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Middle East Conference Speaker Bios

Looking to the Future:
New Paradigms and Perspective on the Middle East

An International conference organized by the Middle East Studies Program at SBCC, Friday and Saturday April 18-19, 2008

Santa Barbara City College, West Campus,
721 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

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Speaker Bios

Mubarak Awad

Dr. Awad is the Founder and national President of the Youth Advocate Program, which provides alternative foster care and counseling to "at risk" youth and their families. He is also the Founder of the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem, and was deported by the Israeli Supreme court in 1988 after being jailed for organizing activities involving nonviolent civil disobedience. Dr. Awad has since formed Nonviolence International, which works with various movements and organizations across the globe. His areas of interest are: Nonviolence, Israel/Palestine, Youth Advocacy Nonviolence International promotes nonviolent action and seeks to reduce the use of violence worldwide. We believe that every cultural and religious tradition can discover and employ culturally appropriate nonviolent methods for positive social change and international peace. Nonviolence International is a decentralized network of resource centers that promote the use of nonviolent action. Founded by Palestinian activist Mubarak Awad in 1989, NI is a 501(c)3 organization registered in Washington, DC, USA. We are also registered in Thailand, Russia, and Palestine.

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Burak Bekdil

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based freelance journalist. He writes a column for the Turkish Daily News and covers defense and security for the U.S. weekly Defense News. He also writes for other western publications. Bekdil was formerly the Ankara correspondent for Dow Jones Newswires and Ankara bureau chief for the Ankara-based CNBC-e television.

Author's Articles:
Turkish Crackdown on Homegrown al-Qaeda Cells in Gaziantep
U.S. Applies Terrorist Designation to Kurdistan Freedom Falcons
Is the 'Politicization' of the Kurdish Struggle in Turkey a Security Threat?
Turkish Military Strikes PKK Targets in Northern Iraq

Presentation Title: Can Turkey's "Mildly-Islamist" Government be a Role Model for the Middle East?


Yoav Ben-Horin

Yoav Ben-Horin is Director of Global Jewish Education at the New Community Jewish High School in West Hills, where he is developing a wide range of international programs with Jewish communities in Israel, Latin America and - soon, we hope - Europe.

Yoav moved back to California last fall, after three years as Director of the Israel & Overseas Pillar of the United Jewish Communities of North America. In that capacity, he monitored developments in Israel and throughout the Jewish world on behalf of the central organization of the Jewish federation system of North America, and maintained communications and a flow of information about these matters within between the UJC and the continental network of 160 federations. Yoav dealt there with the ongoing crisis in Argentina and Uruguay, global Anti-Semitism, Jewish poverty and community building in the former Soviet Union, the integration of Ethiopian immigrants into Israeli society, the strains on the social safety net in Israel and the challenge this poses to philanthropic action by Diaspora Jewry, and more.

Yoav was the Associate Director of the Wilstein Institute of Jewish Policy Studies, a think-tank concerned with the public policy agenda of American Jewry. In that capacity he was responsible for initiating and supervising research, publications and conferences throughout North America. From 1982 to 1993, Yoav was analyst of strategic affairs with the RAND Corporation, where he wrote on issues ranging from the Arab-Israeli military balance to arms control in Europe, U.S. Air Force strategies in the Pacific, and war-fighting concepts of the U.S. Army.

Yoav was born in New York City, where his father was an Israeli diplomat at the United Nations. With his family, he traveled and lived in numerous countries around the globe. After completing his military service as a lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces, Yoav studied at Oxford and Harvard Universities. At Harvard, he also taught courses on the political development of the modern Middle East and on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Over the years, Yoav has taught, lectured and spoken frequently on campuses, radio and television, on a wide range of Middle Eastern and Israeli political, social and strategic issues, as well as on American foreign policy and American-Jewish life and Diaspora-Israel relations. He is fluent in English, Hebrew and Spanish.


U.S. Representative Lois Capps

U.S. Representative Lois Capps was sworn in as a Freshman Member of the 105th Congress on March 17, 1998, after her decisive victory in the special election to succeed her late husband. She was reelected to her first full term in office on November 3, 1998. She was the Representative of California's 22nd District from 1998 to 2002. Since January, 2003, Capps has served as the Representative of the 23rd District. Her district includes portions of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.

