Women experts on Middle East to talk at URI’s Feinstein Providence Campus, Nov. 20

Women experts on Middle East to talk at URI's Feinstein Providence Campus, Nov. 20

KINGSTON, R.I. – Nov. 13, 2014 – A former colonel in the Army, an Islamic scholar and an advocate for Afghan girls are among the women who will speak at the University of Rhode Island Nov. 20 to celebrate International Education Week. The panel discussion focusing on women in the Middle East and South Asia will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at URI’s Feinstein Campus, 80 Washington St., Providence. The cost is free, but donations to the Women’s Council for Development Student Scholarship are welcome.

International Education Week, from Nov. 17 through 21, will give community members an opportunity to learn more about the importance of a global education in the 21st century. Events will be held in the Memorial Union, Multicultural Center, Edwards Hall and other buildings on the Kingston and Providence campuses. Click here for the full schedule.

The panelists at this talk are:

  • Mona Ali, a graduate student at URI and a Fulbright Arabic Language teaching assistant. She also serves as a cultural ambassador to strengthen understanding between Egypt and the United States.
  • Ellaha Sharifi, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she studied economics and global business. She works for Road Scholar Boston and serves as a board advisor for Sahar Education, an international nonprofit that builds schools for Afghan girls. Born in Afghanistan, she moved to Pakistan during the Afghan war. She attended one year of high school on an exchange program through the U.S. Department of State and went to college at Mount Holyoke through The Initiative to Educate Afghan Women.
  • Col. Susan Luz, one of the highest-ranking female soldiers in the 399th Combat Support Hospital, an Army Reserve unit based in Massachusetts. Luz was awarded the Bronze Star in 2007 for her meritorious service in Iraq. Originally trained as a nurse, Luz has devoted her life to public service and has worked in inner-city schools, jails and adolescent psychiatric wards. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil, she has a nursing degree from URI and a master’s degree in community health nursing from Boston University.
  • Katrin Jomaa, an associate professor of Islam and Politics of the Middle East at URI. She received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at American University in Cairo and a master’s degree in applied materials science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Jomaa completed her doctorate in Middle Eastern Studies in 2012 at Indiana University. Her research interests include Islamic thought and philosophy and Quranic exegesis, as well as classical and modern political philosophy. She taught Arabic at Emory University, American University of Beirut and Beloit College. In addition to her interest in humanities, Jomaa has a passion for science and technology.

For more information, contact Samantha Stevens, Alumni Relations, at 401-874-4604 or stevenss@my.uri.edu.

The panel discussion is sponsored by the URI Alumni Association Women’s Council for Development and the Women’s Center.

This release was written by Caitlin Musselman, a URI Marketing and Communications intern and a public relations and political science major.