Kanan Makiya and Trudy Rubin to Headline the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s 2016 Annual Dinner on Nov. 17 at The Union League of Philadelphia

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Critically acclaimed author to receive FPRI’s 12th Annual Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Service and discuss new novel about the dysfunction and devastation after the invasion of Iraq with award-winning journalist

Kanan Makiya examines Ba'ath Era documents recovered by the Iraq Memory Foundation. Photo Credit: Ashley Gilbertson

Kanan Makiya examines Ba'ath Era documents recovered by the Iraq Memory Foundation. Photo Credit: Ashley Gilbertson

We encourage all who wish to have a deeper understanding of the Middle East to attend.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) will present its 12th Annual Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Service to critically acclaimed author, Kanan Makiya, at its 2016 Annual Dinner on Nov. 17 at The Union League of Philadelphia. Co-chairs, Marina Kats, Ronald J. Naples, and the Hon. Dov S. Zakheim, will begin receiving guests at 6:00 p.m. with dinner and the presentation Beyond Dysfunction and Devastation: Iraq, the Arab Spring, and Lessons for Today with Makiya and Trudy Rubin, award-winning foreign affairs columnist, to follow. Seating is limited and can be purchased for $300 per person. For more information about the event and corporate sponsorship opportunities, contact Eli Gilman at egilman(at)fpri(dot)org or at 215-732-3774 x 103.

“Kanan Makiya is a heroic figure who throughout his life has upheld the right of every human being to be treated with dignity,” said FPRI president Alan Luxenberg. “He richly deserves the Ben Franklin Award, and we encourage all who wish to have a deeper understanding of the Middle East to attend.”

During the presentation, Rubin will interview Makiya on the occasion of the publication of The Rope - a murder mystery and a poignant story of a militia man, his closest friends, and family – all working at cross-purposes after the invasion of Iraq. The book illuminates the failures not so much on the part of Americans but on the part of Iraqis in a way that nonfiction is ill-equipped to do. Guests of the event will receive a complimentary copy at the conclusion of the event.

Born in Baghdad, Makiya has been described as the Arab world’s “Solzhenitsyn” for courageously bearing witness to unspeakable cruelty. In 1989, he published his first book Republic of Fear, under the pseudonym Samir al-Kahlil, exposing the personality cult surrounding the bizarre rule of Saddam Hussein. In 1994, under his real name, Makiya released Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising, and the Arab World, which denounced those in the Middle East who failed to speak out loud the unpalatable truths about widespread repression.

In 2003, Makiya founded the Iraq Memory Foundation, an NGO based in Baghdad and the US. The foundation has collected and digitized nearly 10 million pages of Ba’th era documents. Makiya’s many essays have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement and many more. Makiya is currently the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University.

Rubin is an award-winning foreign affairs columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer and a member of The Inquirer's editorial board. Prior to joining The Inquirer in 1983, she was Middle East correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, covering Israel and the Arab world, and lived in Jerusalem and Beirut.

ABOUT THE FOREIGN POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE

The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) is dedicated to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the foreign policy and national security challenges facing the United States. It seeks to educate the public, teachers, students, and offer ideas to advance U.S. national interests based on a nonpartisan, geopolitical perspective that illuminates contemporary international affairs through the lens of history, geography, and culture. For more information about the FPRI, please visit http://www.fpri.org.

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