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Leading Egyptian Democracy Advocate to Speak

March 9 conference at Northwestern to explore shifting Middle East power balance

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February 25, 2011 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Exiled sociologist Saad Eddin Ibrahim -- a leading critic of deposed President Hosni Mubarak who was imprisoned for his work in support of Egyptian democracy -- will be among the participants at a March 9 conference at Northwestern University on political changes in the Middle East.

The one-day conference, which begins at 9 a.m., will be held in the Guild Lounge of Scott Hall, 602 University Place, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. It will explore the historical back-story behind the recent events in the Middle East that have mesmerized people around the world. It is free and open to the public.

Titled “The Shifting Sands of the Hegemonic Powers,” the conference will bring together academic experts to examine the roots of the turbulent events occurring in the Middle East. It also will discuss the ramifications of those events from the perspectives of five nations: Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States.

“The strategic balance in the Middle East has been shattered,” says Elie Rekhess, Visiting Crown Chair in Middle East Studies and professor of history at Northwestern University. “We are witnessing an historic moment and seismic changes with broad implications for regional and global stability.”

“Shifting Sands of the Hegemonic Powers” is presented by Northwestern’s Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies and the Northwestern Middle East Forum. Conference co-chairs are Rekhess and Buffett Center director Hendrik Spruyt, who also is Norman Dwight Harris Professor of International Relations in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

For a complete conference schedule and program, visit http://www.bcics.northwestern.edu/programs/numef/sands.html or e-mail buffettcenter@northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-3984.