During the tumultuous years of Beirut's political strife in the 1980s, Malcolm Kerr, president of the American University of Beirut, was tragically assassinated after serving there seventeen months. On Thursday, Sept. 12, at 4 p.m. in the Surfboard Room at Payson Library, his widow, Ann Kerr, will speak on her experiences in the Middle East, the impact of Islam on Lebanon's continuing struggles, and her book, Come with Me from Lebanon, a personal account of an American family during the Lebanese Civil War.
This lecture is part of the "Muslim Journeys Bookshelf" lecture series, a group of books and DVDs that explore the Muslim experience, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Librarian Sally Bryant directs the project, and the lead scholar is Dr. David Simonowitz. The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is available at Payson Library.
Kerr currently serves as the coordinator of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Program at UCLA. Her book Come with Me from Lebanon retraces in detail the events that brought her family to the Middle East, and reaches back into her childhood to describe a lifelong affinity for Lebanon. For a young American woman caring for a family in Lebanon and Egypt, life was like nothing she had ever known, but Kerr approached it with a sense of adventure, which would help her deal with the beauty, chaos, and the ultimate horror of life during the country's most volatile years of the last three decades. The personal saga of her family and the events surrounding her husband's untimely death merge with the political episodes that have shaped U.S.-Arab relations since World War II. Kerr describes with humor and grace her life within a culture that most Americans perceive as strange and hostile, but which she loved from the beginning.
For more information, please visit the Pepperdine Libraries website.