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Iraqi to share stories from his war-torn country during lecture at Whitworth University Feb. 11

January 21, 2010
First guest speaker for university's annual Great Decisions Lecture Series also will discuss his role in counterterrorism efforts in Iraq

As the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq approaches, one of the country's native sons, Hussam Al-Khalidy, will present the first lecture in the 53rd annual Great Decisions Lecture Series at Whitworth University. The series features five speakers who focus on current political, cultural and economic subjects of interest to the international community. The public is invited to attend the lectures free of charge. Al-Khalidy will present "A Life of Struggle in Iraq," on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University. For more information, please call (509) 777-3270.

"We're looking forward to hearing from someone who has an on-the-ground perspective of what's been happening in Iraq," says Patrick Van Inwegen, an associate professor of political science at Whitworth. "Hussam Al-Khalidy has lived through the things we see in the news, and his experiences and point of view will help us understand some of the major foreign policy issues in Iraq and the surrounding region."

Al-Khalidy was born in Baghdad, where his life was shaped by the strife during the Iran-Iraq war and the first Gulf War, as well as by economic sanctions and sectarian violence after the U.S. invasion in 2003. He worked with coalition forces at the Bucca Prison, in the southern oil port of Basra, where he interviewed prisoners to determine whether they were involved in the insurgency. He immigrated to the U.S. last year and now lives in Spokane, where he works with the growing number of Iraqi refugees who are relocating here.

In addition to the Feb. 11 lecture, Great Decisions lectures will take place on March 11, March 18, April 8, and April 22. The lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in Weyerhaeuser Hall's Robinson Teaching Theatre. For information on upcoming lectures, please call (509) 777-3270. Great Decisions 2010 is sponsored by the Whitworth Political Science Department.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Barbara Brodrick, academic program assistant, political science department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3270 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or