Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate - Media, 610-740-3790



Three Week Program Made Possible in Part by Grant from U.S. Department of State

Allentown, PA (December 22, 2006) - In a time when teaching and understanding of Islam and Middle Eastern culture are more important than ever, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the Council of American Overseas Research Centers and the U.S. Department of State have joined to offer an intensive seminar for college educators.  Dr. E. Allen Richardson, professor of religion at Cedar Crest College, was chosen from a national pool of nominees as one of twelve faculty members to travel to Amman, Jordan and participate in expanding knowledge of the area and its culture.


Though Richardson has taught students about Islam before, he sees this opportunity to experience first-hand what daily life in the region is like, as well as hear lectures from prominent academics on a variety of topics, as an invaluable addition to his research of the field.


"The image we Americans receive about the Islamic religion and Middle Eastern culture is quite skewed.  Traditional Islam is in reality a very tolerant and open religion," says Richardson.  "The goal of this seminar is to provide American educators with a better understanding of the region, Islam and Middle Eastern history as it informs current events and communicate more accurate knowledge to our students and community when we return."


The three week long seminar is being hosted by the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman, Jordan, a private, non-profit academic institution dedicated to promoting research and publication in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, Arabic and other aspects of Middle Eastern studies both historical and contemporary.  While there, Richardson will have the opportunity to participate in more than twenty lectures with topics ranging from daily Muslim life, the Quran and Arabic, to Women's Rights and Islam.  He and his colleagues will also travel to many notable sites of Middle Eastern history including King Hussein Park's mosque and museum, the Dead Sea and the City of Salt.


Dr. Richardson will be available to interview and share images and stories about his experience in Jordan.  For more information, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.


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Cedar Crest College  |  100 College Drive  |  Allentown, PA 18104  |  800-360-1222