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Scholar of Islam to address challenges facing Arab women

Sallama Shaker, visiting professor of Islamic Studies at Yale Divinity School, will deliver the 2009 Margaret Lindquist Sorensen Lecture on the topic “We Came a Long Way.”  The lecture, free and open to the public, will be held in Niebuhr Hall on March 3 at 5:15pm, followed by a reception in the Sarah Smith Gallery.

In this lecture, Shaker will explore the power of education and learning and the ways in which stereotypical images can be affected by building bridges, e.g., between religions and cultures.

Among the subjects Shaker plans to address is a Jan. 13-15 conference in Alexandria, Egypt, “Arab Women Facing the Challenges of Globalization.”   The conference goals were to identify the most critical problems facing women in the Middle East; discuss the kinds of research that would help alleviate the problems; and propose a set of non-governmental organizations to participate in the first phase of research.

Shaker has held a number of positions in the Egyptian government over nearly four decades.  Most recently, she has served as Egypt’s assistant minister of foreign affairs.  Previously, among many other positions, she was the ambassador to Canada; consul general at the Embassy of Egypt in Washington; and assistant minister for cultural and education relations, and religious affairs and dialogue.

She has an interest in subjects as diverse as: women, power politics and liberation movements; the economic aspects of Chinese foreign policy; development and Islamic values; women in Islam; and conflict resolution.

Shaker has been a consultant to the World Bank and to the International Fund for Agricultural Development and a senior associate at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

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