Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Top Palestinian diplomat to speak Feb. 26

Afif Safieh

Afif Safieh, head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Mission to the United States, will deliver a lecture on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the post-Yasser Arafat era at 8 p.m., Monday, Feb. 26, in Rauch Business Center’s Perella Auditorium.

His lecture, titled “Israel/Palestine: A History Undecided,” is free and open to the public. The talk is an installment of Lehigh’s Ambassadorial Speaker Series and is sponsored by the Global Union, the LU/UN Partnership, the World Affairs Club, the Department of Modern Languages and Literature, the Fred and Ester Kucklinsky Foundation, and the Muslim Student Association.

Bill Hunter, Lehigh University Representative to the United Nations and Director, Global Union, explains that the “LU/UN Partnership and the Global Union strive to put Lehigh students, staff and faculty across the table from global decision-makers.”

Safieh, who was assigned as the top Palestinian diplomat to the U.S. in November 2005, certainly fits that bill. Prior to his current role as head of the PLO’s Mission to the United States, he acted as the Palestinian General Delegate to the Holy See, the Palestinian General Delegate to the United Kingdom, and PLO representative to the Netherlands.

He began his career at the PLO’s Observer Mission to the United Nations in Geneva as its deputy director. After that, he served as the staff member in charge of European Affairs and United Nations Institutions in former PLO president Yasser Arafat’s Beirut office.

“We’ll be hearing directly from the most senior Palestinian diplomat in the United States, someone who worked daily with Yasser Arafat and is now helping to define the post-Arafat era,” Hunter says of Safieh’s visit.

The discussion about the future of the PLO led by the Safieh of the controversial organization promises to spark debate amongst the attendees in the question and answer session following Safieh’s lecture. Hunter acknowledges this is a timely topic particularly following the reorganization of the Palestinian leadership this past weekend.

For more information, please email Bill Hunter or call him at (610) 758-4505.

--Lauren Hoffman

Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2007

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