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Archive for April 2011

SFS' Associate Dean of Programs and Studies Jennifer Windsor weighed in on the future of Syria during Thursday's Air Talk with Larry Mantle on Southern California's KPCC public radio.

Listen to the segment here!

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Theodore H. Moran, nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington DC and the holder of the Marcus Wallenberg chair at the School of Foreign Service in Georgetown University, published his paper on Monday entitled: Foreign Manufacturing Multinationals and the Transformation of the Chinese Economy: New Measurements, New Perspectives. For more info, check out Finfacts

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SFS' Jacques Berlinerblau -- director of the Program for Jewish Civilization -- and Sally Quinn of the Washington Post discuss the significance of President Obama's Easter prayer service remarks in the latest episode of The God Vote. Click through to watch.

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David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post. Maraniss is the author of many critically acclaimed and bestselling books, among them When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton, They Marched Into Sunlight – War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967, Clemente – The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero, and Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World.

David is a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the Pulitzer for national reporting in 1993 for his newspaper coverage of then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton. He also was part of The Washington Post team that won a 2008 Pulitzer for the newspaper's coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting. He has won several other notable awards for achievements in journalism, including the Anthony Lukas Book Prize. He and his wife Linda live in Washington, DC, and Madison, Wisconsin.

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 Alexandra Cousteau – environmentalist, water advocate and Georgetown graduate – has been fascinated with water and oceans for pretty much her entire life.

“Everything I’m doing now started really early,” Cousteau told a packed ICC auditorium on April 5, co-sponsored by SFS’ Science, Technology and International Affairs proram (STIA), the Lecture Fund, the Office of the College Dean and the Center for Environment.

“My parents taught me to swim when I was four months old; I went on my first expedition shortly thereafter to Easter Island,” Cousteau said.

Her fascination is no surprise, given that her grandfather is Jacques Cousteau, legendary filmmaker and explorer.

Cousteau talked about her grandfather fondly, attributing his films to opening up the ocean for people.  She described a period in her childhood when she would spend a lot of time with him, feeding and learning about fish. She realized later that he was teaching her about sustainability and biodiversity and what mankind stands to lose if it does not protect the oceans.

She continued to be fascinated by any body of water, “but as I got older, some of those places that were truly precious to me started to disappear,” Cousteau said, recalling that this began her interest in activism.  After working on water-related projects in South America, she came to Georgetown and eventually decided to study government with a focus on international relations.

She made it clear to the students in attendance that “I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.” She struggled because there was no career in environmentalism. She felt international relations and political science could teach her cause and effect.

She started her non-profit Blue Legacy in 2008 to shape the conversation about the interconnected issues with water. To do this, she chose a web-based approach to reach a broader audience.  “I come from a filmmaking family, but I didn’t want to make films. I wanted to make videos online,” she said.

Cousteau went on a 100-day expedition and filmed web videos so people could see these issues up close.  Although the videos were well received, she realized her videos weren’t affecting people the way she hoped because viewers didn’t see the connection to the United States. So she went on another expedition of North America.

“It was shocking, what we saw,” Cousteau said of the North American expedition. “Even I had really underestimated the extent to which we have really devastated some of our most amazing treasures.”  Cousteau’s team studied the Colorado River and the aftermath of the Gulf Oil Spill, among other issues.

“What I learned on this last expedition is that we have to shape the conversation we’re having about water. We need to understand that we all live under a larger system,” Cousteau said.

She also had some advice to give the students in attendance.  “The most important thing I would tell you which I’ve learned is that no matter what you do, choose something that makes you feel alive. I’ve met a lot of people doing incredibly important things, out of the box things, innovative things and they all do what they love. They’re excited about it,” she stressed.

“Water is a funny thing in that it’s incredibly local,” Cousteau summed up. She said that the biggest changes she’s seen don’t come from the top, but from communities and people who are dedicated to make changes in the way they live their life.

“Local action is one of our strongest assets and something we should all be a part of,” Cousteau concluded.

 

-Jen Lennon April 20, 2011

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As the official representative of A Common Word in North America, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University will host a follow-up meeting to its successful conference A Common Word: A Global Agenda for Change, held in October of 2009. This year’s conference will explore concrete initiatives undertaken by practitioners from Muslim and Christian faith communities, in hopes of going beyond theological discussions and highlighting the “so-what” factor of this important initiative. Participants will present significant projects taking place on both a local and international scale, demonstrating the breadth and success of outcomes that can emerge as a result of multi-faith cooperation and the key principles outlined in A Common Word.

