January 20, 2004

ICIS hosts series on conflict resolution

By Deb Hammacher

A talk and book signing by New York Times Middle East bureau chief and author Chris Hedges on Jan. 28 will kick off Emory’s series on “War, Power and Non-Violence: Resolving Conflict in the Modern World.”

Presented by the Institute for Comparative and Internati-onal Studies (ICIS), the series includes lectures, discussions and video screenings by notable participants in conflict resolution from diverse perspectives. Some of the questions to be addressed include: Why do we go to war? What role does media coverage play? How can we achieve social and political change without violence?

Other major public events in the series are a Feb. 12 talk by Omar al-Issawi, founder of the Al-Jazeera television network; a Feb. 24 panel discussion and screening of the film A Force More Powerful; and a March 18 discussion with Eason Jordan, chief news executive for CNN.

Hedges will discuss his book, War is the Force That Gives Us Meaning, a social-psychological assessment of the reasons we embrace the horrors of war. The event will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 28, in the Woodruff Library’s Jones Room.
Hedges will speak about the insight gained from his experiences as a reporter and as an Iraqi prisoner of war. He also is the author of the recent Q&A-style book, What Every Person Should Know About War, and was part of the Times team that received a Pulitzer Prize last year for reporting on global terrorism.

Al-Issawi will address the topic, “Toward a New Middle East: The View from Al-Jazeera,” on Thursday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. in Cannon Chapel. A founder of and reporter for Al- Jazeera, the satellite news operation serving the Arabic-speaking world, al-Issawi previously worked for the BBC and has covered events in Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, Croatia and elsewhere. In 1995 he and some colleagues came under attack while covering the assault on Krajina in the Balkans. A BBC reporter was killed; al-Issawi was shot and wounded.

Born in Kuwait to Lebanese parents, al-Issawi attended college in Iowa and Virginia.
He began his media career working for radio stations in Lebanon and for Net TV and Future TV in Beirut. He also produces documentaries for Al-Jazeera, including a heralded 15-part series on the war in Lebanon.

The panel discussion and screening of A Force More Powerful will feature the film’s executive producer, Jack DuVall, in conversation with others involved in nonviolent conflict resolution. The 1999 film is an award-winning, critically acclaimed documentary and has been shown at film festivals in London, Houston, Seattle and other cities. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24, in 208 White Hall.

Jordan will discuss “Inside CNN: ‘Foreign’ is a Banned Word” on Thursday, March 18, at 7 p.m. in 208 White Hall. Jordan is executive vice president and chair of the CNN editorial board, and he provides strategic advice to the network’s senior management team. Jordan’s global portfolio includes managing CNN’s editorial relationships with international affiliates, governments and major newspapers. He oversees the network’s World Report Conference and its International Professional Program.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information on events in the series, call 404-712-9294.