Historians’ Roundtable to Focus on Syria and Egypt Oct. 2
Posted: September 27, 2013
“What’s going on in Syria and Egypt” will be the title of a free Historians’ Roundtable discussion Oct. 2, noon – 1 p.m. in room AC1610 at Mt. Hood Community College.
“We’ll focus on events in Egypt, where massive public protests (part of the Arab Spring) helped sweep former dictator Hosni Mubarak from power, leading to the election of Mohamed Morsi,” explains Patrick Casey, history instructor. “The Egyptian military played a key role in Mubarak’s departure and in arranging that country’s first presidential elections, and thus earned the support and respect of much of the Egyptian public.”
Casey adds, “Early in his presidency, growing discontent and more rounds of public protests led Morsi to suspend the constitution. Shortly after that, the Egyptian military removed him from power, claiming he was incapable of governing the country. This led to yet another round of massive public protests, which the army has forcibly broken up with massive loss of life.”
Continuing discontent among the public led many to fear that Egypt is heading for civil war – and substantially changing the Egyptian public’s perception of their military.
What is the role for the United States in this? Who should we support? What are the implications of our foreign policy choices? Mubarak was a major U.S. supporter; what now?
Casey said that the discussion will also address Syria, where President Bashir Assad and the Syrian military are fighting a civil war where at least 100,000 have already perished. Did Assad use chemical weapons against his own people? What should the U.S. response to that be? What about the current arrangement in which Russia and the U.S. will oversee Syria’s destruction of its chemical weapons – is that a win for the U.S., or for Russia?
The panel will be comprised of History Instructors Elizabeth Milliken, Joe Cavalli and Casey; along with Political Science Instructor Janet Campbell, Environmental Health & Safety Instructor Javid Mohtasham and English as a Second language (ESL) Instructor Judit Szentirmay.
Cavalli taught for a number of years in the Persian Gulf and has been monitoring the situation in Syria and Egypt closely. Szentirmay is a frequent visitor to Egypt and was there this summer and Mohtasham is a native of Iran and a student of Mideast politics.
Kennedy Assassination Nov. 22
The next Historians’ Roundtable will focus on the 50th anniversary of the President Kennedy assassination and will be held Nov. 22, noon – 1 p.m. in room AC2755.
Previous Historians’ Roundtable discussions have focused on Vortex, the Portland rock festival that took place in the 60s, the sinking of the Titanic and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.
Parking on all MHCC campuses is free, no permit required.
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