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Media Memo: Egypt

TO: News/Photo Editors and Directors

FROM: Judy Berthiaume

DATE: Feb. 3, 2011


The following information/contacts may be of interest to reporters and/or photographers as you cover the events happening in Egypt.

  • A faculty member who has spent time in the Middle East has arranged for UW-Eau Claire students to have an opportunity to watch Al-Jazeera's coverage of the events happening in Egypt. A lounge across from the Service Center on the first floor of Davies Center now has an Al-Jazeera live stream video feed. Dr. Paul Kaldjian, the associate professor of geography who arranged for the coverage, said there have been between two and 15 students watching it at any given time.

    "It's a profound moment, and students should be encouraged to engage it," Kaldjian said. "Some I have talked to are very thankful for the opportunity. What has happened over the last week, and Al-Jazeera's coverage of it, can work toward dispelling stereotypes."

    Dr. Kaldjian, who specializes in Middle Eastern geography, teaches UW-Eau Claire's "Geography of the Middle East and North Africa" class. He spent time in Egypt, both in Cairo and Alexandria, in the late 1980s. He also has spent significant time in other Middle Eastern countries, most notably Turkey, where he has ongoing research projects.

    You can reach Dr. Kaldjian at 715-836-2321 or

  • Dr. Mohamed Elgindi, a professor of mathematics at UW-Eau Claire, is available to share his thoughts on the current situation in Egypt.

    Dr. Elgindi was in Egypt during winter break, returning to Eau Claire in mid-January. He has family and friends in Egypt, with whom he's in regular contact.

    Dr. Elgindi earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Alexandria in Egypt in 1975. He has taught in the UW-Eau Claire mathematics department since 1987.

    Reporters can contact Dr. Elgindi at 715-836-2768 or

  • Dr. Kate Lang, associate professor and chair of the history department, specializes in Middle Eastern history.

    Dr. Lang lived in Cairo in the early 1980s when she was a college student studying abroad, and again in the early 1990s as a Fulbright Scholar.

    You can reach Dr. Lang at 715-836-4765 or

  • Dr. Ali R. Abootalebi, professor of political science, is an expert in Middle Eastern politics.

    Dr. Abootalebi has been teaching courses relating to Middle Eastern and global politics for more than 20 years. He's been quoted extensively by regional, national and international media regarding Middle Eastern and global political issues. He also has had numerous articles published, and has been a presenter at seminars and other events throughout the world.

    You can reach Dr. Abootalebi at 715-836-5969 or

  • Dr. Charlene Burns, professor of religious studies at UW-Eau Claire, traveled to Egypt in 2009 as part of a small delegation of American citizens invited by the National Peace Foundation and the Islamic Society of North America to participate in a people-to-people exchange program between the United States and countries in the Middle East.

    Dr. Burns was one of six delegates who traveled with a translator and the trip organizer, Sahar Taman. Taman worked with the National Peace Foundation, a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization.

    Dr. Burns is available to talk with reporters about her experiences during that trip to Egypt. You can reach her at 715-836-2930, 715-836-2545 or

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