Egypt hot topic on campus, in lecture

January 31, 2013 6:00 AMComments Off

Photo by Emily Sadecki

Not only is Egypt all the buzz in the news lately, but also has become a presence on Drake’s campus as Arabic books have found their way into many backpacks and the student stories from their ventures to the country itself are shared. This week brings another opportunity for students to gain insight on the complex country.

Nathan J. Brown teaches political science and international affairs at George Washington University, and will be the first guest of The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship at Drake University Spring 2013 Speaker and Film Series.

The first of the two is on Thursday at 3 p.m. in Cartwright Hall room 213 covering “Islam and Constitutionalism in Egypt’s New Constitution.” The second is in Sussman Theater from 7-8 p.m. on Friday titled “Can Egypt’s Revolution Survive its Constitution?”

Mahmoud Hamad, a politics professor, has led several groups of students to Egypt in the past.

“Brown is probably the foremost US and western expert on Egypt,” Hamad said. “Our focus this spring is Egypt because it is home to some of the most important political events going on in the past two years.”

“It is quite a privilege to have him (Nathan Brown) come share his views with us about Egypt at a time when Egypt is in turmoil,” said David Skidmore, director of the Center for Global Citizenship, “the main focus of Professor Brown’s talks will be on how the new constitution will structure political life in Egypt.”

The emphasis on the Middle East is something Hamad thinks will continue to grow.

“We have (a) growing number of students wanting to learn Arabic and traveling to the Middle East. Last year I led the largest group ever overseas to Egypt. We are also working on a partnership with Cairo University,” Hamad said. The partnership with Cairo would allow students to spend a semester or a year abroad instead of a single course.

These events are the first of many this semester.

“The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship sponsors roughly between 30 and 40 events per year,” Skidmore said. Future topics include everything from medication safety in China to a panel discussion on trade, globalization and development.

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