Barry McNamara  |   Published November 04, 2015

The Human Experience

Journalist Haider Hamza to be next speaker in lecture series
  • Haider Hamza shares his experiences as a journalist, civilian, and activist.
Journalist Haider Hamza will be the next featured speaker in The Human Experience series at Monmouth College on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.
  Titled “From Personal Conflict to Global Resolution,” Hamza’s lecture is free and open to the public. Presented by the Association for Student Activity Programming (ASAP), The Human Experience series gives students and the community a chance to hear about the experiences of individuals living in our society and world.   Born under the rule of Saddam Hussein, Hamza has lived through four major wars, including the Iran/Iraq war, the Gulf War and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In 2003, he joined the mainstream media as a war journalist, witnessing several other conflicts throughout the Middle East and North Africa. During his coverage of the U.S. “War on Terror,” Hamza spent two years embedded with U.S. military units covering combat operations. As a freelance journalist, he also spent time covering the perspective of armed resistance in the Middle East to learn more about their mindsets, goals and the reality of who they are. As a result, Hamza witnessed the war from the perspectives of soldiers, civilians, rebel fighters and journalists, all while attending school as an undergraduate student.   During that time, Hamza was arrested, injured and kidnapped, and lost several family members and friends. He wanted to stay in his home country of Iraq, but the risk became too great.   “At some point I realized that it is more important to live for a cause than to die for one,” Hamza expressed.   He graduated from Baghdad University and one year later, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to move to the U.S., where he finished graduate school majoring in global security and conflict resolution.   In subsequent years, Hamza covered many headline-making news events from the Middle East and North Africa, including all the trial sessions of Saddam Hussein. He witnessed the killing of Hussein’s sons, reported from the revolutions of the “Arab Spring” in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, and covered the killing of al Qaeda leaders, as well as the sectarian violence and civil wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.   Hamza’s powerful and fascinating lectures include poignant and touching visuals from his experience in war-torn Iraq as a citizen of the country and a war journalist. His various capacities as a journalist, a civilian, an activist and a family man have given him a unique perspective about war. His presentation takes the audience into a journey through everyday life in a war zone while highlighting the sufferings, challenges, bonds, ironies and human behavior experienced by both Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers caught in the conflict.
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