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Middle Eastern Student Leaders Visit UCLA

Middle Eastern Student Leaders Visit UCLA

Arab student leaders from Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen observe American life.

By Jonathan Friedlander

A delegation of 14 Middle Eastern student leaders visited UCLA on Friday, March 1, under the auspices of the Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) and the International Visitors Bureau. The UCLA visit was part of a broader American tour organized by the United States Department of State designed to familiarize the Arab student leaders from Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen with American culture and way of life, and to engender a dialogue with their American counterparts.

The Middle Eastern student leaders were particularly interested in seeing and experiencing American democracy at work first hand, the varying lifestyles in the several American cities they visited, the issues confronting Americans at large--especially in the aftermath of the September 11 catastrophe--the coverage and representation of the Middle East conflict, the Arab world, and Islam in the American media, and the mechanisms of student governance in American universities.

At UCLA the student leaders met political science, education, history, and Islamic studies graduate students, administrators from the Center for Near Eastern Studies and from the office of International Studies and Overseas Programs (ISOP), as well as visiting scholars, faculty members from the Departments of History, Film and Television and Urban Planning, and the editor in chief and staff of the Daily Bruin. They were touched by the warm hospitality and friendship accorded to them at UCLA and expressed a strong desire to continue the dialogue online.

Center for Near Eastern Studies