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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 12, 2005

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Expert Shares Insights On Post-Arafat Palestine At Jan. 27 ICFRC

Middle East expert Robert Blecher will share his thoughts on post-Arafat Palestine during the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) luncheon Thursday, Jan. 27.

Blecher teaches Middle East history at the University of Richmond's history department but has been relocated to the University of Iowa's Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, as a resident scholar, for the 2004-2005 academic year. The luncheon will start at noon in the Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St. in Iowa City.

Blecher is currently working on a manuscript about the origins and transformations of international humanitarian relief during World War I and the interwar period. He has lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East, where he has worked as a consultant and translator with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Crisis Group. He has published in popular and scholarly journals, winning "Middle East Report's" Philip Shehadi New Writers Award in 2002. "Middle East Report" is published by a non-profit, non-governmental organization called the Middle East Research and Information Project based in Washington, D.C.

This program is made possible with the support of Meardon, Sueppel & Downer PLC and US Bank, and is sponsored by International Programs and ICFRC. The luncheon will be catered by Aladdin Restaurant. For those unable to attend the program, WSUI-AM will broadcast it on Friday, Jan. 28, following the noon news.

Send reservation forms with a check to: ICFRC, 38 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242-1802. Reservations for the Blecher luncheon should be received in the office by noon, Monday, Jan. 24. Reservations are $7 for members and $8.50 for non-members.

For more information on this program, the ICFRC or special accommodations to attend this lecture, please contact Tom Baldridge at 319-335-0351.

ICFRC 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 consist of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of International Programs (IP), these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

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

CONTACT: Media: Amy Green, 319-335-1433,; Program: Tom Baldridge, 319-335-0351,; Writer: Po Li Loo