Representative Capps is committed to helping people improve their daily lives through better schools, quality health care, and a cleaner environment. Capps is a respected leader in Congress on issues of public health, passing legislation to address the national nursing shortage, detect and prevent domestic violence against women, improve mental health services, and provide immediate Medicare coverage to patients suffering from Lou Gehrig.s disease. She has also been at the forefront of efforts to protect the environment. She has led efforts to stop new oil and gas drilling off of our coasts, reduce the amount of new oil drilling in Los Padres National Park, and protect consumers from shouldering the financial burden of cleaning up MTBE contamination in their water supplies.

Representative Capps serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and its Subcommittees on Telecommunications and the Internet; Health; and Environment and Hazardous Materials. She also serves on the Natural Resources Committee and its Subcommittees on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans and National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.


Hilal Elver

Hilal Elver is a Visiting Professor at the University of California Santa Barbara since 2002. She started her teaching career at the University of Ankara School of Law. During this period, she was appointed by the Turkish government as the founding legal advisor of the Ministry of Environment, then the General Director of Women Studies at the Office of the Prime Minister. Between 1994-96 she was chair of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta. She was a Fulbright scholar at Michigan University School of law, and visiting fellow at Princeton University. She teaches Comparative Law, International Human Rights, and Environmental Law. Her most recent book published in 2002 by Transnational Publishers is titled "Peaceful Uses of International Rivers: The Case of Euphrates and Tigris Rivers Basins". Currently she is working on a project titled "Secularism, Freedom of Religion and Muslim Women.s Headscarf".

Presentation title: "The Headscarf Controversy: Muslim Women's Exclusion from Public Spaces."

Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar

Manoutchehr M. Eskandari-Qajar is Professor of Political Science and Middle East Studies at SBCC. He received his PhD in Political Theory from UCSB in 1984 and taught at UCSB until 1992. He joined the faculty at SBCC in 1992. In 2006 he founded the Middle East Studies Program at SBCC and is its current director. The focus of his academic research is on 19 c. Persia. He is the author of numerous articles on that crucial period of Persian history. Most recently he guest edited the September 2007 (Vol. 40, No. 4) issue of Iranian Studies and contributed a chapter to the book War and Peace in the Qajar Era (Routledge, 2007) on the application of rational decision-making theories to early Qajar rulers. He is also a regular contributor to the journal Qajar Studies, the journal of the International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA) of which he is the founder and current President. IQSA holds yearly conferences on the Qajar era around the world (web address: http://www.qajarstudies.org). This year's IQSA conference will be held in Amsterdam and Leiden in conjunction with the International Institute for Social History of the University of Leiden. Dr. Eskandari-Qajar has received several recognitions for his excellence in teaching, including Professor of the Year at UCSB in 1991 and Faculty Lecturer at SBCC in 1998.


Richard Falk

Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His most recent book, The Great Terror War (2003), considers the American response to September 11, including its relationship to the patriotic duties of American Citizens. In 2001 he served on a three person Human Rights Inquiry Commission for the Palestine Territories that was appointed by the United Nations, and previously, on the Independent International Commission on Kosovo. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Religion and Humane Global Governance; Human Rights Horizons; On Humane Governance: Toward a New Global Politics; Explorations at the Edge of Time; Revolutionaries and Functionaries; The Promise of World Order; Indefensible Weapons; Human Rights and State Sovereignty; A Study of Future Worlds; This Endangered Planet; coeditor of Crimes of War. He serves as Chair of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Board of Directors and as honorary vice president of the American Society of International Law. Falk also acted as counsel to Ethiopia and Liberia in the Southwest Africa Case before the International Court of Justice. He received his B.S. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; L.L.B. from Yale Law School; and J.S.D. from Harvard University.

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Bruno Ferrer-Higueras

Bruno Ferrer-Higueras was born in Barcelona. He studied Ancient History at the Universitat de Barcelona. He also took courses on Arab language, history and culture. Since 2001, he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Puerto Rico in Ancient History, Late Antiquity, Spanish and European History. His graduate courses, research and more recent publications are mostly related to very early Islam and contemporary Arab History. He tries to teach and analyze narratives, images and ideological discourses in the Arab contemporary world. He uses media and film, both to bring those topics to the alumni, and as a worthy study subject in itself -as a different way to access social, ideological and political Middle Eastern realities, as well as reflections and discourses on them.

