CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Jan. 19, 2000
Arab-Israeli peace process facilitator to speak at UI Jan. 23
IOWA CITY, Iowa James J. Zogby, founder and president of the Arab
American Institute (AAI), will speak to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council
(ICFRC) Sunday, Jan. 23 at 4 p.m. in the International Center Lounge at the
University of Iowa. The theme of his speech will be "Is Syria Serious
about Peace Negotiations? And Where is the Middle East in the U.S. Presidential
The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.
Free parking will be available in the International Center upper lot at the
end of Ferson Avenue.
The AAI is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that serves as the political
and policy research arm of the Arab-American community. Since 1985 Zogby and
AAI have led Arab American efforts to secure political empowerment in the
United States. In this capacity, Zogby has also served as a bridge between
the U.S. Arab-American community and the Arab world as he has become one of
the most prominent resources on issues relating to the Middle East and U.S.
Zogby has played a direct role in facilitating the Arab-Israeli peace process.
In 1991, he wrote a Middle East peace proposal, which was endorsed by the
foreign ministers of Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestine Liberation
Organization. In 1993, following the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace
accord in Washington, he was asked by Vice President Al Gore to lead Builders
for Peace, a private sector committee to promote U.S. business investment
in the West Bank and Gaza. In his capacity as co-president of Builders, Zogby
frequently traveled to the Middle East with delegations led by Vice President
Gore and late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown.
In 1994, with former U.S. Congressman Mel Levine, his colleague as co-president
of Builders, Zogby led a U.S. delegation to the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian
agreement in Cairo. Zogby also chaired a forum on the Palestinian economy
at the Casablanca Economic Summit in 1994. Zogby also accompanied President
Clinton and his delegation for his historic trip to Gaza in December 1998.
A lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues, U.S.-Arab relations, and the
history of the Arab American community, Zogby appears frequently on television
and radio on matters relating to the Middle East. He has appeared as a regular
guest on all the major network news programs. He also hosts a popular weekly
call-in program, "A Capital View," on the Arab Network of America,
in both a televised and radio format. Zogby has also testified before U.S.
House and Senate committees, has been a guest speaker on a number of occasions
in the Secretary's Open Forum at the U.S. Department of State, has presented
papers at research centers across the Arab world and has addressed the United
Nations, the Arab League and other international forums.
Zogby is an accomplished and prolific writer on the Middle East. Since 1992,
Zogby has written a weekly column on U.S. politics for the major newspapers
of the Arab world, including Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (London/ international), Arab
News (Saudi Arabia), Al-Ahram (Egypt), Al-Qabas (Kuwait), and Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
His columns and articles have also appeared in major U.S. newspapers, including
The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Christian Science
Monitor. For the past two decades, Zogby has been involved with a full range
of organizations dealing with foreign policy. Zogby is a board member of Middle
East Watch and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The event is co-sponsored by UI International Programs, and additional support
comes from Hills Bank & Trust Co. For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM
(910) will carry this program on Tuesday Jan. 25 following the noon news.
The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community
and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy,
world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group
provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year
who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.
ICFRC is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices,
centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services.
Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs,
these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and
promote global scholarship, research and teaching.