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Volume 10, Edition 2 October 2010

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Author Talk: Manal Omar's Barefoot in Baghdad

by Katie Ostrowka

On September 14, the Ashby Residential College hosted an Author Talk featuring Ms. Manal Omar, author of Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity—My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos. Ms. Omar is the Director of Iraq Programs under the Center for Post-conflict Peace and Stability Operations at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts; promote post-conflict stability and development; and increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide.

Omar’s presentation, entitled “Women: The Success Barometer—Lessons Learned from Iraq,” addressed the important role women play in conflict nations, especially their role in working towards stability and sustaining peace in their countries. Born of Palestinian parents, Omar grew up in the United States, and went to live in Iraq in 2003 when she completed college. As a journalist in Iraq, Omar got to know the women of that country and their communities, and helped to educate them on a handful of topics.

Omar’s new book is a personal memoir about her time in Iraq. A flyer for Omar’s book describes: “As an American aid worker of Arab descent, Manal Omar’s background gave her an all-access pass to the dramatic shift in the fortunes of Iraq’s women following the invasion in 2003, which destroyed hopes for a more liberated lifestyle. Witness to a struggle that few outsiders saw, Omar chronicles the journey of a people determined to rise from the ashes of war and sanctions and recreate themselves in the face of overwhelming obstacles.”

 

Study Abroad Fair

This year, IPC’s Study Abroad and Exchange Programs staff decided to do something a bit different for the Study Abroad Fair: they took it outside. Lining the sides of College Avenue with large country flags, the Fair was able to attract a large number of curious students walking through the main stretch of campus. The flags led to a cluster of tents where IPC staff set up their information tables. Tom Martinek, Jr., Lindsay Armistead, Logan Stanfield, and Heidi Fischer, among other staff and student volunteers, stood by to field students’ questions and get them interested in studying abroad.

For more information on the exchange programs offered through UNCG, visit Study Abroad and Exchange Programs.

 

 

 

Previous editions:

Volume 10, Edition 1, September 2010

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