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U.S. News
William Brustein: Helping Pitt students learn more about the Middle East

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

By Bill Schackner, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

A suddenly heightened interest in Islamic studies led the University of Pittsburgh to add courses, faculty, seminars and lectures on issues related to Sept. 11.

William Brustein, director of Pitt's Center for International Studies, said at the time that students across the nation "want to understand why this could happen. What would motivate people to hate America the way they do?"

To help answer that question, Pitt added expert professors on the cultural anthropology of the Middle East and the Ottoman Empire.

Brustein hopes it doesn't stop there. Now, he is proposing that Pittsburgh-area campuses create an Islamic Studies Consortium that would collectively teach about the Islamic world.

"I still think it's a watershed event," Brustein said of Sept. 11. "I think it may not be for the rest of the world, but for the United States I do."

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