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Release: Sept. 16, 2002

Middle East Awareness Events Scheduled

Middle East Awareness Week will be held at the University of Iowa Sept. 25 through Oct.13 with a variety of events designed to shed light on that troubled part of the world.

Sponsored by numerous UI student and community groups and local businesses, the week features speakers, poetry readings and art exhibits. All events are free and open to the public.

Sept. 25 -- Jennifer Loewenstein discusses "Palestinian Tragedy, Jewish Tragedy: Reflections on the New Intifadah," at 7:30 p.m. in 101 Biology Building East. Loewenstein is a resident of Madison, Wis., and human rights activist. She recently returned from the Gaza Strip after volunteering at the Mezan Center for Human Rights. The event is sponsored by Iowa Jews for Justice, Iowans for Peace with Iraq, General Union of Palestine Students and People for Justice in Palestine

Oct. 2 -- Norman Finkelstein will read from his books "The Holocaust Industry" and "Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict" at 8 p.m., in Shambaugh Auditorium in the Main Library. Finkelstein is a New York City author and the son of Holocaust survivors. The event is sponsored by Iowans for Peace with Iraq, the General Union of Palestine Students and Prairie Lights Books.

Oct. 3 -- Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali and Jewish poet Aharon Shabtai, both residents of Israel, will read from their work at 8 p.m. in Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St. Their poems will be translated into English by Peter Cole. The event is sponsored by the International Writers Program and Prairie Lights Books.

Oct. 5 -- Exhibits by two Iranian artists will open in the Summit Street Gallery, 812 S. Summit St. The exhibits are "Survey of Common Sense," by Haleh Hiazmand, and "Of Shifting Shadows," by Gita Hashemi. An opening reception will be held at the gallery from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibit will be open until Oct. 13 and is sponsored by Iowans for Peace with Iraq, University of Iowa International Programs and The Copy Exchange.

Oct. 6 -- Rania Masri, a human rights activist and environmental scientist, will discuss the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East at 7 p.m. in the St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 405 N. Riverside Dr.

Oct. 8 -- Masri will lead a variety of discussions through the day. She will discuss "Women's Struggles in the Middle East," a brown bag lunch and discussion, at noon at 130 N. Madison St.

At 5 p.m., she will lead a workshop, "Ending U.S. Support of Israeli Human Rights Abuses: Divestment and Other Activist Tools," in Room A of Iowa City Public Library at 123 S. Linn St. (a meal will be provided at the event). And at 7:30 p.m. she will address the effect of economic sanctions on Iraq and the threats of war in her presentation "Iraq Under Siege" in the Terrace Room of the Iowa Memorial Union. The events are sponsored by the Women's Resource and Action Center, Iowans for Peace with Iraq, Iowa City Friends Meeting, People for Justice in Palestine, Iowa International Socialist Organization, the Copy Exchange, Iowans for Peace and Association of Muslims in America.

Oct. 12 -- Rally for Peace and Justice in the Middle East will start at 1 pm, in Black Hawk Mini-Park, Pedestrian Mall. This event is sponsored by People for Justice in Palestine, Iowans for Peace with Iraq, General Union of Palestine Students, Iowa Jews for Justice, Iowa International Socialist Organization and National Lawyers Guild.

Iowans for Peace with Iraq is a student group dedicated to raising public awareness about the plight of the Iraqi people since economic sanctions were imposed on the country in 1990. The group works toward the immediate lifting of economic sanctions against Iraq, an end to all military aggression against Iraq, and the payment of war reparations. For more information about the group and planned activities, visit its Web site at: