Scholar-in-residence Riad Ismat discusses the arts and statesmanship

Feb 10, 2015

North Central College will host a free lecture Feb. 18 by Riad Ismat, Syria’s former ambassador to Pakistan and minister of culture.

Currently a visiting scholar-in-residence at North Central College for the 2014-2015 academic year, Ismat will speak on “Theatre and Diplomacy” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the College’s Smith Hall at Old Main, 30 N. Brainard St.

Ismat will address and answer the following questions in his lecture: Can experience as a diplomat benefit or harm the career of a writer? Can experience in a new culture inspire a playwright/director and short-story writer? What’s the ultimate value of the job of an ambassador for a creative artist?

Ismat serves as North Central’s visiting professor of arts and letters and teaches courses in playwriting, acting and directing, besides lecturing on Syria, Arabic literature and drama. In his career, Ismat has emphasized bridging the gap between cultures, drawing from Arab heritage in a modern approach, and advocating humanitarian values that stress democracy and tolerance while condemning totalitarianism that represses freedom and degrades the dignity of human beings.

An acclaimed dramatist in the Arab world with 34 books to his credit, Ismat served as Syrian minister of culture from 2010 to 2012, as Syrian ambassador to Pakistan and Qatar, and as director general of State Radio & TV and rector of Syria’s Academy of Dramatic Arts. He earned a postgraduate diploma in theater directing at Cardiff University, United Kingdom, and received a certificate in television production and direction from the BBC. He was a Fulbright fellow and awarded a doctorate in Shakespeare studies from Greenwich University.

Click here for more information about Ismat. This event is sponsored by the Office of International Programs and Cultural Events program.