Global Awareness Festival Feb. 6-10 Highlights Middle East

Muskegon Community College’s 13th Annual Global Awareness Festival on Feb. 6-10 will focus on the Middle East, a region whose fertile lands birthed civilization and whose politics now shift like the desert sands.

“In today’s ever-shrinking global society, understanding our international neighbors has never been more important,” says Katherine Tosa, director of international programs at MCC.

Each year, the Global Awareness Festival highlights a different geographic area of the world. The College hosts a series of activities, lectures and other events to bring awareness to that region’s population, culture, cuisine and political issues.  All Global Awareness Festival events are free, with exception of the international food.

The 2012 festival features the  international film “Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution,” which identifies the cultural and political change felt in the Iranian movie industry during and after the Islamic Revolution, the Hostage Crisis, and the Iran-Iraq war. George Maniates and Nicholas Budimir will lead a discussion.  A series of global topic investigations on Feb. 8 will address the Arab Spring, Arab nationalism, Qatar and the impact and implications of social media on the region. That evening at 7 p.m., Gamal Elkhouly, general manager and co-owner of the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor, will talk about his native Egypt, “The Land of the Pharaohs,” in Stevenson Center Room 1100.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Mohammed al-Shatel, director of public works for the City of Muskegon, will discuss “Infrastructure Resources- Jordan and West Michigan” at 7 p.m. in the Stevenson Center Room 1100. On Thursday, Feb. 9, Lindsay Gustafson will present “Women at Risk – Jordan” in the same room.

Other events include a display of paintings by Mohamad Bazzi in the Overbrook Gallery, Folktales and Fun presented by MCC’s children’s literature class, and an information fair that includes study abroad opportunities.

Taking place daily during the festival are international cuisine offerings by the campus food service, international artifacts on display at the main college entrance, and international news broadcast comparisons from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. in Collegiate Hall.

The MCC Graphic Arts Department annually sponsors a poster contest among its students. The winning entry becomes the official poster used to promote the festival. MCC student Mackenzie Howe of Spring Lake, Mich., designed the 2012 Global Awareness Festival poster.