A standing-room-only audience attended the inauguration of the Clovis and Hala Salaam Maksoud Chair in Arab Studies on October 23rd. The evening event introduced Dr. Fida J. Adely, the first holder of the Chair established by friends of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in honor of Ambassador Clovis Masoud and his late wife Hala Salaam Maksoud.
Robert L. Gallucci, dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the inauguration. Rev. Timothy S. Godfrey, S.J., director of Campus Ministry, gave the invocation. Dr. Michael C. Hudson, CCAS director, gave the opening address, followed by some moving remarks by Ambassador Maksoud, founder and director of the Center for the Global South at American University. Ambassador Maksoud recalled the commitment of his late wife, Dr. Hala Maksoud, to human rights, women’s development, and a productive and rich dialogue between the Arab world and the West.
Dr. Adely then delivered an incisive and detailed critical presentation entitled “Education for Development in the Arab World: Progress, Dilemmas, and Choices.” Drawing on her doctoral field research on gender and education in Jordan, which she conducted under a Fulbright scholarship, Adely employed qualitative data to critique recent quantitative surveys concerning women’s development in the Arab World.
Adely, who holds a doctorate in comparative education and anthropology from Teachers College, Columbia University, drew on the experience of her own family members in Jordan to illustrate the recent history of public education in the Arab world.
Adely’s lecture was followed by closing remarks delivered by James J. O’Donnell, Georgetown University provost. Imam Yahya Hendi, Georgetown University Muslim chaplain, gave the benediction.
An expanded version of Dr. Adely’s lecture will appear as a CCAS Occasional Paper in early 2008.