Ambassador Sallama Shaker will address the Senior Men's Club of New Canaan in Morrill Hall at St. Mark's Church on Friday, Jan. 4, at 10 a.m. Her presentation, titled "Religion, Globalization, and the Arab Awakening," and discuss the Arab uprisings of 2011.

Shaker will provide an overview of the dynamics and root causes of the Arab awakenings -- one of the most important stories of the early 21st century across the Islamic world with the sweeping changes involving Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen in view of the religious and cultural diversity and nuances of each country.

She will explore the evolving scenes considering that the Arab world is at a crossroad, facing enormous challenges, as well as opportunities.

Shaker was the first appointed woman assistant minister of foreign affairs for the Americas in the history of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was appointed deputy minister of foreign affairs for cultural, educational relations, technical cooperation, and dialogue for Egypt in September 2004. Prior to that, she was Egypt's ambassador to Canada. In addition to her current post, she has held several positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1985 to 1990, Shaker served as the consul general at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C. She has also served as economic and political counselor at the Embassy in Turkey, as well as cultural and political attache at the Embassy of Egypt in Malta.

Shaker began her education at the American College for Girls in Cairo, Egypt.

She went on to earn her bachelor's degree in political economy at Cairo University. She holds two masters' degrees in political economy and economics, from Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Economics/Malta University respectively. In 1993 she received her Ph.D. in international development from American University in Washington, D.C.

Shaker was a senior associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center from 1992 to 1994, where she researched the impact of the first Gulf War on the economies of Egypt and Turkey.

For the past few years, she has been a visiting professor and scholar at Yale. Shaker is an expert in the so-called Arab Spring.

She has published many articles and books on the issues of peace and development in the Middle East. She is fluent in five languages and was a visiting professor at Claremont Graduate University, where she taught courses on development challenges and political economy of the Middle East and religion, development, and feminization of poverty.

The Senior Men's Club of New Canaan is open for new members. Applicants are especially welcome to attend this meeting. Visit for more information or call Membership Chairman Jerry Transue at 203-966-6050.

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