A great university knits together knowledge and the public interest. It's a best-of-all-possible ideal that the University of Washington evinced with a series of post-9/11 lectures about the deeper currents in Middle East politics, history, and culture. Nearly a decade ago non-academics, agonizing, and hungering for wisdom, looked to the UW. Locals crowded Kane Hall and an inspired faculty delivered.
Egypt's 2/11 is no 9/11, but Northwesterners are anxious to learn more after a populist movement erupted in Tunisia and peaked on the streets of Cairo and ... fill in the blank: Tehran, Amman, Riyadh? We live in interesting times.
On Thursday (Feb. 17), the University of Washington again breathes life into its public-service mission. The UW's Joel Migdal joins moderator Resat Kasaba for a panel discussion entitled Egypt: The Revolution and the Future that's free and open to the public (it's in Kane 210, so anticipate a sizable audience). Two scholars will present live from Cairo: Ellis Goldberg, the longtime UW political science professor, Carnegie fellow, and specialist on Egypt, as well as Hind Ahmed, a UW PhD candidate and Tahrir Square activist. Expect eyewitness analysis by scholars grounded in the rich, complex history of the Middle East.
At times the University of Washington hides its light under the athletic department or squirreled-away researchers who think about big things that big thinkers think. With Egypt: The Revolution and the Future, the UW stands at the intersection of scholarship and the greater good once again.
If you go: Egypt: The Revolution and the Future free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Middle East Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Kane Hall 210, University of Washington, Seattle. For more information, a flyer is available here.