Nobel Peace Prize winner to speak

By Aaron Mackey
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

First Muslim woman to win Nobel Peace Prize will speak on campus

The first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize will speak on campus Tuesday about democracy, Islam and human rights.

Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist, won the prize in 2003 for her work on behalf of the rights of women and children in Iran.

Ebadi's talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Iranian Association of America.

"I think it's absolutely great that we can bring her here," said Kate Mackay, assistant director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Mackay said Ebadi is on a national lecture tour, and that Tucson is one of the few stops where the public will be able to listen to Ebadi for free.

In the 1970s, Ebadi served as one of the first female judges in her country. She is also the founder of the Association for Support of Children's Rights in Iran.

In addition to asking for the release of all political prisoners in Iran, Ebadi has worked to educate Iranians about the value of human rights.

"I'm not aware of any other female who has been able to do so much in her country," Mackay said.

Ebadi also lectures on law at Tehran University.

Ebadi's talk will be given in Persian with English translation.

The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Student Union Memorial Center Grand Ballroom.