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Global Union to connect Lehigh students with war in Iraq

The airing of the Emmy-awarding winning documentary HBO film, Baghdad ER and a conversation with its producer afterward will head up a series of early semester Global Union events titled “Inside Iraq.”

The graphic and controversial film, which chronicles life in the emergency room of the 86th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad's Green Zone, will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 303 of Whitaker Auditorium. Following the film, producer Roberta Morris-Purdee will be on hand to discuss it and answer questions from the audience.

"It was exciting to watch the Emmys Sunday night and see Baghdad ER win four times,” says Bill Hunter, director of Lehigh’s Global Union and organizer of the event. “We're bringing the producer straight from Los Angeles to campus Thursday night. Lehigh students, staff, and faculty will not only get to watch the best documentary in the country, we'll also get to question the producer once it's over. It's a rare opportunity that I hope many from the campus community and beyond take advantage of.”

Despite protests from some quarters because of the documentary’s graphic footage of soldiers being treated for—and sometimes dying from—war wounds, the film garnered 2006 Emmy awards for directing, cinematography, sound editing, and merit. It also earned critical acclaim for its searing, gritty portrayal of the day-to-day lives of American soldiers serving in Iraq.

The airing of the documentary, as well as two additional events planned for the month of September, are intended to “make life in Iraq as real as possible for the Lehigh community,” Hunter says. “Most Americans feel removed from this far-off war. Through this series, we're going to do our best to get first-hand perspectives of daily life in this land of turmoil."

At 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, Lehigh student and former U.S. Army translator Louis Yako will give a talk titled, “Iraq, My Wounded Country” in the Global Union Lounge.

And at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, Lehigh will host a “Live from Baghdad” video-conference with soldiers on the front lines in Iraq in Whitaker 303.

“Lehigh will be one of the first universities in the country to do a live video-conference with the American soldiers serving in Iraq,” Hunter says. “Many of the soldiers we will hear from are the same age as our students.”

For more information about the Global Union events planned for the fall, visit the Global Union Web site or e-mail Bill Hunter.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006

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