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North Central College welcomes 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate to speak June 3

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Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College
Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Tawakkol Karman of Yemen will give a talk about her experiences as a journalist, politician and human rights activist June 3 at North Central College.

Karman is the first Yemeni, first Arab woman and second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize and, at age 32, was the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate. One of three women to share the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011-a first for the Nobel Peace honor-Karman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee were honored for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.

Karman will give her lecture at 7:30PM Tues., June 3, at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall in the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville.

The free event is hosted by North Central’s Office of International Programs and Leadership, Ethics & Values program and is the culmination of the College’s three-year focus on global human rights, which has featured symposiums, films, speakers, exhibits and visiting Fulbright Scholars-in-Residence.

Brief Bio

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Tawakkol Karman of Yemen

Bold and outspoken, Karman was a leading figure in the revolution in Yemen during the Arab Spring and has been imprisoned on a number of occasions for her pro-democracy, pro-human rights protests. Among Yemen’s youth movement, she is known as the “Mother of the Revolution,” “The Iron Woman” and, more recently, “The Lady of the Arab Spring.” She is founder and president of Women Journalists without Chains, which advocates for rights and freedoms and provides media skills to journalists. A senior member of the Al-Islah political party, Karman is also on the advisory board for Transparency International and several international human rights NGOs. She is a mother of three.

In 2007, she initiated weekly protests in Yemen’s capitol city of Sana’a, targeting systemic government repression and calling for inquiries into corruption and other social and legal injustices. Her protests continued until 2011 when she redirected protesters to support the Arab Spring.

After receiving her Nobel award, Karman began leveraging social media to communicate with those promoting peace in her home country. Although there’s a high illiteracy rate in Yemen-some figures show youth illiteracy at 60 percent-she currently has a combined 1.4 million followers on Facebook and Twitter.

Awarded the 2008 Courage Award by the U. S. Embassy in Sana’a, Karman has been named among the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine and the first among the 16 most revolutionary women in history by Time magazine. She has an undergraduate degree in commerce from the University of Science and Technology, Sana’a, and a graduate degree in political science from Sana’a University.

For part of her lecture, Karman will be joined by Yemen native and North Central College student Mustafa Alnaqeb for a Q&A session. Alnaqeb hopes to teach English when he returns to Yemen.

Other Nobel Laureates to speak at North Central College have included Dr. Leon Lederman, 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics, who spoke on campus in 2000. Three Nobel Peace Prize recipients spoke on campus before they were named Nobel Laureates: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1964 Nobel, spoke on campus in 1960; former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, 1973 Nobel, spoke in 1963; and President Barack Obama, 2009 Nobel, spoke in 2005 as U.S. Senator.

Photo courtesty North Central College

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North Central College
North Central Collegehttp://www.northcentralcollege.edu
North Central College provides students with the confidence, instruction and direction they need to exceed their personal best inside and outside of the classroom and throughout their careers. Founded in 1861 and located just 28 miles west of Chicago in the Historic District of Naperville, Ill. — named among the nation’s “Best Places to Live” by Money magazine — North Central is home to more than 2,800 students and offers 82 undergraduate majors, 67 additional undergraduate minors and concentrations, and 22 graduate degree and graduate certificate programs. Visit northcentralcollege.edu to discover why U.S. News & World Report has named North Central a “Best in the Midwest” school for 29 years in a row, and to learn more about the College’s state-of-the-art facilities and distinctive programs, particularly in the sciences and business.
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