Emory Report
October 22, 2007
Volume 60, Number 8

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October 22, 2007
Halle Institute forum raises Kuwait’s profile

Alma Freeman is the communications specialist for the Office of International Affairs and The Halle Institute.

The tiny country of Kuwait harbors approximately 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves, is savvy and experienced in international banking and finance, and is a friend and military ally to the United States in the heart of the Persian Gulf. Yet, in a recent survey conducted by the American Kuwaiti Alliance, only 17 percent of Americans believe Kuwait to be a close ally of the United States.

This begs the question: have we forgotten Kuwait? The “Eye on Kuwait” tour provides a forum for dialogue between Kuwait and the United States to promote and enhance business, investment, political and academic relationships between the two countries. Under the patronage of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the tour will include a number of senior Kuwaiti dignitaries, academics and business leaders forefront in their careers.

On Oct. 25, The Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning will sponsor a luncheon and public forum event as an opportunity for faculty, students and guests to ask questions of the delegates and learn more about opportunities for future cooperation in areas of higher education, business and industry. The American Kuwaiti Alliance is co-sponsoring the tour and the public forum at Emory. For more information about the delegation and for registration details, visit www.halleinstitute.emory.edu.

In other Halle Institute news, a Sept. 27 panel brought together students, community leaders and faculty for a discussion on “The Art of Integration: Muslims of Britain” and a viewing of a traveling exhibition of photographs by Peter Sanders, a Muslim convert and internationally recognized photographer of the Muslim world.

The British Consulate General of Atlanta sponsored the visit of keynote speaker Shareefa Fulat, leadership capacity manager of Britain’s Preventing Extremism Unit Department for Communities and Local Government, as part of its work on PREVENT, a strand of the United Kingdom’s long-term counter-terrorism strategy that aims to tackle the root causes of radicalization of individuals. Fulat presented a snapshot of some of the challenges Muslims face living in Britain — from education and social isolation to health care and identity — based on surveys and statistical analysis conducted through her department.

Currently nearly 2 million Muslims live in Britain, a diverse group that accounts for 3 percent of the population. During her presentation, Fulat noted that 70 percent of all Muslims living in the United Kingdom are under the age of 35, a particularly relevant statistic in today’s climate.

“This is not only interesting in terms of its implications for the labor market, schools, education and health policies, but also in the context of the current threat that we face from global terrorism, given that most of the people we know from the United Kingdom who have carried out or attempted to carry out acts of terrorism have been largely under the age of 35 and are British born,” Fulat said. One half of Muslims are not employed, far higher than any other faith or race group in the United Kingdom, while the infant mortality rate was twice as high as the rest of Britain in 2001.