Presentation Title: Cinematic Perspectives on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: Palestinian-Israeli Films, between Frontiers and Identities


Abderrahim Foukara

Abderrahim Foukara was born and raised in Morocco but later settled in the United Kingdom, where he completed a Ph.D. before joining the BBC World Service in 1990. Over the next nine years, he worked in various BBC departments, including Arabic, French, African and journalism training, and in various capacities including producer, reporter, anchor and senior instructor. In 1999, he moved to Boston, USA, where he worked as producer and reporter on the World, a co-production of the BBC, Public Radio International and WGBH Boston. In 2001, Abderrahim moved to Washington, D.C., where he continued to report for the BBC in London before finally joining Al-Jazeera in the Summer of 2002 as a Washington-based reporter. Early in 2003, he moved to New York where he oversaw operations in the Al-Jazeera New York Bureau's United Nations office. In early 2006 Abderrahim was appointed and still serves as head of Al-Jazeera's United States operations in Washington, D.C. He also serves as Host of Min Washington ('From Washington'), a weekly show on American Politics and Culture.

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Philip Grant

Philip Grant has been teaching politics and global affairs for over three decades. After receiving his PhD from UC Santa Barbara, he organized a series of three annual international forums for the UCSB Associated Students Program Board on "World Community in the 21st Century". As a professor at the American University of Beirut from 1984-1987, Philip conceived and coordinated the first conference ever held on "Arab Nonviolent Political Struggle," sponsored by the Arab Thought Forum, and held in Amman, Jordan, in 1986. Afterwards, he organized similar meetings for the UC Peace and Security Program, then traveled throughout the South Pacific, and met with many indigenous leaders while acting as a curriculum advisor and professor at the American Samoa College. From 1990 to 2000 Dr Grant was a professor of comparative politics at various universities in Kyoto, Japan. In 1997, he helped found "Group 21" and the "Youth at the Millennium Program" to organize events drawing attention to the impact of globalization on the young.

Since 2000, Philip has taught in California and organized holistic educational forums and retreats that bring together young student/activists with global visionaries and scholars. In 2001, in cooperation with Satish Kumar, editor of Resurgence Magazine and Program Director of Schumacher College (UK), Philip founded The Institute of Reverential Ecology (www.reverentialecology.org) in Santa Barbara to explore the interconnection between spiritual, social and environmental issues. He is a contributing editor to the Kyoto Journal, and has authored many articles on international politics and global thinkers. Dr. Grant serves on the faculty of the Ventura Community College District where he teaches classes on American politics, globalization, terrorism and international politics. He is also the coordinator for the Santa Barbara Ecological Education Coalition, a network of community groups that present free public programs on the link between ecology and society.


Nader Hashemi

Nader Hashemi received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto in 2005. His research interests lie at the intersection of political theory and comparative politics of the developing world with a regional specialization in the Middle East and the Islamic World. Specific research areas include secularism and its discontents in Muslim societies, Western and modern Islamic political thought, religion-state relations, the politics of Islamic fundamentalism, and the history and development of liberal democracy. His writings have been published by Princeton University Press, McGill-Queen's University Press, Journal of Church and State, Third World Quarterly, Queen's Quarterly, Global Dialogue, Tikkun, The Nation, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Star (Beirut), The Globe and Mail (Toronto), and the Toronto Star. He is the author of The Great Problem of Our Time: Rethinking the Relationship between Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming). He recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University and currently is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the UCLA International Institute in Los Angeles.

Presentation Title: Why Muslim Skepticism Towards Secularism is Warranted: Rethinking the Relationship between Islam and Politics


Mark Juergensmeyer

Mark Juergensmeyer is Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies and Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is an expert on religious violence, conflict resolution and South Asian religion and politics, and has published more than two hundred articles and a dozen books.

His widely-read Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (University of California Press, revised edition 2003), is based on interviews with violent religious activists around the world--including individuals convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, leaders of Hamas, and abortion clinic bombers in the United States, and was listed by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times as one of the best nonfiction books of the year. A previous book, The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State (University of California Press, 1993) covers the rise of religious activism and its confrontation with secular modernity. It was named by the New York Times as one of the notable books of the year. His book on Gandhian conflict resolution has recently been reprinted as Gandhi's Way (University of California Press, Updated Edition, 2005), and was selected as Community Book of the Year at the University of California, Davis.

