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Renowned Journalist to Speak on the 'Arab Spring'

A Class of 1973 alumna who was recently named to Arabian Business’s list of the 100 most powerful Arab women in the world will speak at SUNY Plattsburgh next week.

Distinguished Visiting Alumna Raghida Dergham, a senior diplomatic correspondent for the London-based Al Hayat newspaper, will discuss the pro-democracy uprisings in the Arab world that became known as the “Arab Spring” at a 5 p.m. forum in Krinovitz Recital Hall, Hawkins Hall, Thursday, Feb. 16.

After graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh, Dergham — the college’s first journalism major — quickly made a name for herself. Just five years out of college, she interviewed Ferdinand Marcos, then-president of the Philippines. Ten minutes into the interview, he halted her, telling her their meeting was over. Dergham held her ground and told him no, she wasn't finished. Astonished, he continued the interview.

Since then, Dergham has earned more than 50 exclusive interviews with foreign ministers, U.S. presidents and other world leaders including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; President George W. Bush; Jordanian King Abdullah; Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki; Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir; and U.S. Gen. David Petraeous.

A political analyst for NBC and MSNBC, she is a frequent guest on networks like CNN, Fox and Al Jazeera. She has also had work published in the New York Times, Washington Post and Newsweek.

“The Distinguished Visiting Alumni Program is an integral part of on-campus programming,” said Joanne Nelson, director of alumni relations at SUNY Plattsburgh. “The program’s three key goals are to increase quality interactions between alumni and students; to strengthen the relationship between successful alumni like Raghida Dergham and their alma mater; and to involve alumni in the academic mission of the college.

“The Alumni Association and the Presidents Speaker Series are thrilled to welcome Ms. Dergham to share with students, faculty and alumni, inside and outside of the classroom, a world view that promotes an awareness around basic human rights,” Nelson said. “Her story is both interesting and inspiring.”

This event is free and open to the public.

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