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Turmoil in Egypt, Turkey to be explored in discussion

The discussion will take place at 5:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Science.

The Middle Eastern studies program is bringing the ongoing political unrest in Egypt and Turkey into discussion today on campus.

Director of the Middle Eastern studies program Houri Berberian said she organized the discussion with the hopes of informing students about the conflicts in both countries and providing them with the perspectives of people who witnessed them firsthand.

“I hope students will leave the event with a clearer understanding of the conflicts as well as an appreciation of their complexity,” Berberian said via email.

One of the guests expected to attend is Asli Bali, a law professor at University of California, Los Angeles, who was in Turkey during the protests. Bali will explain the events in Egypt and Turkey while putting them both into regional and international context, according to Berberian.

Berberian said Cal State Long Beach history professor Ali Igmen and graduate adviser in the psychical therapy department Olfat Mohamed will give their own accounts of the events they witnessed abroad in June and July.

“The combination of an expert’s views with those who experienced the events … should provide students with fresh insight into the successes and failures, as well as hopes and disappointments, of a region in crisis,” Berberian said.

A surge of mass protests in July led to the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi by the country’s military. Recently, the military-run government has been cracking down on pro-Morsi protests that have seen a number of arrests and shootings, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The protests in Turkey began in June when police moved in on protestors who were camped outside Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which ultimately led to further anti-government protests and police action, according to the LA Times.

“What happens in another corner of the globe affects and even pierces our lives in unprecedented ways,” Berberian said. “I believe that in such a world, it is to our advantage to be informed and curious.”

The discussion will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Hall of Science, Room 103.

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