2:00 p.m. Sunday, March 19, 2017
Middle Eastern scholar to deliver 'Genocide Awareness Day' keynote program

Middle Eastern scholar Dr. John Calvert will present “T.E. Lawrence, the Arab Revolt, and World War I in the Middle East” at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19 at the Betty Strong Encounter Center as the keynote for “Worldwide Genocide Awareness Day.” Admission will be free.

Calvert’s talk will examine World War I’s dark inheritance in the Middle East. Drawing on a rich cast of characters – T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), the Hashemite princes of the Arab Revolt, and British and French colonial officials – the talk will bring to life the making of the modern Middle East.

The Creighton University Professor of History will explain how the post-war imperial carve-up laid the foundations of future conflict and poisoned relations between the Middle East and West.

In addition to Calvert’s program, volunteers will staff tables throughout the Center to share information about past and present genocides, including Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Congo, Darfur, World War II, Native Americans and Rwanda. Social-action tables will promote organizations that are helping genocide victims. Doors will open at noon; the event will end at 4 p.m.

 “This is an education and awareness day – an opportunity to learn from the past and face the issues of today,” says Rabbi Guy Greene of Sioux City’s Congregation Beth Shalom.

Calvert teaches courses on medieval and modern Middle Eastern history. His most recent book, “Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism” (New York and London: Columbia University Press/Hurst, 2010; New York: Oxford University Press, 2010) received critical acclaim.

Calvert is regularly interviewed on Middle Eastern affairs by major world newspapers. He has appeared in documentaries produced by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and National Public Radio (NPR). He holds a Ph.D. from McGill University.

 “Genocide Awareness Day” social-action tables will promote Charity Water; Solar Cooker Project; Doctors Without Borders; United Nations Charter of Human Rights; World Vision (hunger); Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society which helps people of all faiths; Halo Trust (land mine eradication); Refugee Camp Crisis Around the World; Worldwide Violence Against Women; and World AIDS Crisis.