Distinguished Lecture Series hosts Kuwaiti Parliamentarian Aseel Al-Awadi, Ph.D.

January 25, 2010

DOHA, QATAR - Aseel Al-Awadhi, Ph.D., member of the Kuwait National Assembly, was the first speaker in Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar's Distinguished Lecture Series 2010. Al-Awadi's lecture "Gulf Women and Politics: the Kuwaiti Experience," was attended by more than 80 members of the Doha community.

"I am delighted to have been invited by Carnegie Mellon these last two days to share my experience, objectives and discuss the challenges I faced as one of the first women to be elected as a member of the Kuwaiti Parliament," said Al-Awadhi.  "Personally, I have always looked for ways to bend the rules and break away from convention.  As one of four women recently elected to the parliament, we are pleased that the voters have recognized the need for change in order to prepare Kuwait for a future in an increasingly global society.  Our near-term objectives are to work together on laws representing those groups in our communities whose rights are not held up to international standards including women, laborers, children and those with special needs."

Carnegie Mellon Qatar's Distinguished Lecture Series aims to bring in leaders from around the world to share their experiences and discuss their areas of expertise with university students and the community.

"The purpose of the Distinguished Lecture Series is to bring thinkers and leaders who will engage and enlighten our community on issues that have potential to shape the world and transform the future and whose voices, insights and observations will encourage critical thought and discussion," said Gloria Khoury, assistant dean for student affairs, Carnegie Mellon Qatar.  "Carnegie Mellon Qatar was very pleased to host Aseel Al-Awadhi as one of our Distinguished Lecturers. Al-Awadhi is a leader on social, civic and humanitarian issues and we are honored to have hosted her on our campus."

Aseel Al-Awadhi, Ph.D., made history in 2009 when she became one of the first four women elected to the 50-seat Kuwait National Assembly.  Women in Kuwait gained the right to vote and run for office in 2005, but none had been elected until 2009.  Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Al-Awadhi was a professor of philosophy at Kuwait University.  Al-Awadhi earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy at Kuwait University and a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin.

The Distinguished Lecture Series was created in 2007 and has hosted renowned experts in their fields as Barbara F. Freed, director, producer, screenwriter and Professor of French Studies at Carnegie Mellon University; Takeo Kanade, Ph.D., renowned researcher and robotics professor; and Dr. Kentaro Toyama, Director of Microsoft Research India. Upcoming lectures in the series include Patrick Awuah, Founder and President of Ashesi University in Ghana, and Leila Ahmed, professor of Women's Studies and Religion at the Harvard Divinity School.


With more than a century of academic excellence and innovative research, Carnegie Mellon University is a global leader in education with real-world applications. Consistently top ranked, Carnegie Mellon offers a distinct mix of programs to its 11,000 students around the globe. Core values of innovation, creativity, problem solving and collaborative teamwork provide the foundation for everything we do.

At the invitation of Qatar Foundation, Carnegie Mellon joined Education City in 2004. Here, Qatar Foundation has created a world-class center for scholarship and research that is the ideal complement to Carnegie Mellon's tradition of innovation through collaboration. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar offers its highly regarded undergraduate programs in business administration, computer science and information systems to students in Qatar and the Gulf Region.




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