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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 13, 2007

Arab American Institute founder to open international lecture series

James Zogby (photo, left), founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI) in Washington, D.C., will present "The Mess We're In: How U.S. Leaders Have Failed Us in the Middle East and What You Can Do" at the first International Mondays lecture of the 2007-08 academic year. Zogby will speak from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library. Refreshments will be served, and the lecture is free and open to the public.

Under Zogby's leadership, AAI has served as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community since 1985. For the past three decades, Zogby has been involved in a range of Arab American issues. He was a co-founder of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and Save Lebanon, a private non-profit, humanitarian relief organization. Following the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord in Washington, he was asked by then U.S. vice president Al Gore to serve as co-president of Builders for Peace, a private sector committee to promote U.S. business investment in the West Bank and Gaza.

Since 1992, Zogby has written a weekly column on U.S. politics, "Washington Watch," for the major newspapers of the Arab world and hosts a weekly current affairs television program "Viewpoint" carried in the U.S. on Link TV and MHz Networks, and in the Middle East on Abu Dhabi TV. He is the author of "What Ethnic Americans Really Think" and "What Arabs Think: Values, Beliefs and Concerns." He currently serves on the national advisory board of the American Civil Liberties Union, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Zogby received his doctorate in 1975 from Temple University's Department of Religion, where he studied under the Islamic scholar Ismail al-Faruqi. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Fellow at Princeton University in 1976, and on several occasions was awarded grants for research and writing by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Defense Education Act and the Mellon Foundation. Zogby received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.

UI International Programs, the Stanley-UI Support Foundation and the Iowa City Public Library are sponsoring this International Mondays panel.

For more information on this lecture, the International Mondays lecture series or special accommodations to attend, contact Buffy Quintero, International Programs outreach coordinator, at 319-335-0345 or

Additional International Mondays lectures for the fall semester include:

--Oct. 1: Susan Birrell, professor in the UI Department of Exercise Science, will present "Imperial Everest."

--Oct. 8: Zachary Rogers, UI undergraduate pursuing a double major in human rights in international studies and French literature, will present "Peace and Conflict in the Lake Victoria Region: Analyzing Uganda and Rwanda."

--Oct. 15: Philip Nelson, 2007 World Food Prize Laureate, will present "Globalization and Food: The Role of Technology in Expanded World Food Trade." This lecture is in conjunction with the UI Center for Human Rights' Careers for Change series.

--Oct. 22: Michel Gobat, associate professor in the UI Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will present "The Forgotten U.S. Empire in Central America, 1855-57."

The last four International Mondays lectures will be held in conjunction with UI history professor David Schoenbaum's course, "U.S. and the World," and will be held from 11 to 11:50 a.m. and noon to 1:20 p.m. at the Englert Theater in downtown Iowa City.

--Oct. 29: Robert Pastor of the Center for North American Studies at American University in Washington, D.C., and former National Security Council staff, will present "The Hemisphere."

--Nov. 5: Arvind Dandekar of Fastek, based in Cedar Rapids and London, and Carl Czarnik of Gerdau AmeriSteel, with operations in Wilton, Iowa, and Canoas, Brazil, will present "Local Economy and Global Economy."

--Nov. 12: Frank Cownie, mayor of Des Moines, and Peter W. Soverel with the Wild Salmon Center and former White House and NATO staff member, will present "Energy and the Environment as Foreign Policy."

--Nov. 26: Mary Gilchrist of the Massachusetts State Laboratory Institute and former director of the UI Hygienic Lab and Michael Schoenbaum with the National Institute of Health and former RAND Palestine Project will present "Public Health as Foreign Policy."

International Programs enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university Constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Buffy Quintero, International Programs, 319-335-0345,; or Kelli Andresen, International Programs, 319-335-2026,; or Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,