An Armenian Palestinian Christian who works on behalf of peace in the region will give a presentation from 11 a.m.-noon, Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Hermann Lounge on the Westminster campus.
Born and raised in the Old City of Jerusalem, Arda Agharzarian is the Media and Advocacy Coordinator at the YWCA of Palestine. She also serves on the World YWCA Board of Directors.
Her presentation, the first in the 2012 Global Leaders in Residence program at Westminster, is free and open to the public. She will be a part of the campus community Oct. 10-15 but this will be the one opportunity for anyone interested in her experiences to hear her speak.
"I studied literature and took many courses in media and film and wanted to be a writer," says Agharzarian. "I was not interested in politics, but I live in a part of the world where you can't not be interested in politics because everything is politics."
Fluent in five languages, she studied at Birzeit University in the West Bank after the Second Uprising,"Intifada," a phase which brought forth difficult questions and an interest in human rights and conflict resolution.
She has worked as a producer and presenter for a radio station aimed at building bridges between Palestinians and Israelis.
Begun in 2011, the Global Leaders in Residence program is designed to bring leaders from a variety of academic and professional fields to campus for two to three days to speak to classes, interact socially with students, consult with faculty and staff and deliver a campus-wide presentation on their efforts to make a difference in the world.
The program is under the auspices of The Churchill Institute and has two components-the Global Leaders in Residence and the Global Scholars in Residence programs.
Agharzarian comes to Westminster College with the assistance of the International Peacemakers program sponsored by the Presbyterian Church USA.
According to the organization, this program "is intended to broaden the sense of God's family and encourage the building of a culture of peace and nonviolence in all of God's children."