Fairfield University sponsors programs on Arab-American Life and Culture


A poetry reading, lecture on civil rights, concert and film screening are all part of "The Arab-American Experience," a series of events sponsored by Fairfield University's Humanities Institute this fall. All four events are free and open to the public.

D.H. MelhemOn Thursday, Sept. 18, poets D.H. Melhem, Ph.D., and Nathalie Handal will read their own poetry as well as works from earlier Arab-American writers such as Khalil Gibran and Mikhail Nuaymah. The daughter of Lebanese immigrants, Dr. Melhem is the author of several books of poetry and literary criticism and is the vice president of the International Women's Writing Guild. Ms. Handal, who teaches at Hunter College, is the director of the Summer Literary Seminars in the Dominican Republic and chair of the Pushkin Society in London. She has produced two books and a CD of her poetry.

On Thursday, Oct. 2, civil liberties Attorney Abdeen Jabara, founder and past president of the Association of Arab American University Graduates, will speak on the civil rights of Arabs, Arab-Americans and Muslims since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Jabara has been involved in many high profile cases affecting civil rights and government surveillance in New York and Michigan.

acclaimed musicianInternationally acclaimed musician Simon Shaheen and members of the Qantara Ensemble will offer a concert of traditional Arab and fusion music on Thursday, Oct. 16. Mr. Shaheen performs throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East and has recorded many albums, including the recent "Blue Flame." His music can be heard on the soundtrack of the films, "The Sheltering Sky" and "Malcolm X."

The final event is a screening of the film "Caught in the Crossfire" on Thursday, Nov. 13. Produced and directed by Brad Liechtenstein, who will lead a post-screening discussion, the film examines how the lives of three Arab-American New Yorkers were changed by the September 11 attacks.

All programs will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Oak Room of the Barone Campus Center at Fairfield University. For more information, call Dr. Ralph Coury, professor of history, at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2110. Media inquiries should be made to Nancy Habetz, Fairfield University's director of media relations, at (203) 254-4190.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 27, 2003

Vol. 36, No. 32