Kennesaw State kicks off “Year of the Arabian Peninsula”


Exhibit on Arab-Americans in service to the U.S. launches yearlong study    

KENNESAW, Ga.  (August 20, 2014) — A newly installed exhibit titled “Patriots and Peacemakers: Arab Americans in Service to our Country” marks the beginning of the “Year of the Arabian Peninsula,” Kennesaw State University’s 31st annual study of a country or region of the world.

The multimedia exhibit, produced by the Arab American National Museum courtesy of the Alif Institute, features images, narratives and artifacts depicting the participation of Arab Americans in the U.S. armed services, diplomatic service and the Peace Corps. It is on display in the Atrium of Kennesaw State’s Social Sciences Building (#22), with an opening reception scheduled for Thursday, August 28, at 5 p.m.

 The exhibit is the first of a series of more than three dozen lectures and cultural events that will be featured at Kennesaw State throughout the “Year of the Arabian Peninsula,” a study of a region comprising seven countries — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. 

“This year’s study of the Arabian Peninsula promises to be an exciting and enlightening learning opportunity, and it comes at a critical juncture when this region is playing such a pivotal role on the world stage,” said Lance Askildson, Kennesaw State’s chief international officer and executive director of the University’s Division of Global Affairs . “The ‘Patriots and Peacemakers’ exhibit sets the tone for what we hope will be an engaging study of a geographically expansive, culturally diverse and complex region, and of the relations its people have developed throughout the world.”

A full schedule of “Year of the Arabian Peninsula” events during the fall and spring semesters can be viewed at Highlights of upcoming fall 2014 events include:

·       9/20Year of Arabian Peninsula Day”featuring traditional music, dance and attire, henna hand-painting, Arabic calligraphy, regional folktales by the KSU Tellers and food tasting. University Place Amphitheatre, 2 p.m.

·       9/30-10/1Hijab for a Day, a participatory event, inviting women to learn the culture of the Islamic head covering, wear the hijab and share their experiences. Student Center, Leadership Room, #205, 12:30 p.m.

·       10/01-10/31“Tolerance, Understanding, Coexistence: Oman's Message of Islam,” an exhibit from the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, Social Sciences Atrium (Bldg. #22)

·       11/7 —“Women of Oman: Changing Roles & Transnational Influence,”an international conference, co-sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, Social Sciences (Bldg. #22), Room 1021, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

In addition to these special events, Kennesaw State has invited scholars from across the country, as well as local and regional scholars, to deliver weekly lectures, which are open to the public.  An eight-member faculty learning community will be conducting research, planning study abroad programs and participating in faculty exchanges at partnering universities and institutions in Arabian Peninsula countries.

“A very dedicated group of Kennesaw State scholars and global partners have devoted more than two years to planning the ‘Year of the Arabian Peninsula,’ with outstanding results,” said Dan Paracka, the Division of Global Affairs’ director for academic initiatives. “The study of other countries and cultures provides a mirror of reflection for our own. It is our hope that a critical understanding of world history and American involvement in the Arab world will develop a more nuanced approach to solving compex global issues and challenges, and improve our ability to interact with this region more constructively, responsibly and appropriately.”

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.