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Palestinian Activist To Lecture At UK

By Brenna Angel

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- – The second of two University of Kentucky lectures on the Middle East peace process is Tuesday night at the Singletary Center. A standing-room only crowd is expected for a talk by Palestinian activist Dr. Hanan Ashrawi. UK Assistant Provost Richard Greissman says the event is part of the university's ongoing effort to increase international awareness on campus. In 2009 Ashrawi became the first woman elected to the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. In October, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke at Singletary Center, drawing several protesters. "When we were approached by a talent agency in New York asking if we wanted to have Ehud Olmert speak on campus, we huddled thinking this would be a great opportunity; but only if we had a balanced program where we had an Israeli and Palestinian perspective. Hence the fall visit from Ehud Olmert and now the spring visit with Hanan Ashrawi," Greissman said. Ashrawi's lecture comes on the heels of Israel announcing it will expand Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. Greissman says that source of tension will be a topic of Tuesday's discussion. "Both speakers have been asked to speak about the politics on the ground and what are the likelihoods and what are the stumbling blocks, what are the prospects for peace in the Middle East." Tickets to the 7:30 PM lecture are sold out.