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Chautauqua Institution's Week Five examines history, development and struggles of Pakistan

July 25, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

CHAUTAUQUA - Relatively young, but a nuclear power, The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has a short history defined by political instability and tumultuous relationships with Afghanistan and India.

With the world's second-largest Muslim population, Pakistan occupies a strategic geopolitical position between Asia and the Middle East. Beginning on Monday, July 23 expert lecturers discuss Pakistan's history, development into a semi-industrial nation and constant struggle of defining itself as a nation, created for Muslims, that isn't a religious state.

Fareed Zakaria is the first morning lecturer of Week Five. Host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Editor-at-large at Time magazine and regular columnist for The Washington Post, Zakaria takes the Amphitheater stage Monday, July 23 at 10:45 a.m.

On Tuesday, former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. and U.K., Maleeha Lodhi gives the morning lecture. She is currently the special advisor for international affairs to Pakistan's largest media conglomerate, the Jang/Geo Group.

Husain Haqqani was Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. from 2008 through 2011. A trusted advisor to three former Pakistani prime ministers, Haqqani is also a professor at Boston University and former director of its Center of International Relations. He will give the morning lecture on Wednesday.

Giving the lecture on Thursday, July 26 is Shuja Nawaz. Director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council, he has worked with the United States Institute of Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and other leading think tanks on projects dealing with Pakistan and the Middle East.

Fact Box

General information

Morning lectures are held in the Amphitheater weekdays at 10:45 a.m. Afternoon/Interfaith lectures are held in the Hall of Philosophy weekdays at 2 p.m. Afternoon lecture themes coordinate with the themes of the 10:45 a.m. lectures, but take a different angle of vision.

Day tickets are available for purchase at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office on the day of your visit. Morning tickets grant visitors access to the grounds for $18 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For $12, afternoon tickets grant access from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Combined morning/afternoon passes - 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. - are $30. For additional ticketing information, visit or call 357-6250.

Tickets for Amphitheater performances are $40. On Community Appreciation Nights, ticket prices are reduced to $18 and Family Entertainment Series performances held in Smith Wilkes Hall are free.

For additional ticketing information, visit or call 357-6250.

Chautauqua Institution is a summer community located in southwestern New York State on Chautauqua Lake. It offers a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship, educational programs and recreational activities. Each summer the Institution hosts over 2,200 events and 100,000 guests. For more information please visit,

R. Nicholas Burns, former U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs, gives the last morning lecture of Week Five on Friday. Burns is a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service and professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics.

The voices of this week's Interfaith Lecture Series represent multiple generations and experiences as they lecture on the afternoon theme, "The People of Pakistan."

The Interfaith Lecture Series of Week Five begins with Ambassador Akbar Ahmed. Ahmed is currently the Ibn Khaldun chair of Islamic Studies at American University and the first distinguished chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is regularly interviewed by CNN, National Public Radio, BBC, Fox, and Al-Jazeera, has appeared several times on Oprah, and been a guest of The Daily Show and Nickelodeon.

The Honorable Bushra Gohar gives the afternoon lecture Tuesday, July 24. Gohar is the central vice president of the Awami National Party of Pakistan and was elected as a Member of Parliament on reserved seats for women in Pakistan's 2008 national elections.

Qazi Asmat Isa, senior community development specialist for the South Asia Environment and Social Development Unit of the World Bank, is the afternoon lecturer on Wednesday, July 25.

The lecturer on Thursday, July 26 is Amin Hashwani. Hashwani belongs to an established business family in Pakistan with diversified interests in commodities, mining, textiles, real estate and others. He has been associated with numerous social initiatives nationally and internationally.

Friday's lecturer is author Karen Armstrong. Contemporary and historical religion's most prolific author, Armstrong is a highly sought-after lecturer around the world, and is called upon by governments, universities and church and secular organizations alike to educate about the world's religions and to inform regarding their place in the modern world.



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