His most recent work is an edited volume, Global Religions (Oxford University Press 2003), and he is working on a book on religion and war, and an edited volume on religion in global civil society.

Juergensmeyer has received research fellowships from the Wilson Center in Washington D.C., the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for contributions to the study of religion, and is the 2004 recipient of the Silver Award of the Queen Sofia Center for the Study of Violence in Spain. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Lehigh University in 2004. Since the events of September 11, 2001, he has been a frequent commentator in the news media, including CNN, NBC, CBS, BBC, NPR, Fox News, ABC's Politically Incorrect, and CNBC's Dennis Miller Show.

Presentation Title: "The Odd Attraction of God and War."


Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni

Ibrahim Kazerooni was born in 1958 in the holy city of Al-Najaf in southern Iraq into a family of theologians. He began his religious studies at an early age and continued them until his life took an unexpected turn. In 1974, he was arrested by Saddam Hussein's regime. He was imprisoned on a number of occasions, one lasting for more than 5 months. During that time, he spent two weeks in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. He was brutally tortured there, but somehow survived. After being released, he resumed his academic life, but had to leave Iraq soon after, to escape being imprisoned again. He traveled through the Middle East in search of a safe place to stay. While in Iran, he completed his theological studies. Fearful of Iraq's secret police, he fled to England and began his secular education. The Iraqi Embassy found him and tried to force him to return, but he refused. The refusal cost a number of his family members their lives.

He has traveled to many countries on lecture tours. He currently resides in Denver and works as Imam for the Muslim community. He is a Board member for the Stapleton Interfaith council, the Housing Justice, Interfaith Alliance. He was recently elected the interim director of the Abrahamic Initiative program at St. John Cathedral in Denver. He also serves as a member of the Board of Religious advisers to the Denver Police chief and the University of Denver Bridges to the Future program. He is currently working in the MTS Program at Iliff in preparation for research on Medieval History of Spain (Andalusia period) and in a Masters Program at GSIS (International Relations with emphasis on Middle East Politics).

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David Krieger

David Krieger is a founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and has served as President of the Foundation since 1982. Under his leadership the Foundation has initiated many innovative and important projects for building peace, strengthening international law, abolishing nuclear weapons and empowering a new generation of peace leaders. Dr. Krieger has lectured throughout the United States, Europe and Asia on issues of peace, security, international law, and the abolition of nuclear weapons. He has received many awards for his work for a more peaceful and nuclear weapons-free world. He has been interviewed on CNN Hotline, MSNBC, NPR and many other television and radio shows nationally and internationally.

David Krieger is author of numerous books and articles on nuclear disarmament. Most recently David Krieger served as Panel Chair of the Citizens. Hearing on the Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq, held in Tacoma, Washington in 2007, and as a member of the Jury of Conscience of the World Tribunal on Iraq, held in Istanbul in 2005.

In his early career he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii and San Francisco State University. He worked at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions on issues of international law and ocean governance, and at the Foundation for Reshaping the International Order (RIO Foundation) in the Netherlands on the effects of dual-purpose technologies on disarmament, development and the environment. He is a graduate of Occidental College, and holds MA and Ph.D. degrees in political science from the University of Hawaii as well as a J.D. from the Santa Barbara College of Law. Dr. Krieger serves as a judge pro tem for the Santa Barbara Superior Court.


Joline Makhlouf

Joline is the Content Producer and Outreach Associate, Middle East, at Just Vision, a non-profit that widens the influence of Palestinian and Israeli grassroots peace builders. She has worked as a facilitator at Face to Face/Faith to Faith, Building Bridges for Peace and Seeds of Peace, all of which bring together youth from conflict zones around the world. She has worked with youth from Ireland, South Africa and Israel/Palestine, with a special focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Joline participated in a number of local and international conferences about conflict resolution and non-violence and lectured in girls' schools in rural villages in the West Bank regarding the advancement of women in the professional sphere.

