Panel Discussion on Wednesday Examines Iraqi Elections

Posted: January 24, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

The Center for Global Studies (CGS) and the Iraqi American Alliance are cosponsoring “The Iraqi Elections: What Prospects for Change?” on Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall. The panel discussion will feature leading specialists of Iraqi affairs who will present a range of views on the implications of the Jan. 30 vote and the likely course of events in Iraq over the coming months.

“The Iraqi elections will have an enormous symbolic impact, not only in that country, but in the United States as well,” says Peter Mandaville, CGS director. “Regardless of whether you believe the elections are a positive or negative event, the importance of it cannot be denied.”

Ruben Brigety, assistant professor of government and politics at Mason, will moderate for panelists Phebe Marr, United States Institute of Peace and author of The Modern History of Iraq; Ala Fa’ik, Iraqi human rights and democracy activist; and Anas Shallal, Education for Peace in Iraq Center.

Brigety researches civilian protections in armed conflict and international humanitarian assistance, and the law and ethics of warfare. He has served on research missions in Afghanistan and Iraq for the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch and was an active duty U.S. Navy officer.

Marr is a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace studying Iraq’s possible futures. She has advised high-level U.S. officials, testified before U.S. Senate and House committees, written op-ed pieces in national journals, and often appeared on major network TV.

Fa’ik is an Iraqi American activist addressing peace, justice, and human rights issues. He has served as the general secretary to the Iraqi Forum for Democracy, an advocacy group for democratic reforms; a member of the steering committee for the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice; and a member of the Board of Directors and vice president for the Interfaith Round Table.

Shallal is an Iraqi American activist and a businessman. He is the founder of Iraqi Americans for Peaceful Alternatives, an ad hoc organization voicing concern over the war with Iraq; cofounder of The Peace Café, the largest Arab and Jewish dialogue group in the Washington, D.C., metro area; a foreign policy in focus analyst for the Institute for Policy Studies; and a peace fellow for Seeds of Peace.

There will be time for audience participation at the conclusion of the panel discussion. For more information, contact Marcy Glover at 703-993-8722 or mglover2@gmu.edu.

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