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Last updated: Saturday, 14-Mar-2009 19:10:44 Central Daylight Time

November 8, 2001


Lecture and Film on Middle East Sceduled at UW-RF

Two events have been scheduled in the UW-River Falls series of public forums on people, religion, and cultures of the Middle East. The events, developed in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, are sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences. They are free and open to the public.

UW-RF Lecturer Steven Derfler will deliver a lecture titled "Arabic Culture and Civilization" on Monday, Nov. 26, from 7-9 p.m. in the Blue Room of Rodli Commons. His presentation will follow the development of the Arabic lifestyle from early nomadic life on the desert, to the establishment of villages and cities, to its entry into the 21st Century. Derfler will lead a discussion following the lecture.

Derfler is an international educational consultant, public speaker, archaeologist, historian, researcher, teacher and writer who for nearly 25 years has traced the development of Western religions from their roots in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean countries. He brings insight to current political and social events, bridging the past with the future to promote greater understanding between people from different faiths and walks of life.

A film on war in Afghanistan, "Jung (War): In the Land of the Mujaheddin," will be shown on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 7:30-10 p.m. and on Friday, Dec. 7, from 4:30-7 p.m. in Room 271 of Centennial Science Hall. The film, which is on loan from the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, is an Italian film with English subtitles.

The film looks at modern-day Afghanistan through the eyes of a surgeon and a war correspondent who joined forces to set up a hospital in a country torn by wars for the past 20 years. Against all the odds, the hospital was built in the Panshir Valley, where it serves an unending stream of casualties.

According to the distributor of the film, it provides a close-up look at life in Afghanistan today. Houses and schools have been burned, sons have been killed on the battlefield, and almost everyone is hungry. Women are beaten in the street if they are wearing sandals that show part of their legs. Tanks have conquered the mountains, soldiers are trigger-happy, and the country is covered with land mines that countless innocent victims step on every day. There are many harsh and graphic scenes in the film.

Dean Gorden Hedahl and Assistant Dean Terry Brown, who is an English professor, will each attend one of the showings to introduce the film and lead the discussion afterward. In addition, faculty with expertise on the topic will be in the audience to help answer questions.

For more information on the lecture or the film, call 715/425-3366.


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