Middle Eastern Scholar to Speak on Arab-Israeli Peace

UA News Services
Oct. 1, 2003

Is peace in the Middle East still possible? Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, will address this timely issue in a lecture as part of the UApresents Peace and Reconciliation Series.

The free lecture, "Is Arab-Israeli Peace Still Possible?" will be held Thursday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall, located at 1020 East University Blvd.

The event is free and open to the public. UApresents is jointly sponsoring this lecture with the UA Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the UA Committee on Judaic Studies. The UApresents series is season-long look at worldwide perceptions of culture, politics and spirituality. Peggy Mellon Hitchcock sponsors the series.

Telhami is renowned as an educator and impartial author on international politics and Middle Eastern affairs. "I have always believed that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential for public policy," writes Telhami. "It is possible to affect public policy without being an advocate, to be passionate about peace without losing analytical rigor, to be moved by what is just while conceding that no one has a monopoly on justice."

His unbiased views on the Middle East echo the experiences of his childhood. Born in an Arab village near the city of Haifa shortly after the creation of the Israeli state, Telhami grew up in a family where he was taught not to differentiate between people based on their identities. His father was the muhktar, or "mayor," of the village and was highly respected for his fairness. The Telhamis were of the Christian faith, and Telhami reminisces that had both Arab and Jewish friends as a child. As the conflict over the Israeli/Palestinian state increased, he recalls being moved by a sense of egalitarianism. He applied this experience to his education in political science at Queens College in New York and at the University of California at Berkeley, where he received his doctorate.

Telhami's books include "Power and Leadership in International Bargaining: The Path to the Camp David Accords" and "The Stakes: America and the Middle East." His recent articles and lectures on the war in Iraq and the Middle East peace processes have appeared on C-SPAN, in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post, as well as in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas.

A non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Telhami also is active in the foreign policy arena. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the board of directors for Human Rights Watch. During the first Gulf War he served as an adviser to the United States delegation to the United Nations.


Resources for the media