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Source: Melinda Sinn, 785-532-5888,
News release prepared by: Rosanna Vail, 785-532-2720,;
and Bethany Fief, 785-532-5888,

Friday, Feb. 13, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Issues of Arab-American women will be the focus of a conference at Kansas State University.

The first scholarly Arab-American Women Conference, March 12-15, will cover the immigration, settlement and history of the cultural group, as well as their status within the Arab-American community and the larger American society.

The conference is open to the public and is of interest to people interested in cultural studies, anthropology, women's studies, religious studies and other disciplines. Sessions will be offered at K-State's Hale Library and the K-State Alumni Center.

Among the topics to be addressed include the physical and mental health of Arab-American women and the impact of Sept. 11 on their lives; the relationship between ethnicity/religious affiliation and civic engagement; similarities and differences in attitudes and behaviors of Arab-American men and women; early immigrant women, their challenges and contributions; difficulties faced by Muslim-American women in different cultural settings; Arab-American women's strength, feminist activism and organizing; American view of Arab-American women and vice versa; literature, poetry and musical contributions of Arab-American women; and comparative studies between Arab-American women, African-American women and British-Arab women.

Mohja Kahf, a poet and associate professor of comparative literature at the University of Arkansas, will be the keynote speaker for the Saturday evening banquet. She will discuss the issue of persistent negative stereotypes and the need to address them.

Registration fees include all conference proceedings and materials, three continental breakfasts, two luncheons, two banquets and the opening reception. A special student registration fee is available, and registration for specific events or conference proceedings without meals also is an option.

Additional conference information is available online at: or by contacting Michael Suleiman at 785-532-0444 or

Logistical information is available by contacting Debbie Hagenmaier at 785-532-2560 or