Tour Brings Middle East voices to Castleton

On Nov. 2, Reel Action and The Spartan will host the Just Foreign Policy in Iraq and Iran Tour. It will be considered part of a national movement by the academic group ‘Historians Against War,’ headed at Castleton by history Professor Carrie Waara. The group is working to have every school use the war as a focal point of their teaching.

According to its Web site,, Just Foreign Policy is an independent and non-partisan organization. The group is “dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy to serve the interests and reflect the values of the broad majority of Americans.” Furthermore, it advocates a shift to foreign relations through international law, treaties and diplomacy by way of education and mobilization of citizens.

“From this event we want to catch the attention of people who would otherwise not care,” said Matt Kimball, president of Reel Action.

The event, from 4:30 p.m. in the Huden Dining Hall, will feature three speakers and an array of war photos by award winning photojournalists.

“Even though Reel Action is known best for showing films, we decided that we could expand our horizons,” Kimball said. “When we show film, they are images. The only difference with a photo exhibition is that the images are not moving.”

According to the clubs’ proposal, the event’s purpose is to educate students and faculty on U.S.-Middle East relations. Speakers will include Raed Jarrar, Rostam Pourzal and Antonia Juhasz.

Jarrar, an Iraqi-Palestine blogger, activist and architect, will speak on the current situation in Iraq, militarily and governmentally. He was the Country Director of CIVIC Worldwide, a door-to-door casualty survey in Iraq, and now works as the Iraq Project Director for Global Exchange.

An independent researcher and organizer for human rights in Washington, DC, Pourzal will focus on Washington’s “diplomacy” toward Iran. He is the president of the U.S. branch of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention of Iran.

Finally, Juhasz, a policy-analyst, author and activist, will discuss the “oil timeline” motivating the invasion and occupation of Iraq. She is an expert on aspects of international trade and finance policy and authored The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.

The photo exhibit will feature the works of Lynsey Addario, Mohammad Kheirkhah, Andrew Stern and Ramin Talaie.

“War is such a phenomenon that just has such a devastating effect,” said Professor Sanjukta Ghosh, who helped spearhead the event. “Photos can bring war from there to here. We all know the power of photos.”

Castleton will be the third and final stop in Vermont. The first 40 students to attend will be treated to a free dinner.

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