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“Safeguarding Higher Education in Tunisia and Beyond” to Feature University of Manouba’s Kazdaghli—Feb. 21-22 in Tunis, Tunisia

February 19, 2013

University of Manouba Dean Habib Kazdaghli, recognized as a prominent voice for university autonomy and academic freedom in Tunisia, will be among the speakers at “University and the Nation: Safeguarding Higher Education in Tunisia and Beyond,” Feb. 21-22, at the University of Manouba in Tunis, Tunisia.

Reporters wishing to attend the event, co-sponsored by New York University’s Center for Dialogues and the Scholars at Risk Network, must RSVP to For a complete schedule of sessions, click here.

More than a year after the revolution that inspired a wave of change throughout the region, Tunisians are now seizing this moment to debate the foundational values upon which to build their democratic future. Recent intimidation and violence against Tunisian artists, intellectuals, and higher education communities highlights the critical moment at which this debate is taking place. At the forefront of the political and social transformations underway throughout the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, Tunisia, analysts say, offers an important test of international collaboration in support of local advocates of intellectual freedom and freedom of expression.

The conference, which takes place against the backdrop of recent political upheavals and mass street protests in Tunisia, will address the critically important role that academic freedom and institutional autonomy play in democratic societies, and provide a platform for leaders from across the region’s higher education community to discuss their common challenges and shared successes.

The event will also include: Osama Ibrahim Sayed Ahmed, president, Alexandria University, Egypt; Mhammed Al-Malki, professor of law, University of Marrakesh, Morocco; Lisa Anderson, president, American University in Cairo; Hmaïd Ben Aziza, president, Tunis University, Tunisia; Hussein Eissa, president, Ain Shams University, Egypt; ErhanErkut, rector, Özye?in University, Turkey; Jonathan Fanton, former president, New School University and the MacArthur Foundation; Mustapha Haddab, professor of Philosophy, University of Alger, Algeria; Robert Quinn, executive director, Scholars at Risk Network; HamadiRedissi, professor of Political Science, El Manar University, Tunisia; Mustapha Tlili, director, New York University Center for Dialogues; and others

Editor’s Note:
New YorkUniversity’s Center for Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West emerged from the tragedy of September 11th, which highlighted the need for greater communication among and about the United States, Europe, and the Muslim world. The Center was founded as a forum for constructive debate among the various religious, intellectual, economic, and political sectors of American, European, and Islamic societies. It brings contentious issues between the Islamic world and the West into a more rational plane and promotes this approach to a wide audience, including important constituencies of policy and decision-makers, policy analysts, the media, and educational institutions. For more, go to

Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of higher education institutions, associations and individuals acting together to protect threatened scholars, promote academic freedom, and defend everyone’s right to think, question and share ideas freely and safely. Scholars at Risk members save lives by providing sanctuary to professors, lecturers, researchers and other intellectuals who suffer threats in their home country. Through temporary academic positions, SAR members help scholars to escape dangerous conditions and to continue their important work. In return, scholars contribute to their host campuses through teaching, research, lectures and other activities. Many scholars return to their home countries after their visit. When safe return is not possible, SAR works with scholars to identify opportunities to continue their work abroad. The benefits are clear: scholars are free to live and work without fear. SAR members gain talented academics and inspiring, courageous educators. The world benefits from solidarity among higher education institutions, greater awareness of current threats to academic freedom, and deeper appreciation of the vital role of higher education and scholarship in free societies. Scholars at Risk also educates the public about attacks on scholars and higher education communities through the SAR website, email bulletins, publications and events. The SAR Speaker Series brings threatened scholars to member campuses to engage directly with students, faculty, alumni and the community. SAR also advocates on behalf of imprisoned scholars and undertakes research aimed at promoting understanding and respect for academic freedom and related values. For more information contact scholarsatrisk@nyu.eduor visit

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Arts and Science

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: James Devitt | (212) 998-6808

“Safeguarding Higher Education in Tunisia and Beyond” to Feature Kazdaghli— Feb. 21-22 in Tunis, Tunisia

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