As the world watches the political crisis in Egypt take a violent turn, Stetson University has scheduled a faculty panel discussion for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, to explore the volatile situation in the Middle East, its meaning for America, and the future of relations between the United States and the Arab world.
Interweaving personal narratives and academic discussion, the faculty panelists from history, political science, computer science and English will examine the unfolding revolution in Egypt in its historical context and in relation to its significance to both the future of democratic governance in the Arab world and to the balance of global power.
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The discussion, “The Egyptian Revolution and the Future of American-Arab Relations,” is free and open to the public and will include a Q&A. It will be held in the Stetson Room of the Carlton Union Building, 131 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand.
Panelists and the topics they plan to cover include:
Dr. Hala ElAarag, associate professor of computer science, will talk about her personal experiences growing up in Egypt and reflect on the meaning of the civil unrest that is wreaking havoc on Egypt’s cultural heritage.
Dr. Margaret Venzke, associate professor of Middle Eastern history, will offer insights on the Mubarak regime and its value to the United States, the prospects for a transition that the United States can live with, and the implications of a more representative government on Egypt’s role in the Middle East.
Dr. Eugene Huskey, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Political Science at Stetson, will discuss the revolution in Egypt in a global context, drawing parallels between what is happening there now and what happened in the former USSR, and will talk in broad terms about the challenges that nations face in their transition from authoritarianism to democratic rule.
Dr. Jamil Khader, associate professor of English and co-chair of the Diversity Council at Stetson, will examine the role of the so-called Facebook revolution in mobilizing people and will discuss the reasons as to the failure of the current revolution to accomplish its goals within the same short period of time it took the revolution in Tunisia to bring the regime to an end.
This panel is sponsored by the Diversity Council and will be moderated by Khader.