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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

March 17, 2006
CONTACT: Amy Lunday

Panel Discussion on Democracy in the Middle East

The Johns Hopkins University Foreign Affairs Symposium will host an event exploring the development of democracy in the Middle East on Wednesday, March 29, at 8 p.m., in Hodson Hall, Room 110, on the Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. Titled "Prospects for Democracy in the Middle East," the event will feature a panel of experts from the media, think tanks, and academia.

The format of the event will be point-counterpoint and will bring forward two primary views on democratization in the Middle East: that it is alive and well, or that it is struggling, at best, and possibly dangerous.

"The war in Iraq and other recent events have brought the debate about democracy in the Middle East into the limelight and has given it unprecedented importance," FAS co-chair Adnan Ahmad said.

The discussion will open with Salameh Nematt, a liberal Arab reformer and the current Washington bureau chief of Al-Hayat News. He will be followed by Barry Rubin, an Israel scholar and author of The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East. Next will be Eleana Gordon, the vice president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The panel will close with comments from Chris Preble, the foreign policy director of the CATO Institute and author of Exiting Iraq: Why the U.S. Must End the Military Occupation and Renew the War against Al Qaeda.

"Prospects for Democracy in the Middle East" is the third of seven events this spring meant to explore recent changes in geopolitics. MSNBC Host Chris Matthews will be speaking the following Monday on "War and the Media." This event was moved from its original time and date to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 3, in Hodson Hall, Room 110.

Other FAS events will include speeches from former Middle East Special Envoy Dennis Ross, and political thinker and professor Francis Fukuyama, as wells as a panel discussion on Turkish Membership in the European Union.

"Prospects for Democracy in the Middle East" will begin promptly at 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Following a question and answer session, free pizza will be provided, courtesy of the Johns Hopkins College Republicans, who are co-sponsoring the event. For more information, visit www.jhu.edu/fas or e-mail fas@jhu.edu.

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