WMC event focuses on Islam, West Homecoming set for Feb. 27

January 25, 1993

Western Maryland College's Alumni Academic Homecoming -- a one-day gathering of alumni and friends, faculty members and guest speakers -- will be Feb. 27 in Decker College Center.

This year's subject is "The West and Islam: Prospects for the 21st Century." Alumni and their guests may attend the gathering, which will include a Middle Eastern dinner and other campus activities.

The keynote speaker will be Mohamad Bashar Arafat, director of the Islamic Society of Baltimore and imam of the city's Muslim community since 1989.

Mr. Arafat, who holds a degree in Islamic studies and the Arabic language from Damascus University in Syria, teaches Islam at Johns Hopkins University and St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore. Before that, he was imam of a Muslim community in Syria for 10 years.

Later, two Western Maryland faculty members and a second speaker will lead three workshops related to Islam.

Dr. Ira Zepp, WMC professor of religious studies and the author of "A Muslim Primer: A Beginner's Guide to Islam," will discuss "The Five Pillars of Islam." Dr. Julie Badiee, WMC professor of art history, will discuss Islamic art and its history.

Dr. James W. Hudson, professor of geography and international studies at Morgan State University, will discuss "The Politics of Islam." A Fulbright scholar in international studies, Dr. Hudson has taught at the International College and American University in Beirut.

Guests can attend two of the three special-interest workshops from 2:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. in Decker College Center.

Other activities include a discussion from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., a reception for the speakers at 5:30 p.m. and a Middle Eastern dinner at 6 p.m.

Reservations are available through Feb. 19 and cost $10 per person. Dinner tickets are $10.95 per person.

Information: 857-2264.

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