Maine veteran, Afghan student to take part in Bates College panel on war in Afghanistan

A panel of Bates College students and faculty, along with a Waterville peace activist, discuss the war in Afghanistan at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, in Bates College’s Keck Classroom (G52), Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk).

Hosted by the New World Coalition, a Bates student organization that focuses on social justice and community activism, this event is free and open to the public. Following the panel, guests will have an opportunity to converse with the panelists and enjoy refreshments.The organizers see this panel as an effort to offer insights about the situation in Afghanistan. The panel will include three Bates College students, each offering a unique perspective. Jared Golden, a junior from Leeds, is a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan before coming to Bates. A history and politics major, he returned to Afghanistan last summer to teach school.

Mustafa Basij-Rasikh, a sophomore majoring in politics and economics, came to Bates from Kabul, Afghanistan. He is one of several siblings studying in the U.S. who plan to return to Afghanistan to help restore their war-torn nation. Their supporters include Sally and Don Goodrich, whose son Peter, a member of the Bates class of 1989, died in the Sept. 11 attacks.

The panel will also include Bates College politics professor Eric Hooglund. Hooglund’s background includes 30 years of research, teaching and writing about the domestic politics and international relations of countries in the Middle East, particularly Iran, and of U.S. foreign policy toward the region.

Hooglund sees his classroom as a forum in which students can confront stereotypes of a region too often portrayed, especially in the media, as a potentially threatening monolith.

The fifth member of the panel is Mark Roman, who was a founding member of Waterville Area Bridges for Peace and Justice and is a member of CODEPINK Maine, the state branch of a national peace and social justice movement. Roman’s particular interest is the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the conflict.

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