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Iran and the World: An Evening with Akbar Ganji

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October 4, 2006

Akbar Ganji -- Iran’s most famous dissident intellectual -- spoke last week to a crowded Fisk auditorium about Iran and world politics today.

Ganji, a former journalist, spent more than five years behind bars for his comments and writings, including “Dungeon of Ghosts,” a book implicating senior Iranian officials in a string of political assassinations of writers and intellectuals. Recently released from prison, he is on a world lecture tour designed to increase understanding of the issues in Iran.

Speaking through two translators, Ganji said he favors civil disobedience as a means to building a Republican Iranian government. In order to create a working democracy there, he talked about the need for a strong middle class, a market economy and political and social cultures based on pluralism and tolerance.

Regarding U.S. foreign policy, he said that a just resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict would be the best contribution this country could make to the Middle East.

The event was co-sponsored by the Center for the Writing Arts, the departments of philosophy and political science, OpenDemocracy.net and the Alice Berline Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

Topics: Campus Life