Born and raised in Jerusalem, where she finished her high school education at Schmidt's College, Joline later lived in Jordan, where she graduated from the Royal Jordanian Air Academy with a commercial pilot's license and a diploma in aviation science. She has also received airline training in Canada at Flight Safety International. In 2003, she worked as a flight instructor at Mid East Academy in Jordan. For years she has worked in a family-owned Arabic music production company as Production and Distribution Manager. Joline is co-producer with Ronit Avni, Julia Bacha and Nahanni Rous of the film Encounter Point (web site: http://www.encounterpoint.com/index.php)

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Roland McKay

Roland McKay is a Boren Graduate Fellow at Damascus University, Syria. He is a Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow at the U.S. State Department and served as the Lebanon Desk Officer (2006) and Senior Egypt Desk Officer (2007) in the Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. He received the Department's Superior Honor Award for his work as Deputy Coordinator of the 24-hour inter-agency Lebanon Task Force that oversaw the evacuation of American citizens during the Summer 2006 Lebanon War. He has also served brief assignments in the American Embassies in Nicaragua, Argentina, and Egypt, as well as in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Negotiations Policy). A Fulbright Fellow in Syria from 2005-2006, he received his master's in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan.

Presentation Title: "Deterring a Nuclear-Capable Iran: Challenges and Opportunities"


Elizabeth Mizrahi

Elizabeth Mizrahi has been a professor of History and Middle East studies at SBCC since she joined the faculty in 2004. She has lived her passion for increasing understanding and awareness about Middle Eastern cultures through her work as both a scholar and a community organizer. Before settling down to an academic life she served as both National Associate Director of Project Interchange in Washington DC, an organization which ran educational seminars to the Middle East for American leaders and as National Executive Director for the American Sephardi Federation in New York City, an umbrella organization supporting cultural and educational programs about Middle Eastern and Spanish Jewry. She has found a home for both her academic interests and her desire to promote multicultural understanding at SBCC where she teaches classes on Middle Eastern history, co-founded the Middle East Studies Program which is now a new major at SBCC, and co-directed the Middle East Studies inaugural study abroad program to Greece and Turkey.

Ms. Mizrahi received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkley in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on Peace and Conflict studies in the Middle East. She is currently working to complete her Doctorate at the University of Chicago in Middle East and Islamic History. Her dissertation research focuses on the influence of Middle Eastern politics on the American New Left in the 1960s.


Nomi Morris

Born and raised in Toronto, Nomi has been a professional journalist for 24 years. She spent nearly four years at the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily. After covering the fall of the Berlin Wall for The Star, Nomi moved to Berlin in the fall of 1990 and worked for several American and Canadian outlets (San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, CBC Radio in Canada and many more). She then worked as Time Magazine's correspondent in Berlin for nearly three years before returning to Toronto in 1995 to Maclean's Magazine. At Maclean's Nomi was Deputy Foreign Editor and Senior Writer for International Affairs before moving to Jerusalem for Knight Ridder as Middle East Bureau Chief from 1998 to 2001. While in the Middle East Nomi covered former President Clinton visit to the area, the death of Jordan's King Hussein, two Israeli elections, peace talks with Syria, the millennium, Pope John Paul II's historic visit to the region, Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon, the death of Syria's Hafez al-Assad, the Camp David peace talks of July, 2000, and the first year of the al-Aqsa Intifada. In addition to Israel and the Palestinian territories, Nomi reported from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan.

Nomi has a Joint Honors B.A. in Political Science and Middle East Studies from McGill University (1984). She also did a transfer year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Currently Nomi is enrolled in a low residency Masters of Fine Arts program in Writing at Pacific University, Oregon. She teaches journalism at Moorpark College and current events for UCSB Extension.s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Since arriving in California in late 2001 Nomi has continued to write freelance book reviews, opinion pieces and other articles for publications as diverse as Newsweek Magazine and the Queen.s Quarterly. She was foreign affairs columnist for the Santa Barbara News-Press (2006). And she reviews books on the Middle East for Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper.

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Hilary Rantisi

Hilary Rantisi is the Director of the Middle East Initiative (MEI) at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government (HKS). She received her Masters degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Chicago. As director of MEI she has lead the development of multi-disciplinary executive training programs that combine private, public and civil society sector professionals from around the Middle East region. Under her leadership, MEI has also increased its partnership with groups on and off campus to provide public education resources on the region.

