Yemen in the 21st Century - Panel Discussion
Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 12:00pm to Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 1:30pm

"Yemen in the 21st Century"
The panel will cover provide historical and cultural context, will discuss current social, religious, and political issues, and share information and challenges related to development projects in Yemen.

Panelists: Marta Colburn, Wajdi Said, and Jon Mandaville (invited).
Thursday, June 24, 2010
12:00-1:30 p.m.
Smith Memorial Student Union, 238
Brown bag, light refreshments and beverages provided.
Please come!
RSVPs not required but helpful--call (503)725-4074 or wirte to

Speaker Background:
Marta Colburn earned a BA (1984, Political Science and Certificate in Middle East Studies) and MS (1995, Political Science) at Portland State University. Additionally, she served as the Associate Director/Outreach Coordinator of PSU's Middle East Studies Center. Ms. Colburn's career in the Middle East includes independent consulting and employment with Oxfam UK, Mercy Corps, the American Institute for Yemeni Studies. Beginning in July 2010 she will serve as the Yemen Country Director for CARE USA. Ms. Colburn has travelled widely in the region and her background in Yemen began in 1984 and includes over 10 years of residence there in a variety of capacities. Ms. Colburn's publications include books and articles on Yemeni democratization, development and gender, as well as extensive pre-collegiate curricular resources on a wide range of topics and countries in the Middle East. Among Ms. Colburn's unique experiences in Yemen are living with a Yemeni family for two years and marriage to a Yemeni, as well as her 1999 kidnapping by tribesmen. Combining an academic and development background with a broad range of experiences, Ms. Colburn brings a unique perspective about Yemen.

PSU alumnus Wajdi Abu Said completed pre-med studies at PSU earning bachelors and masters degrees in chemistry. A native of Taiz, Yemen, he has actively promoted a better understanding of Islam and Muslims in Portland, Oregon and the US since his arrival to PSU from Yemen in 1988. His leadership in the community includes establishing and serving as the President of the Muslim Educational Trust's Board of Directors and helping found organizations such as the Islamic Social Services of Oregon State and the Arab and Muslim Police Advisory Board. Wajdi co-founded the Interfaith Council of Greater Portland, the Institute for Christian Muslim Understanding, and the Arab-Jewish-Muslim Dialogue group. He is a member of MESC's Advisory Board. Wajdi is a frequent speaker in schools, community organizations and with the media as he helpsOregonians to better understand his faith and the Muslim community.

Dr. Jon Mandaville is Professor of History, Emeritus, PSU.  He earned his degrees in history and Middle East and Islamic Studies from Dartmouth, Princeton, and in Scotland. A former director of the Middle East Studies Center, he has taught a wide range of Middle East-related courses at PSU. Dr. Mandaville served as resident director of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies in Sana'a and currently is on its board of directors.