"Journey Through Kurdistan" Subject of A&M International Guest Lecture

The struggle of the Kurdish people to survive without a country of their own will take centerstage in a special guest lecture by published author Mary Ann Smothers Bruni at Texas A&M International University Friday, March 21.

Smothers Bruni, author of "Journey Through Kurdistan" (University of Texas Press, 1996), will be hosted by the College of Arts and Humanities for her lecture at 7 p.m. in Bullock Hall 101. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public.

In addition to her lecture, the author will be available to sign copies of her book.

The accomplished photographer lived among the Kurds for three years and relays her special insight in "Journey Through Kurdistan," a photographic essay that consists of 83 color photos that document the rich cultures and traditions the Kurds are striving to preserve. Reviewers have said "Journey" intelligently and compassionately documents the Kurdish plight in prose and photography.

Kurdistan, the home of 26 million Kurds, is located high in the Zagros Mountains where modern Turkey, Iran and Iraq meet. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the Kurds emerged as the only major ethnic group denied a home state.

Considered the largest nation in the world without a country, the Kurds have been condemned by the new nationalism of the Middle East, and reports of destruction of their villages and the murder, pillage, rape and chemical attacks of their people continue unabated.

Smother Bruni's photographs of the Middle East have been exhibited by the Texas Memorial Museum, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Union Fine Art Gallery of the University of Texas at Austin.

Her previous books include Viva La Virgen de Guadalupe! and Rosita's Christmas Wish, for which she received the La Bahia award.

For her photographic and literary work documenting Hispanic Texas, she was given a lazo de dama medal from the Orden de Isabel La Católica, presented by Juan Carlos, King of Spain.

For additional information on the Mary Ann Smothers Bruni lecture, please contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326. 2180.

Information can also be secured via the University's Home Page at http://www.tamiu.edu.

Office hours are from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu