PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: April 7, 2006
Center for Arab American Studies to host international conference
DEARBORN---The Center for Arab American Studies at the University of
Michigan-Dearborn will host the first international conference in which
scholars, public intellectuals, officials, cultural workers and activists
will discuss the current and historical experiences of displacement and
The three-day conference, titled "Mapping Arab Diasporas: Border
Crossing, Exile, Displacement," will take place from 8 a.m. to 5:45
p.m. April 27-29 at UM-Dearborn's Fairlane Center.
"The post-9/11 atmosphere of Islamophobia and racial and ethnic
profiling of Arabs, central and south Asians and the targeting of immigrants
for detention and deportation makes the study and analysis of the relationship
of marginalized diasporic communities to the countries in which they live
an absolute necessity--both intellectually and politically," according
to Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi, director of UM-Dearborn's Center for Arab American
"In so doing, this first worldwide conference on Arab Diasporas
has to account for race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class and
wealth, citizenship and immigration status, and other structural inequalities
that shape and influence the lives and experiences of Arabs in the diaspora
and their interaction with their socio-political context," she said.
"We expect the conference to highlight the centrality of transnational
networks through which immigrant communities maintain their links at home
with the homelands from they or their ancestors descended."
The Center for Arab American Studies at UM-Dearborn is the first and
only academic center in the world dedicated to the study of people of
Arab descent who live in the Americas.
The "Mapping Arab Diasporas" conference builds on the Center's
mission to contribute to a better public understanding of Arab experiences
and concerns in the Americas, the promotion of a culture of justice, dignity,
tolerance, and peace; and the deepening of a sense of fairness, ethics,
and solidarity among and between our communities. As a result, CAAS is
committed to projects that promote the well being of our neighborhoods
in the greater Metropolitan Detroit area and its mosaic of peoples of
all racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural groups," according to
A concert and cultural festival with Iraqi renowned oud (lute) player,
Naseer Shamma, will be held following the conference at 7:30 p.m. on Friday,
April 28. "Jammin' for Justice" will benefit the Children's
Cancer Hospital in Iraq. Shamma is the founder of Bayt Al Oud Music at
Cairo Opera House, a highly selective music academy that trains young
women and men in the "secrets of the oud," according to Shamma.
Shamma will be joined by Syrian established poet, Lina Tibi, who was an
invited speaker at the PEN international conference in 2004. Spoken word
artists and local poets will also participate by donating their time and
creativity for the benefit concert.
The cost to attend the conference ranges from $50-$100. Cost for attending the conference and the concert ranges from $75 to $500. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Center for Arab American Studies at (313) 583-6334.