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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact

Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications
503/777-7574
beth.sorensen@reed.edu


AFGHAN AMERICAN AUTHOR TAMIM ANSARY COMES BACK TO REED

Tamim Ansary ’70, a writer whose name became known internationally when an email he wrote about Afghanistan was widely distributed after September 11, will speak on "Afghanistan after the Taliban: An Afghan American Reports" on Monday, October 28, at 7 p.m. in Reed’s Vollum lecture hall. Ansary's talk, focused on political analysis, will be based on interviews he did during journeys to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The lecture, sponsored by the Elizabeth J. Ducey Lecture Fund and Reed’s political science department, is free and open to the public. For more information call the Reed events hotline at 503/777-7755.

Tamim Ansary, a 1970 Reed graduate and writer from San Francisco, wrote an email on September 12, 2001, to a small group of friends, in response to the situation in Afghanistan. In it he wrote, "We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and healthcare? Too late. Someone already did all that." His essay was so powerful that within a few days his words were published internationally in the Africa News Service, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Evening Standard in London, on internet bulletin boards and web sites, and nationally in newspapers all over the U.S.

This April his memoir West of Kabul, East of New York, which focuses on his experience as the son of an Afghan father and an American mother, was published by Farrar Strauss Giroux. Parade magazine commissioned Ansary to return to Kabul, where he lived for 16 years, to assess conditions there; the article was published on September 6, 2002. Ansary’s other books include three series of children’s nonfiction, Cool Collections, Holiday Histories, and Native Americans, and several novels and nonfiction anthologies.

The late Elizabeth Ducey, once a Washington, D.C., staff assistant to Senator Richard Neuberger of Oregon, had a lifetime interest in socially progressive politics and social issues, as well as a longtime interest in Reed College. Ducey, who attended Smith College as a 1915 graduate of the Catlin Gabel School, lived for 25 years on a Sauvie Island farm. She was active as a conservationist and gave generous philanthropic support to many local organizations, including Reed's art and music associates, the Portland Art Association, and the Friends of the Columbia River Gorge. In 1953 Ducey established the Ducey Lecture Fund at Reed College with the aim of promoting lectures on national and especially local and regional affairs.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).

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