Political Historian to Discuss Libya, Colonialism, Foreign Affairs

Dr. Ali Ahmida, University of New England
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Dr. Ali Ahmida, University of New England

The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies is pleased to welcome Ali Ahmida, chair of the department of political science at the University of New England, who will be in residence at the University of Arkansas from March 17 to 21.

Ali Abdullatif Ahmida was born in Waddan, Libya, and educated at Cairo University in Egypt and the University of Washington, Seattle. He is a professor and chair of the department of political science at the University of New England, Biddeford, Maine. His specialty is political theory, comparative politics, and historical sociology. His scholarship focuses on power, agency and anti-colonial resistance in North Africa, especially modern Libya. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, he is also the author of The Making of Modern Libya (1994, 2009) and Forgotten Voices: Power and Agency in Colonial and Postcolonial Libya (2005); he is the editor of Beyond Colonialism and Nationalism in the Maghrib (2000) and Bridges Across the Sahara (2011). He has published op-ed essays in The New York Times and Al-Jazeera, and has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show. Professor Ahmida is the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors including most recently, the Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences for 2010-11 for excellence in teaching and scholarship at the University of New England.

A specialist on power, agency and anti-colonial resistance in North Africa, especially modern Libya, Ahmida will lead the discussion following a special screening of director Mustapha Akkad’s Lion of the Desert – an epic tale of the resistance against Fascist Italy led by Omar Mukhtar. The film, starring Anthony Quinn, Rod Steiger and Oliver Reed was filmed on location. The screening will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday in Giffels Auditorium (Old Main 201) with a discussion to follow. This event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, Ahmida will take part in a forum entitled “Libya: Beyond Qaddafi and Benghazi” at 11 a.m. Friday, March 21, in Room 507-508 in the Arkansas Union. Ahmida will discuss the current political situation in Libya after the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi in October 2011 and the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in September 2012. This event is also free and open to the public.

About the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies:

The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies is an academic and research unit in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. An interdisciplinary and interdepartmental area studies center that offers diverse cultural, intellectual, and educational opportunities for the University of Arkansas community, it promotes research and teaching in interdisciplinary Middle East studies. The center offers an undergraduate major in Middle East Studies and supports graduate studies in related departments through the Middle East Studies Program, as well as summer language study and research assistantships for graduate students and teaching and research by visiting scholars from affiliated universities and programs. More information about the King Fahd Center can be found at http://mest.uark.edu. For ongoing news, follow the Center on Facebook and Twitter.


Nani Verzon, Program Coordinator
King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies
479-575-2175, hverzon@uark.edu


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