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Mercer Welcomes Scholar to Campus to Help Raise Understanding of Islamic World

August 28, 2008

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

Events Contact:
(478) 301-4037

MACON — Mercer University is hosting a Fulbright Scholar over the coming weeks as part of its efforts to foster a greater understanding of the Muslim world, both inside and outside the University. The scholar will also help the University to infuse its curriculum with a greater emphasis on, and understanding of, the Muslim world.

Pakinam El Sharkawy, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science at Cairo University and expert on Islam and the Middle East, is visiting the University for five weeks through a grant from the Fulbright Visiting Specialists Program. In her time on campus, Dr. El Sharkawy will share her perspectives on the Middle East and the Muslim world with students, faculty and the public. Dr. El Sharkawy holds a Ph.D. in comparative politics and development from Cairo University and has written and lectured extensively on a range of critical issues, including: democracy and Islam, the Iranian revolution, politics in Turkey, Egypt’s struggle with Islamism and the causes and conflicts of Islamic movements.

“Dr. El Sharkawy is a prominent scholar in her home country of Egypt and is an expert on a number of critical issues facing the international community right now,” said Eimad Houry, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science and director of Mercer’s International Affairs program. “In addition, she has so much to share in terms of experiences and perspectives about this very complex and diverse region and religion. We hope that her visit will increase understanding and respect within the Mercer and Middle Georgia communities for the Muslim world.”

Dr. El Sharkawy will deliver a keynote address, titled “Democracy in the Muslim World,” at 7 p.m. on Sept. 4 in the Presidents Dining Room of the University Center on Mercer’s Macon campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. El Sharkawy’s events include:

Abraham Salon: An Interfaith Dialogue
3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 2
University Commons Classroom
Macon Campus

Mercer Chapel Service
“Building Bridges: Tolerance in Diverse Religious Communities”
10 a.m., Wednesday Sept. 3
Newton Chapel
Macon Campus

Keynote Address
“Democracy in the Muslim World”
7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4
Presidents Dining Room, University Center
Macon Campus

“Arab-Israeli Conflict.”
10 a.m., Monday, Sept. 8
Conference Room No. 218, Langdale Hall
Macon Campus

“Diversity and Free Speech in Islam”
7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 8,
Henry County Regional Academic Center

“Causes and Implications of Iran’s Nuclear Program”
10 a.m., Monday, Sept. 15
Conference Room No. 218, Langdale Hall
Macon Campus

Abraham Salon: An Interfaith Dialogue
3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 16
University Commons Classroom
Macon Campus

Movie night and discussion
“Children of Heaven”
6 p.m., Wednesday Sept. 17
Location to be announced

About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has more than 7,500 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; three regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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