September 5, 2007

HARRISONBURG—Rami G. Khouri, Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut and Editor-at-Large of the Beirut-based Daily Star, will inaugurate the 2007-2008 Guardian Lecture Series for the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University. Khouri, who was the co-winner of the 2006 Pax Christi International Peace Prize, will speak on “From Beirut to Baghdad: An Arab View of America’s Troubled Role in the Middle East” on Monday, September 17, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. in HHS 2301. The event is free and open to the public and qualifies as a Wellness Passport event for JMU students.

Mr. Khouri received his B.A. in political science and journalism and his M.S. in mass communications from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York . He was editor-in-chief of the Jordan Times for seven years and general manager of Al Kutba Publishers in Amman, Jordan, for eighteen years. During that time, he also served as a consultant to the Jordanian tourism ministry on biblical archaeological sites, authoring several books on antiquities. In addition to his current work with the American University in Beirut and the Daily Star , Mr. Khouri is an internationally-syndicated political columnist. He is also a nonresident senior fellow of both the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Dubai School of Government.

In November 2006, he was shared the Pax Christi International Peace Prize with Ogarit Younan, the founder of the Lebanese Association for Civil Rights. The award is made annually by the international peace movement to a contemporary figure who is working against violence and injustice, usually at the grassroots level. The immediate past recipients were Jacques Delors, French statesman and former European Commission President, who won the 2005 prize, and Sergio Vieira de Mello, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Special Representative in Iraq, who received it posthumously in 2004 after he was killed in a terrorist bombing in Baghdad.

“At a time when concerns about the direction of United States policy in the Middle East is very much in the forefront of national policy discussions, we are extraordinarily pleased that a distinguished scholar and journalist like Mr. Khouri will be speaking at JMU,” said Dr. J. Peter Pham, director of the Nelson Institute. “I expect that his keen insights will help us to put the issues into historical and political perspective.”

Mr. Khouri’s visit to JMU is being co-sponsored by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.