Middle East Expert to Help Scranton Audience Make Sense of the Region

September 22, 2015

Avi Melamed, an independent Israel-Middle East strategic intelligence analyst, will visit The University of Scranton to share his valuable perspective in a talk titled “Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth.”

Presented by the University’s Panuska College of Professional Studies and WVIA-TV, in collaboration with the Schemel Forum, the lecture is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 5:30 p.m. The talk, which is open to the public and free of charge, will take place in the second floor James M. Kane, M.D. ’46 Forum of the new $47.5 million Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall, located on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Linden Street.

In his lecture, Melamed will discuss highlights of his just-published book, “Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth.” Described as “a personal GPS that helps you navigate the dramatically changing Middle East,” his book gives comprehensive understanding of current events in the region. A book signing will follow the lecture.

Melamed, a fellow of Middle East security and affairs for the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysberg College, is a former Israeli intelligence official and senior official on Arab affairs. He currently provides intelligence analysis, briefings and tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policy makers, and international media outlets, as well as a wide variety of organizations and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East affairs. His knowledge and background, including decades of field experience, policy design and intimate connections throughout the Arab world, offer an insider’s understanding of the constantly changing Middle East and insight into future regional developments and implications.

Also the founder and creator of “Feenjan – Israel Speaks Arabic,” a non-profit initiative that presents contemporary Israeli society and culture to the Arab world in Arabic, and serves as an online platform for Israelis and Arabs to discover and discuss issues of common interest. The author of “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Rule in East Jerusalem,” Melamed is a frequent guest on English and Arabic networks including Al Jazeera and BBC Arabic. His articles are translated into multiple languages and are available on international news websites.

“The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation provided me with the outstanding privilege to hear Avi Melamed in his homeland of Israel,” said Debra A. Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College Professional Studies. “As I witnessed first-hand the tensions and complexities of the Middle East, my goal was to invite Avi to Scranton so he could dissect this complex region and elaborate for us on  how individuals overcome adversity. I am very grateful to Avi and his wonderful wife, Maia, as well as my colleagues from the Weinberg Israel 2015 Mission Trip for supporting my inner desire for this lecture to happen at The University of Scranton.”

Seating is limited and reservations are requested to attend the lecture. To register, contact Emily Brees, Schemel Forum assistant, at 570-941-6206 or emily.brees @scranton.edu.

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