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Focus on Middle East/South Asia

December 12, 2005

What do Mohammad Bader, Marjan Baradar, and Zaher Wahab have in common? Each day, these expatriates from Palestine, Iran, and Afghanistan commute between two distinct cultural geographies: America and the Middle East. 

This spring, Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education launched a Middle East/South Asian conversation series featuring Bader, a Palestinian-American counselor; Baradar, an Iranian-American counselor; and Wahab, a professor of education at the graduate school and former senior adviser to the Minister of Higher Education in Afghanistan.

These conversations are designed to provide opportunities for teachers, counselors, graduate students, and the general public to connect directly with Portlanders of Middle Eastern and South Asian ancestry to discuss areas of interest or concern.

“We hope these conversations not only influence individual attitudes, but also suggest ways to change institutional policies and everyday practice in our schools, in our hospitals, and in our daily interactions as a community,” says Wahab. “Especially now after 9/11, Muslim Americans and the rest of the American population need to work together to attain mutual understanding, harmony, and a common notion of citizenship.”

This free series is sponsored by the graduate school’s new Oregon Center for Inquiry and Social Innovation (OCISI), a program committed to providing space, time, and opportunities for discussion of important social issues. 

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