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Khoury to launch Mideast lecture series

Evanston Public Library and Northwestern's Program in Middle East and North African Studies will present a series of public lectures at the Evanston Public Library this year.

The series starts at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26, with a presentation by Nabeel Khoury, visiting associate professor in the NU program, who will discuss "Diplomacy on the Front Lines in the Middle East" in the library's community meeting room.

Evanston Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons says the series seeks to offer the community a greater understanding of the region that stretches from Morocco to the Gulf States and Iran, and from the Mediterranean into the Sahara and beyond.

"Evanston residents are interested in the world, and in exploring and interpreting that world through a wide lens. The expertise and quality of Northwestern's MENA faculty and visiting faculty allows us to provide access to renowned academics exploring this region from a great variety of perspectives," Danczak Lyons added.

Khoury's lecture will focus on American diplomats on the front lines and how they share in the difficult tasks and risks of protecting the national interest.

Khoury served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for 25 years. He will share stories from his tours of duty, from relatively benign environments in Casablanca, London, and Washington, to war zones in Riyadh, Kuwait and Baghdad, and finally to his posting as Deputy Chief of Mission in Sana'a, Yemen.

"Northwestern's MENA program is dedicated to expanding knowledge about and facilitating discussion of a complex and frequently misunderstood region of the world. We are delighted to collaborate with the Evanston Public Library in our shared commitment to public engagement and outreach," said Brian Edwards, Director of Northwestern's Program in Middle East and North African Studies.

A second lecture in the series is planned for Monday, March 2 and will feature Ussama Makdisi, a prominent professor of modern Middle East history visiting Northwestern from Rice University.

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