1:30-3:00pm      Panel 3: How Emerging Muslim American Leaders Understand and are Advancing A Common Word

Chair: Shireen Hunter (Georgetown University)

Panelists: Shamil Idriss (Soliya), Leena El-Ali (Search for Common Ground), Henry Izumizaki (One Nation Foundation)

Respondent: John Borelli (Georgetown University)

 

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As the official representative of A Common Word in North America, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University will host a follow-up meeting to its successful conference A Common Word: A Global Agenda for Change, held in October of 2009. This year’s conference will explore concrete initiatives undertaken by practitioners from Muslim and Christian faith communities, in hopes of going beyond theological discussions and highlighting the “so-what” factor of this important initiative. Participants will present significant projects taking place on both a local and international scale, demonstrating the breadth and success of outcomes that can emerge as a result of multi-faith cooperation and the key principles outlined in A Common Word.

 

11am-12:30pm Panel 2: Religion & Conflict Resolution in Nigeria

Chair: Jonathan Brown (Georgetown University)

Panelists: Qamar-ul Huda (United States Institute of Peace), John Gana (Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations), John Paden (George Mason University), Shobana Shankar (Georgetown University)

                        Respondent: John O. Voll (Georgetown University)    

 

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As the official representative of A Common Word in North America, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University will host a follow-up meeting to its successful conference A Common Word: A Global Agenda for Change, held in October of 2009. This year’s conference will explore concrete initiatives undertaken by practitioners from Muslim and Christian faith communities, in hopes of going beyond theological discussions and highlighting the “so-what” factor of this important initiative. Participants will present significant projects taking place on both a local and international scale, demonstrating the breadth and success of outcomes that can emerge as a result of multi-faith cooperation and the key principles outlined in A Common Word.

9:00-9:15am      Welcome John L.  Esposito (Georgetown University)

9:15-10:45am    Panel 1: Madrassa Curriculum Reforms in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Roles of Christian and Muslim NGOs

Chair: Don Wagner (Bridges of Faith)

Panelists: Qamar-ul Huda (United States Institute of Peace), Bob Roberts (Northwood Church), Alp Aslandogan (Institute of Interfaith Dialog)

Respondent: Louay Safi (Georgetown University) 

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Georgetown Women in International Affairs (GWIA) held a tea April 18, bringing women in powerful positions together to mingle with graduate students.  It’s hoped that the tea will become an annual event for GWIA, which is a signature initiative of SFS Dean Carol Lancaster.

The prestigious guests included Dr. Paula J. Dobriansky, senior vice president and global head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Thomson Reuters; Ambassador A. Elizabeth Jones, who has extensive international experience in Europe, Eurasia, South Asia and the Middle East and is currently a senior counselor at APCO Worldwide; Nisha Desai Biswal, an assistant administrator for Asia at USAID; Jan Piercy, executive vice president with ShoreBank Corporation; and Sarah Margon, associate director for the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress.

Students sat with guests at small tables and got the opportunity to ask a lot of questions. Margon advised one student that “the best way to get a job on the Hill is to intern there” and told her to start with states where she has lived.

Ambassador Jones told her table that she felt that being a woman in foreign service was an advantage in the Middle East because she could speak with both men and women and she was easily recognizable.

While plenty of business cards got passed around, the students got some inside scoop on work-life balance, navigating a strategic career and where to get started after graduate school.

Georgetown Women in International Affairs (GWIA) aims to strengthen the competencies which are the foundation of quality leadership among our graduate students to increase visibility of women in international affairs. Through interactive programming, GWIA connects, empowers, and prepares emerging women leaders.

 

-Jen Lennon April 19, 2011

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As the founder of Islam, Muhammad is one of the most influential figures in history. Our knowledge of his life has come mainly from the biography written by his followers, but Western historians have questioned the reliability of this story in the quest to uncover the 'historical Muhammad'. As modern controversies such as the Satanic Verses and the Danish cartoon crisis have shown, whatever the truth about Muhammad's life, his persona has taken on numerous shapes and played a crucial role in Muslim life and civilization. Providing both the Muslim and Western historical perspectives, Jonathan A.C. Brown explores Muhammad's role in both the medieval world and the world today.


Jonathan A.C. Brown received his BA in History from Georgetown University in 2000 and his doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2006. Dr. Brown has studied and conducted research in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia and Iran, and he is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His book publications include The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon (Brill, 2007), Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld, 2009) and Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011). He has published articles in the fields of Hadith, Islamic law, Sufism, Arabic lexical theory and Pre-Islamic poetry and is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic Law. Dr. Brown’s current research interests include the history of forgery and historical criticism in Islamic civilization, comparison with the Western tradition; and modern conflicts between Late Sunni Traditionalism and Salafism in Islamic thought.

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