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Egyptian development worker to speak on pursuit of “durable peace”

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – An Egyptian Christian with international experience as well as Mennonite connections will be the first speaker in the annual Peace Lecture Series sponsored by the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) at Bethel College.

Dr. Nabil Abadir’s topic is “Dialogue powers the way for peace and justice.” His lecture is at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center and is free and open to the public.

Abadir is general director of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS). A Christian Egyptian social organization in its 53rd year, CEOSS seeks to serve and develop Egyptian society, especially in the areas of education, health and women’s advancement. Abadir’s organization, CEOSS, is a partner with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).

Before taking his current position, Abadir was director of the Comprehensive Development Program Sector of CEOSS. He has served on the board of the Egyptian Society for Population and Development, the Consultative Committee for the Higher Authority for literacy and adult education in Egypt, and the National Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Committee for Preparation and Follow-up Programs of the Action Plan of the International Conference on Population and Development. He was a workshop leader to plan the Literacy Program of a voluntary organization in Brazil in 1986 and a member of the preparatory Committee for the Second Arab NGO Conference organized by the Arab Council for Childhood and Development in Cairo in 1997.

Abadir attempts to pursue “durable peace,” as he and his agency interact with those of other beliefs and practices. He advocates talking with each other, listening to every voice and building bridges in a polarized world.

Abadir holds a B.S. in agriculture from Assut University and a master’s degree in development management from Harvard. He earned his Doctor of Law degree from Saint Francis Xavier University for his efforts in development and human rights. Abadir’s wife is an educator and they have two grown children.

Dr. Sarada Sreedevi Amma, a native of Kerala, India, will deliver the KIPCOR Peace Lecture on March 8, 2007, on sex trafficking of women in South Asia. Theologian Walter Wink, who was scheduled to speak in the series on Feb. 23, 2007, has been forced for health reasons to cancel all of his planned lectures. The workshop to be given jointly with his wife, June Keener Wink, on Feb. 24, has also been cancelled. KIPCOR is working to secure a third Peace Lecturer for the 2006-07 series.

The KIPCOR Peace Lecture Series is now in its 34th year. It has received support from the J. Winfield Fretz lecture fund that helps bring speakers and events on topics of peace and justice, and from individual contributors to KIPCOR and to specific lecturers. Peace Series speakers have included scholars, performing artists, activists and visionaries.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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