Middle East studies in the News
Concordia Pleads for the Safe Return of Professor Homa Hoodfar
by Chloe Ranaldi
Concordia Academics held a press conference on Sept. 7 in the EV building on the Sir George Williams campus, Concordia calling for the immediate release of Dr. Homa Hoodfar, a retired Concordia anthropology and sociology professor emerita.
"On June 6, our department changed forever," said Marc Lafrance, a sociology and anthropology professor. "On this day, one of our most admired and beloved professors was arrested and held in Iran's infamous Evin Prison in Tehran."
Hoodfar, 65, was arrested three months ago and charged with collaborating with a hostile government against national security—charges her family denies.
Recent news of Hoodfar's deteriorating health pushed the Concordia community to issue an official press release asking for help from the Irish and Iranian governments for her safe return.
"A week ago, Homa Hoodfar fell gravely ill and was hospitalized," said Kimberly Manning, principal of Concordia's Simone De Beauvoir Institute . She said Hoodfar suffers from a rare neurological disease that requires medical attention.
Manning pleaded that Hoodfar's case is an emergency and that at the moment, "we don't know if she is alive." Lafrance raised the question about whether or not she is receiving her medication or basic needs, such as food and water.
Hoodfar, who holds Irish as well as Canadian and Iranian citizenship, has received a great deal of support from Irish scholars since her arrest, said Emer O'Toole, a Canadian Irish studies professor, at the press release.
"Over the course of the summer [more than] 5000 academics signed a petition which called for Hoodfar's immediate release, including notable public intellectuals like Noam Chomsky and Orhan Pamuk," said Manning.
On Wednesday morning, Irish academics gathered outside of the Iranian Embassy in Dublin to show their support for Hoodfar.
Hoodfar is recognized for her studies on development, culture and gender in the Middle East.
"We encourage all Concordia students to sign the petition that calls for Homa's safe return home," Lafrance told The Concordian. "Students are invited to share her message on social media."Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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