egypt and Tunisia" from 4-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16 in the Student Center Theater on UK's campus.

A panel of faculty and students will discuss current events in Egypt and Tunisia, according to organizer Karen Slaymaker. "Our panel will be placing these events in an historical context," she said. "This general knowledge is important in the development of global citizens at UK."

Panelists include UK sociology professor Patricia Ahmed; Patterson School Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Stacy Closson; Ahmed Ibrahim, a graduate student from Cairo who came to UK to work on his doctorate in computer science; and undergraduate Amina Dhahri, a native of Tunisia. The panel will be chaired by former Lexington mayor Teresa Isaac.

The campus-wide educational dialogue will be similar to UK's forum on Haiti last winter.

"As we try to focus on the underlying historical and cultural factors beneath the current circumstances in areas of the world like Egypt and Tunisia, this is a good time to learn more about these areas of the world," said Susan Carvalho, Associate Provost for International Programs. "Besides reaching our students, we have the added advantage of helping people in the community learn something beyond the surface, which is part of our mission at UK."

Forum sponsors include UK's Office of International Affairs, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and International Studies Program.

For more information on the forum, please contact Slaymaker at (859) 257- 4067 ext. 239  or