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University of Iowa News Release

April 29, 2003

K-12 Educators Invited To UI Workshop On Middle East June 16-20

The Middle East will be the focus of The International Programs Summer Institute for Teachers, a workshop for K-12 educators June 16-20 on The University of Iowa campus.

UI International Programs and the Center for Credit Programs are co-sponsoring this event.

The workshop has been held for many years, focusing on the Middle East for the first time in the summer of 2002 in the aftermath of Sept. 11, said Buffy Quintero, International Programs outreach coordinator, who is organizing the workshop. Quintero said this year's workshop is especially important due to the war in Iraq and its global ramifications.

"The workshop is an opportunity for educators to gather up-to-date information and a wide variety of perspectives that will assist their students in understanding this complex region of the world," Quintero said. "The workshop will have a strong focus on culture. While conflicts cannot be ignored, an emphasis has been deliberately placed on culture. Teachers should come away with a greater understanding of the diverse people of this region and their customs, languages, values, and traditions."

The workshop will meet from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. daily June 16-20 with sessions in 113 MacLean Hall and various other locations on the UI campus. The workshop, which will be facilitated by Rex Honey, geography professor and director of the UI Global Studies Program, will also feature guest lecturers who will share their insights on such topics as the Cultures of the Middle East, Islam and Judaism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Afghanistan and the war on terrorism, and the current situation in Iraq.

There will also be related activities, special events, and entertainment throughout the week. These include a presentation by Audrey Shabbas, the Middle East Policy Council's Teacher Workshop Leader, on Tuesday, titled, "Content and Strategies for Teaching About the Arab World and Islam." Her presentation is sponsored by UI International Programs and the Middle East Policy Council. Shabbas has more than 22 years experience in teaching, curriculum development and teacher training about the Middle East and Islam.

Shabbas' presentation will cover cultural geography, history, family and women, and the recommendation of materials that are especially helpful when teaching about modern times. All participants will receive "The Arab World Studies Notebook." Special attention will be paid to teaching strategies in the utilization of a variety of approaches. Hands-on and across-the-curriculum approaches exemplify the day's activities.

Ample time will be given to discussing impressions of the Arab World, the broader Middle East, and the wide world of Islam.

Other activities include visiting the Islamic Center in Cedar Rapids, the Hillel Jewish Center on the UI campus and viewing the movie documentary "Promises," a recent documentary that explores the Israeli and Palestinian conflict from the youths' perspectives.

The institute is offered for academic credit only, and educators may register for one, two, or three semester hours of undergraduate or graduate credit. Tuition is $181 per semester hour (undergraduate) and $280 per semester hour (graduate). Workshop requirements are specific to the number of hours for which educators enroll.

Small grants to assist with tuition costs will be distributed among all registrants. The amount of funding each receives depends upon the number of participants. The first 17 teachers to register who live outside of a 25-mile radius of Iowa City will receive free housing at the Iowa House Hotel on the UI campus.

For more information about housing and grants, call toll-free at 1-800-272-6430 and ask to be transferred to Quintero at extension 5-0345 or directly at 319-335-0345 or To register, call the Center for Credit Programs at 1-800-272-6430, and press one for Enrollment Services or send an e-mail message:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, Program: Buffy Quintero, 319-335-0345 Writer: Vitalis Torwel