FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            December 4, 2001

                                                                                                         Contact:  Donna McCracken


UIS film series focuses on women in Islamic countries


SPRINGFIELD -- The University of Illinois at Springfield will present “Films on Women in Islamic Countries,” a two-day film series focusing specifically on Middle Eastern women, on Wednesday and Thursday, December 5 and 6. Films will be shown from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days in conference room F, lower level of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. Mahnaz Ganji, a UIS graduate student who was born in Iran, will co-host this event, which is free and open to the public.

Beyond all the current media hype, these films will examine what life is like for women who live in Islamic countries, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Mali, Morocco, Tajikistan, and Tunisia. The audience will see interviews that reflect on issues of exile and cultural conflict for Muslim women from Afghanistan and Iran living in the United States. In Morocco, the debate between those who put their faith and conviction in Islam and its proscriptions and those who believe that only education and struggle can help women is highlighted. Instances of violence against women are reported in letters written by an Algerian woman.  Together these films present an exploration of women’s rights and restrictions in Northern Africa and the Arabic peninsula and foster an understanding of these women’s lives, struggles, and dreams.

At UIS, the films are sponsored by Women’s Studies and International Studies, and by the Capital Scholars program. For more information, contact Heather Dell, assistant professor of Women’s Studies, at (217) 206-7937.