January 20, 2004 Tunisia's Minister of Culture To Speak at the Library of Congress on January 29

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Mary-Jane Deeb (202) 707-1221

Abdelbaki Hermassi, the minister of culture of Tunisia, will deliver a lecture titled "Tunisia and Cultural Modernization" at noon on Thursday, Jan. 29, in Room LJ 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. The program is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required.

Hermassi holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and served as Tunisia's ambassador to UNESCO in Paris in the early 1990s. He is the author of several books in English, French and Arabic, including a classic study on "Leadership and Development in North Africa: A Comparative Study."

The program is sponsored jointly by the African and Middle Eastern Division and the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

The Library's African and Middle Eastern Division was created in 1978. It comprises three sections -- African, Hebraic and Near East, which cover some 70 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. The division holds some 600,000 volumes in the non-Roman script languages of the region.

A generous endowment from John W. Kluge in 2000 enabled the Library of Congress to establish the John W. Kluge Center, to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington, D.C. The center houses five senior Kluge Chairs as well as a number of postdoctoral fellows. In addition, it sponsors a number of programs that highlight research in the humanities and culture. For information about the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, or visit the Web at www.loc.gov/kluge.


PR 04-011
ISSN 0731-3527