Lee Becker, Attallah Askar Alrumhin, Adib Mohamad Khaddour, Ferial Zaki Mouhanna, and Tudor Vlad.

Cox Center Hosts Nepalese Expert For Three-Week Study Visit

Three journalism professors from the Damascus University, Syria, touring the United States on a three-week trip, visited the University of Georgia on September 29 to learn about journalism education and the role of media in the United States.

Dr. Ferial Zaki Mouhanna, Dr. Adib Mohamad Khaddour, and Dr. Attallah Askar Alrumhin from Damascus University's Faculty of Journalism and Department of Communication, the only such unit in all of Syria, were accompanied by Arabic language interpreter Mr. Raad Farnary.

The Syrian educators were participants in the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Program. In Georgia, their program was coordinated by the Georgia Council for International Visitors.

Syrian group with Professor David Hazinski
in the TV studio.

The guests were welcomed to the University of Georgia by Dr. Lee B. Becker, director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, and by Cox Center Assistant Director Dr. Tudor Vlad. The Cox Center, a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, organized the visit to the University of Georgia. Dr. Becker gave the Damascus visitors an overview of journalism education in the United States, drawing on research the Cox Center conducts as part of the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication, which are housed in the Center. He also provided information about the higher education system in the State of Georgia and the University of Georgia.

Dr. John Soloski, dean of the Grady College, discussed the structure and the curriculum of the College and emphasized the importance of having courses with a more theoretical content and classes that develop practical skills.
"It is a serious debate in our country whether journalists have to have a prior journalism education or they should graduate from other programs, such as literature, law, or theology," said Dr. Khaddour.

The Syrian professors with Harry Montevideo,
publisher of The Red & Black.

The guests toured the Grady College. They met with Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein, director of the Dowden Center for Emerging Media Research, and with Professor David Hazinski, who gave a practical demonstration of the use of new technology in the TV production studio.

Dr. Vlad discussed with the Syrian educators the international training programs of the Cox Center and the role of journalism and mass communication programs in the process of democratization.

"We need contacts with international journalism educators and we would like to have our students exposed to foreign experiences," said Dr. Alrumhin, head of the communication department of Damascus University. "We also think that our culture can be interesting to American faculty and students."

Dr. Mouhanna also emphasized the importance of faculty and students exchanges. "I hope this visit with the Cox Center will create opportunities for joint activities in the future, and we are ready to start working together immediately," she added.

Meeting with Dean Soloski.

The group also met with Dr. Kent Middleton, head of the journalism program in the Grady College, and discussed the the law of public communication in the United States.

The program for the Syrians also included a tour of WUOG, the UGA student radio station, and a meeting with Harry Montevideo, publisher of the Red and Black, the UGA student independent newspaper.

Prior to the visit to the University of Georgia, the Syrian educators visited media and universities in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Kansas City, MO, and Atlanta. After Georgia, the group continued its tour in New York City.