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Citadel News Service
24 Oct 2007

Student group eyes Middle East history, culture

A new student organization at The Citadel hopes to improve understanding of a culture that is often not well understood.

The Citadel Middle East Studies Student Association is an organization open to all majors and classes. The association, which began this semester, will focus on establishing and advancing knowledge of the Middle East and will provide a forum for Citadel cadets to engage in discussion and debate regarding various topics related to the Middle East.

The group's first meeting is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Jenkins Hall Auditorium.

Muhammad Melhem, the Imam for the Central Mosque of Charleston, will be the guest speaker. He will discuss and answer questions about the Islamic faith. Melhem is a native of Syria. He has lived in South Carolina for more than 25 years. Before coming to Charleston in 2006, he was imam (Islamic religious leader) in Greenville.

“The cadets are very excited about having a chance to listen to him and meet him,” said Christopher Wright, assistant professor of Middle East and Islamic history in The Citadel Department of History “This is a great way for our students to not only learn more, but also help break down cultural and religious barriers.”

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