Kegley Institute of Ethics lecture to illuminate the Palestinian story

Susan AbulhawaAs a possible vote inches forward for the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state, a daughter of the war between Israel and Palestine will visit California State University, Bakersfield in October to make the case for peace.

Susan Abulhawa, award-winning author of "Mornings in Jenin," will present her talk, "Palestine: The People, the Story, and the Moral Flexibility," as the 7th annual Kegley Institute of Ethics Fall Lecture at CSUB. The free event will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, inside the Doré Theatre. She will also sign copies of her book following the talk. Parking is free in Lots B, C and D after 6 p.m.

The lecture is sponsored by Mercy Healthcare Bakersfield and San Joaquin Community Hospital with additional support from St. Philip the Apostle Church and Grace Episcopal Church.

"Susan Abulhawa's visit to CSUB could not come at a more appropriate time, when the world is seeing the strongest move yet by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to achieve United Nations recognition for Palestinian statehood," said Christopher Meyers, CSUB philosophy professor and director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics. "President Obama has already said he would veto this vote, should it make it to the U.N. Security Council. In order to consider this a wise move, we, the citizens of the United States, should be aware of all sides of this issue. Abulhawa's visit will raise the local consciousness of the longtime struggle between Israelis and Palestinians – and share a lesser-heard point of view."

Abulhawa was born to Palestinian refugees of the Six Day War of 1967, when Israel seized what remained of Palestine, including Jerusalem, her ancestral home. She grew up in several places, including Jordan and occupied East Jerusalem, before coming to the United States. She began a career in medical science after completing a master's in biomedical science at the University of South Carolina.

Since then, her career has turned into that of an author, starting with newspaper essays about the plight of Palestinians, to her recent debut novel, "Mornings in Jenin" (Bloomsbury USA, 2010), an international bestseller. The historical fiction novel illuminates the effect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of one family over four generations.

"'Mornings in Jenin' is a story for anyone who wants to know what the creation and expansion of Israel has meant to the native Palestinians," Abulhawa said at the Boston Book Festival in 2010. She also remarked that, "Literature is a place where we can all meet to discover our common humanity."

For more information about the Kegley Institute of Ethics and the Fall Lecture by Susan Abulhawa, visit or call 661-654-2555.

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