Today Colleges Devote First ‘HWS Day’ to Middle East Understanding – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Today Colleges Devote First ‘HWS Day’ to Middle East Understanding

The first annual HWS Day, “Middle East Culture and Context,” features internationally known, award-winning authors, directors, producers and filmmakers from the U.S. and Arab states, as well as faculty- and student-led activities.

April 4, 2003 GENEVA, N.Y. – A day of immersion into the culture and context of the Middle East will on today, Tuesday, April 15, as Hobart and William Smith Colleges celebrate the first “HWS Day.” The topic for the day was chosen to fit the current keen focus on the Arab states.

“In these difficult times, it is particularly important that we provide our students and the entire local community with a foundation for understanding of the Middle East – a land of rich history and conflict,” said Colleges Provost Patricia Stranahan. “We are fortunate to bring internationally renowned experts on the Middle East to Geneva, N.Y., to help us bring this area into greater focus.”

In addition to the featured speakers, a variety of activities and discussion groups will take place throughout the day, hosted by faculty and students. Among these, an exhibit and discussion of Middle Eastern children’s art, Arabic music, a media presentation and poster session on the area, and discussions of current events in the Middle East. For a full schedule of events, please visit the HWS Day Web site at

Featured speakers include:
Terrence L. Martin – A 1966 graduate of Hobart College and graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Martin is executive producer of CBS News Productions, the arm of CBS News that sells programming to cable clients, including The History Channel, Court TV, and TLC, among others. He has most recently overseen three hours for the History Channel on the buildup to the Iraqi war as well as producing two hours for TLC on President Bush and 9/11. In his more than 30 years at CBS News, he has covered every major presidential election from 1972 through the famous Election 2000.

In 1980, he traveled with then former Gov. Ronald Reagan from the announcement of his candidacy through his election and inauguration. In 1991, he traveled to Saudi Arabia, where he helped cover the Persian Gulf War as Dan Rather’s anchor assistant. In that capacity, he has covered events ranging from the memorial service for the Challenger astronauts in 1985 to Republican and Democratic Party nominating conventions from Los Angeles to New York. He is the recipient of four Emmy awards. Martin’s topic for discussion is “Television Goes to War: From Saigon to Baghdad, with a Few Stops in Between.”

Maysoon Pachachi – Born of Iraqi origin, Pachachi has lived in the United Kingdom for many years. She holds a B.A. with honors in philosophy from University College, London, and graduated from the London International Film School. She worked as a film editor on many television documentaries and dramas, and recently cut Painted Angels, a Canadian-UK feature film starring Kelly McGillis.

She produced and edited Voices From Gaza, a Channel Four documentary that won a Red Ribbon Award in San Francisco, directed and produced Iraqi Women Voices From Exile (also for C4) and recently directed Iranian Journey, a feature-length documentary for ZDF/Arte (Golden Olive Award, Kalamata International Documentary Film Festival, 2000) and Living With The Past about people and monuments in Medieval Cairo for ECHO Productions (USA) and the Ford Foundation. With Noura Sakkaf (below) she has co-directed and produced Bitter Water (2003), a feature length documentary about one Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut.

Pachachi has taught film directing in Jerusalem and Gaza for the Jerusalem Film Institute and Med Media, a program of the European Union. She is currently writing a feature film about refugees in London, which she will also direct, and is developing documentary projects for her production company, Oxymoron Films, which she will direct and produce.

John Esposito – The founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and Professor at Georgetown University, Esposito’s specialty is political Islam and the impact of Islamic movements from North Africa to Southeast Asia. He is editor-in-chief of the four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World and The Oxford History if Islam, and author of more than 25 books. His two most recent books, “Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam,” and “What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam,” were published in 2002. His topic will be “The Myth of the Islamic Threat.”