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Writer Kanan Makiya to speak on "Identity, Memory and Democracy in Post-War Iraq" Feb. 19

February 4, 2004

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Identity, Memory and Democracy in Post-War Iraq" will be the topic of a lecture by Kanan Makiya?author of "Republic of Fear" and an advisor to the Iraqi National Congress?on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 4:30 p.m. on the Middlebury College campus.  The talk will take place in Dana Auditorium in Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125).  A reception will take place immediately afterwards in the Redfield Proctor Room of Proctor Hall on Hepburn Road off College Street.  Both events are free and open to the public.

Makiya, who will travel to Middlebury from Baghdad, is also the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University, and the founder of the Iraq Memory Project, an organization that plans to build a museum chronicling the crimes of the Ba'th Party police state while honoring its victims.  He also directs the Iraq Research and Documentation Project at Harvard University, which is working to make available for scholarly research some three million pages of official Iraqi government documents obtained by the Kurds following the Gulf War in 1991.

Makiya's book "Republic of Fear" was published under the pseudonym Samir al-Khalil in 1989, just before the Gulf War broke out.  According to Allison Stanger, director of the Middlebury College Rohatyn Center for International Affairs, it was the only book at the time that could explain the motives behind Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.  An updated edition was published in 1998, appearing for the first time under the author's real name and describing how the Arab Ba'th Socialist Party had transformed Iraq since 1968. 

Born in Baghdad, Makiya left Iraq to study architecture at M.I.T., later joining Makiya Associates to design and build projects in the Middle East.  He is also the author of "The Monument: Art, Vulgarity and Responsibility in Iraq" (1991); "Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising and the Arab World" (1993), which was awarded The Lionel Gelber Prize for the best book on international relations published in English in 1993; and "The Rock: A Seventh Century Tale of Jerusalem." 

Makiya has written for numerous publications as well, both in the United States and Britain, including The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Independent, The Times Literary Supplement and The Times.  In October 1992, he acted as the convener of the Human Rights Committee of the Iraqi National Congress, a transitional parliament based in northern Iraq.  He has collaborated on two films for television.  One of the films, "Saddam's Killing Fields," which exposed the 1988 campaign of mass murder in northern Iraq known as the Anfal, received the Edward R. Murrow Award For Best Television Documentary On Foreign Affairs in 1992.

The Middlebury College Rohatyn Center for International Affairs is the sponsor of Makiya's talk.

For more information, contact Charlotte Tate, assistant director of the Middlebury College Rohatyn Center for International Affairs, at or 802-443-5795.


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