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Israeli student to offer perspectives on Arab-Israeli relations

Smadar Bakovic, a senior English major at Bates College, will discuss Arab perspectives on the historic mistrust between Arabs and Jews, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at Temple Shalom Synagogue-Center, 74 Bradman St., Auburn. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

An Israeli army veteran from Neve Illan, Bakovic knows the Middle East conflicts well. She believes mutual understanding is key to a resolution the region’s problems.

Supported by a Phillips Student Fellowship that funds cross-cultural projects undertaken by Bates students, Bakovic first visited the Israeli Arab coastal village of Arara in 2001, using video and film to chronicle stories of locals with video and film in an effort to understand non-Jewish cultures of Israel.

“I went into places where Jews do not go and talked with hardworking people,” Bakovic says – villagers who told her, “not a lot of people want to hear what we have to say.”

Bakovic conducted further interviews during summer 2002 and returned to Bates last fall to produce a book-length manuscript about her research, under the direction of Israeli scholar Mishael Caspi, visiting professor of religion.

For more information about the presentation, call the synagogue at 207-786-4201. Refreshments will be served.



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