‘Going Global’ Seminars Examine George Mason’s UAE Campus

Posted: February 17, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

George Mason’s first campus abroad at Ras al Khaimah (RAK) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be the focus of a series of seminars that will be held on the Fairfax Campus throughout the spring, beginning Monday at noon in Mason Hall, Room D.

Planned and supported by the Office of the Provost, the Center for Global Studies and the Center for Global Ethics, the series, “Going Global: The Ethics and Politics of a George Mason University Campus in the Middle East,” will focus on possible methods of interaction between the university’s U.S. campuses and the campus at RAK, based on the history and cultures of southeastern Arabia.

“Through learning more about the Persian Gulf region, the United Arab Emirates and the greater Dubai and Ras al Khaimah areas in particular, we as a community of higher learning at George Mason’s Fairfax Campus can explore how to both serve and benefit from the communities of learners, teachers and researchers in that part of the world,” says Gordon Brent Ingram, associate dean for campus development, RAK.

George Mason is developing programs for students from its U.S. campuses to study and conduct research in the Middle East. At the same time, says Ingram, “Overseas campuses allow foreign students without interests in or opportunities for studying in North America access to university educations distinguished by an emphasis on critical thinking, tolerance, multiculturalism, democracy, merit and transparency.

“George Mason’s RAK campus was also created to be a safe and pleasant place for North American students to learn about another part of the world, particularly the Persian Gulf and southeastern Arabia, which is on the cusp of a diverse set of Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures.”

The “Going Global” seminar series:

  • “RAK 101: Ras al Khaimah: On the Edge of Metropolitan Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the Site of the New George Mason University Campus in the Middle East”

    Panel discussion moderated by Johanna Bockman, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology and director of the Global Affairs program.

    Monday, Feb. 20

    Noon to 1:30 p.m.

    Mason Hall, Room D3

  • “Religious Diversity and the Prospects for Secular Education in Southeastern Arabia”

    Presentation by Sumaiya Hamdani, associate professor of history and art history and director of Islamic Studies.

    Wednesday, March 1

    Noon to 1:30 p.m.

    Mason Hall, Room D3

  • “Reordering and After: Heritage Landscapes, Globalization and Historical Interpretation in Southeastern Arabia”

    Presentation by Gordon Brent Ingram, associate dean for campus development, RAK, and associate professor of environmental science and policy.

    Monday, March 6

    Noon to 1:30 p.m.

    Mason Hall, Room D3

  • “The Imperative of Engagement: Higher Education and Open Society in the Arab World”

    Presentation by Peter Mandaville, associate professor of government.

    Monday, March 27

    Noon to 1:30 p.m.

    Mason Hall, Room D3

  • “Traditions of Tolerance in the Gulf Region: Implications for Educational Strategies at George Mason University in Ras al Khaimah”

    Monday, April 24

    1 to 2:30 p.m., Mason Hall, Room D3

    Panel discussion moderated by Sumaiya Hamdani, associate professor of history and art history and director of Islamic Studies.

  • “Challenges of Minority and Inter-religious Relations in Ras al Khaimah: Implications for Educational Strategies at George Mason University in the Middle East”

    Panel discussion moderated by Marc Gopin, professor of conflict analysis and resolution and director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.

    Wednesday, April 26

    Noon to 1:30 p.m.

    Mason Hall, Room D3

The seminars are free and reservations are not required. For more information, contact Marcy Glover, global and educational programs coordinator in the Office of the Provost, at 703-993-6722 or mglover2@gmu.edu.

For more information on the RAK campus, visit its web site.

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