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Three with Ties to Afghanistan to Speak September 5th at Catawba College "BookRevue"

August 24, 2006

Category: Academics, Events, Students

Three professionals with strong ties to Afghanistan will provide insights and perspectives on Catawba College's 2006 common reading selection, "The Kite Runner," when they visit campus on Tuesday, September 5th. Nilufar Shuja, an Afghan-American business woman from Manteca, Calif., Tahir Porjosh, a teacher in Alexandria, Va., and Seddiq Behrooz, a Salisbury asset engineer born in Herat, will serve as commentators during BookRevue scheduled at 7:30 p.m. September 5 in Crystal Lounge.

"The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is this year's common reading text for Catawba's first-year students. BookRevue is just one of several planned co-curricularEvents that will enhance the students' discussion of this text in first-year seminar classes. 


"The Kite Runner"
Kite RunnerSet in Kabul, Afghanistan, Hosseini's best-selling first novel was published in 2003 and has since appeared on various bestseller lists. It is the tale of a friendship between two Afghan boys and how one's betrayal of the other affects their adult lives. Incorporating universal themes, the novel's storyline stretches across several decades of Afghan history, from the monarchy of Mohammad Zahir Shah through the bloodless coup of 1973, the Communist takeover in 1978, the Soviet invasion in 1979, and the reign of the Taliban ending after the American invasion in 2001.

"The Kite Runner" will provide both a starting point and a context for a year-long conversation between students and their faculty about globalization and consilience, according to Dr. Barbara Hetrick, vice president and dean of the college. "The text also will provide a common thread for intellectual discussion throughout students' first-year experience," Hetrick explained.

An Integrated First-Year Experience
In addition to the Sept. 5th BookRevue, plans are being finalized for a fall community forum on Islamic culture and religion.

During spring semester, first-year students continue their intellectual engagement with "The Kite Runner." Lehigh University faculty member Amardeep Singh, Ph.D. will serve as a literary scholar in residence on campus in March. He will address the college community, several English literature classes and groups of first-year students on the topic of globalization in the context of "The Kite Runner." Professor Singh studied at Cornell and Tufts Universities before earning his Ph.D. from Duke University. He teaches British modernism, postcolonial literature and theory, and poststructuralism at Lehigh, and is currently working on a book-length project theorizing secularism in a global frame.

World-renowned photographer Luke Powell, a native North Carolinian and UNC Chapel Hill alumnus who has traveled and worked extensively in Afghanistan, will spend a week-long residency on campus in March 2007. He will exhibit his photographs, be available to provide commentary in various classes, and offer several lectures focused on his own Afghan experiences.

Hetrick noted that the 2006-2007 academic year marks the first time that Catawba has offered the full comprehensive and integrated first-year experience for new students.

  • BookRevue Well-Attended

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