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Colby-Sawyer College to Host Iraqi Journalist Haider Hamza's Presentation 'How is a War Ever Won?'

NEW LONDON, N.H. – Colby-Sawyer College will host Haider Hamza, an Iraqi journalist who lived in Babylon during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and engaged in the dangerous work of covering major news stories during the war. Since his relocation to the United States, Hamza has sought out American opinions on the war and presents a powerful story, with film clips and photographs, of war in his country and the conflicting views he has encountered in the U.S. Ultimately, he has to wonder if there can ever really be a winner in war.

The presentation will take place Tuesday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in Wheeler Hall, Ware Campus Center. The event is sponsored by the Cultural Events Committee, and the public is invited to attend. Admission is free.

Hamza, the son of a diplomat, grew up in Europe and East Africa before relocating to his family's hometown of Baghdad at age 12. As a teenager, he worked with the Iraqi Ministry of Information and moved into mainstream media during major combat operations in 2003. Working with news agencies such as ABC News and Reuters, Hamza covered major events in Iraq including all 40 trial sessions of the former president Saddam Hussein, the subsequent elections and the bombing of the holy shrines in Samara.

Hamza also traveled with U.S. military units as he covered combat operations throughout Iraq. After being held captive, shot at and arrested, he realized he would need to leave Iraq in order to survive and continue to cover his homeland as a journalist.

Following his relocation to the U.S., Hamza pursued a master's degree in global security and conflict resolution on a Fulbright scholarship. He became increasingly curious about how Americans perceived their country's involvement in Iraq and embarked on a cross-country road trip across 35 states, where he set up a small booth labeled “Talk to an Iraqi.”

Film clips depict the varying people and opinions Hamza encountered during his road trip, the reactions he received and questions he was asked, which range from the contemplative and demeaning to angry and absurd. In his presentation, he draws on his expertise as an Iraq citizen and reporter and his travels and interviews of Americans, using these experiences raise questions about the nature of war.

Hamza is committed to helping people in his home country, and donates 50 percent of his earnings as a speaker to widows and orphans displaced by violence in Iraq.

-Jessica McLavey '10

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college's vibrant teaching and learning community at Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000