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Lecture Series Continues with “History in Whose Image”

Explore historical Middle Eastern novels and how their insight into the past serves to enlighten life today.
lecture series graphic

In recent decades, historical novels have emerged as a creative solution to exploring the true nature of the past. Novelists often convert historical figures into characters who speak freely despite the strict anchors of the official historical record.

Dr. Abdelrahim Salih, professor of Arabic, believes these efforts in the Middle East can be challenged by religious dogma, fierce ideologues, and authoritative regimes.

“I believe there is intolerance, censorship and silencing of moderate voices in the Middle East,” said Salih. “The freedom of expression is controlled or limited by religious intuitions or government authorities.”

Salih and his co-lecturer David Buck will present a free community lecture, “History in Whose Image,” on Tuesday, March 12, at 6 p.m., to look into the use of historical fiction to reinterpret religious events in the Middle East. Together they will present the lecture in the Monteabaro Recital Hall, located in the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College.

“The Middle East is not unique [in their literary censorship], but historical fictions dealing with controversial issues of the past are on the rise,” said Salih.

Salih holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Bayreuth, and currently teaches Arabic at Howard Community College. He has authored several books and papers on Middle Eastern culture, including “A People's Revolution: Thawrat Sha'b” and “The Manasir of Northern Sudan: Land and People”.

Buck holds a M.Ed. in English Language and Literature/Letters from Temple University as well as a bachelor’s degree in theology from Clarks Summit University, and currently teaches English at Howard Community College.

“History in Whose Image” is the second of the three-part English and World Languages Lecture Series. The series will conclude on Tuesday, April 9 at 6 p.m. with Prof. Laura Yoo’s “It's All in a Name”, a view into the importance of how names tie into culture. All lectures will take place in the Monteabaro Recital Hall.

Each lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. RSVP and more information at

Topics: Campus Life
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