Prior to joining HKS, Ms. Rantisi's previous work was with civil society organizations in Israel-Palestine and focused on religion, politics, and grassroots mobilization efforts in Jerusalem. She has co-edited a book Our Story (1999) and a number of other journal articles, as well as being an active public speaker on issues pertaining to the Middle East region. Ms. Rantisi is a native Arabic speaker and has created publications and special educational programs on the Middle East region that integrate theoretical learning with hands-on experience.

Presentation title: The Challenging Role of Palestinian Women: Patriarchy, Occupation and Power.


Elizabeth Robinson

Elizabeth Robinson is the Associate Director for Media of UCSB's Associated Students. She has been responsible for managing KCSB-FM for 17 years and has taught or supervised youth radio projects for twelve years. She has been on the steering committee of the Grassroots Radio Coalition since its inception and has been active in the National Federation of Community Broadcasters including as a keynote speaker at annual conferences. She is currently the treasurer of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), a global non-governmental organization which advocates for community media and communication rights from the grassroots to global policy levels. In the latter capacity, she has represented community media at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, the People's Summit of the Americas and three World Social Forums.

As an active journalist, she has produced Third World News Review for more than 20 years and hosts and produces a weekly radio program, "No Alibis". She was the co-anchor of a nationally distributed series of specials on the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2000. Other programs include "From the Barrel of a Pen: readings from banned and suppressed books", "Sister Says..." a collectively produced series of programs for women's history months, "Probable Cause" focusing on prison social justice issues. She has published articles in the San Francisco Review of Books, Race and Class, InteRadio, the magazine of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and other publications (http://www.forusa.org/fellowship/may-june_06/ElizabethRobinson.php). With friends and colleagues, she organized the first rallies in opposition to the invasions of Iraq in 1990 and 2002.

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Mona Sheikh

Mona Kanwal Sheikh is born in Denmark, 1978. She holds a Master Degree in Political Science and is specialized in radical Islamism and Security Studies. Since July 2007 she has been doctoral candidate at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. Her research project is about religion, secularism and conflict in international relations and seeks to develop theory and method to analyze the religious dimension of international conflicts. As grantee of an International PhD scholarship by the Danish research agency and an Elite Research Prize by the Danish Ministry of Science and Innovation she is also affiliated to the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara during her research period. Mona is presently member of the Network of Experts on Violent Radicalisation on behalf of the European Commission, by the DG Justice, Freedom and Security. As a consultant Mona has formerly been affiliated to the Danish Cultural Institute in Qatar and Bahrain and the Middle East/North Africa Department of MS Danish Association for International Co-operation. She has previously been board member of a number of organizations working for minority rights such as the Documentation and Advisory Centre on Racial Discrimination (DRC) the Association of Ethnic Minorities (POEM), the Integration Council of Copenhagen Municipality and vice chair of the INGO European Network Against Racism (ENAR). Mona is an experienced debater, former nominee to the Danish parliament and frequently gives lectures on issues related to Danish integration- and foreign politics, European Islam, religion and secularism and radical Islamism at different educational and religious institutions. As opinion columnist affiliated to different Danish national newspapers Mona regularly commentate on contemporary local and global issues relating to the interplay between religion and politics. Mona has edited and contributed to a number of anthologies and produced several articles relating to these topics. During her many years' work in different NGOs, she has initiated and organized a significant number of dialogue conferences, information campaigns and welfare activities.


Sanford R. Silverburg

Dr. Sanford Silverburg is a Professor of Political Science in the Department of History and Politics at Catawba College, Salisbury, NC. He has published and lectured widely. His specialty is international relations theory and international law. His research has tended to focus on international legal issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He is responsible for the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia component of an international bibliography, MECAS (Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies), available by subscription from NISC (National Information Services Corp. Int'l Inc.). His most recent publications include an edited Palestine and International Law: Essays on Politics and Economics (2002) and "Economic Development on a Poligtical Foundation: Building a Political Palestine" in Law and Economic Development: Towards Constructive Engagement in the Middle East (forthcoming).

Presentation Title: Justice Versus Law in International Negotiations: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict-Resolution Process


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