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Release: Oct. 20, 1999

Jesuit activist to speak to foreign relations council

IOWA CITY, Iowa — G. Simon Harak, a Jesuit priest and former professor of religious studies at Fairfield University, will speak to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council Monday, Oct. 25. His presentation, "Sanctions and Depleted Uranium: Weapons of Choice for the New Millennium" begins at noon in the Rockwood Fellowship Hall of the Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St., Iowa City, and is open to the public.

Harak has been active in the Peace Movement and has traveled to Iraq with "Voices in the Wilderness," where he openly violated United States-United Nations sanctions by bringing medicine and toys to Iraqi hospitals. Since then, he has traveled across the U.S. giving more than 75 presentations on the effects of the sanctions on Iraq, most recently addressing a Congress of Non-Governmental Organizations at the UN building, and at the University of the Philippines. He has recently returned from his second journey to Iraq, where he participated in the Baghdad International Conference on the Sanctions (May 1-4, 1999), presenting a plenary paper and a paper to the Committee on Humanitarian Effects of the Sanctions.

Harak entered the Jesuits in 1970 and has served as a missionary in Jamaica and the Philippines. He began teaching ethics at Fairfield University in 1986 and was made full professor in the department of religious studies. He was John Early Visiting Professor at Loyola College in Baltimore in 1992-93. He has resigned his professorship at Fairfield University to work full-time for the Iraqi people against sanctions.

New Pioneer will cater the lunch, and the cost is $6.50 for members and $8 for non-members. There is no charge for those who bring their own lunches. Checks can be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 120 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. For more information, call ICFRC Executive Director Tom Baldridge at 335-0351. They are unable to take reservations by phone but last minute adjustments may be made.

Harak’s presentation is co-sponsored by the UI School of Religion. For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Tuesday, Oct. 26, following the noon news.

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

ICFRC is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the Associate Provost and Dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.