Monday, November 14, 2011
Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman, who has been dubbed “The Mother of the Revolution” in Yemen, will speaking on the topic of “Women in the Arab Spring” at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on November 14.Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman, who has been dubbed “The Mother of the Revolution” in Yemen, will speaking on the topic of “Women in the Arab Spring” at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on November 14. Ms. Karman has been invited through the University of Michigan Arabic Flagship Program, housed in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, an intensive language program that immerses selected undergraduate students in Arabic language and culture. Hosting units also include the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies; the International Institute; the Islamic Studies Program; the Middle East and South Asia Gender Studies Initiative, housed in the Institute for the Study of Women and Gender; the Vice Provost for International Affairs; and the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia. “We are proud to host Tawakkul Karman, a courageous leader in the movement for peace and democracy that has already accomplished so much for Yemen and the entire region,” said Michael Bonner, chair of the Department of Near Eastern Studies Department and Interim Director of the Arabic Flagship Program. “She will enrich the cultural experience that we strive to offer our students, and she will bring a precious message to the large Middle Eastern community of Southeastern Michigan.” At the age of thirty-two, Ms. Karman has become one of the most recognized leaders in the pro-democracy movement in Yemen and the Arab world. She first earned international attention when she co-founded Women Journalists Without Chains in 2005, to protest restrictions on human rights in her country. Since then she has been highly active in campaigns for women’s rights and for political rights for all citizens of all countries. In January of this year, she led mass protests that predated the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Her arrest by Yemeni officials led to thousands of supporters taking to the streets calling for her release. Beginning in February she camped out with other protesters in what has become known as Change Square (Maydan al-taghyir) in the heart of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. Tawakkul Karman is the first Arab woman who has ever won the Nobel Peace Prize, which she shares this year with two other activist women, both from Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee. The lecture will take place at Rackham Auditorium, beginning at 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public. The doors will open at 3 p.m. Please note that no bags or purses will be allowed in the auditorium, without any exceptions. On the day before this lecture at Rackham, Tawakkul Karman will address the Arab-American and Yemeni-American community of Southeastern Michigan at the Dearborn Civic Center, at a time to be announced. The Language Flagship leads the nation in designing, supporting, and implementing a new paradigm for advanced language education. Through an innovative partnership among the federal government, education, and business, The Language Flagship seeks to graduate students who will take their place among the next generation of global professionals, commanding a superior level of fluency in one of many languages critical to U.S. competitiveness and security.