Nobel Peace Prize winner addresses North Central College tonight

Nobel Peace Prize winners Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, left, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, center,  and Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf receive their diplomas and medals at City Hall in in Oslo, Norway Saturday Dec. 10, 2011. The peace prize committee awarded the prize to Karman,  Johnson-Sirleaf and Gbowee for championing women's rights in regions where oppression is common and helping women participate in peace-building., (AP Photo/John McConnico)
Nobel Peace Prize winners Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, left, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, center, and Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf receive their diplomas and medals at City Hall in in Oslo, Norway Saturday Dec. 10, 2011. The peace prize committee awarded the prize to Karman, Johnson-Sirleaf and Gbowee for championing women's rights in regions where oppression is common and helping women participate in peace-building., (AP Photo/John McConnico)

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Tawakkol Karman of Yemen will give a talk about her experiences as a journalist, politician and human rights activist June 3 at North Central College in Naperville.

Karman is the first Yemeni, first Arab woman and second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize and, at age 32, was the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate. One of three women to share the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, a first for the Nobel Peace honor, Karman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee were honored for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.

Karman will give her lecture at 7:30 p.m. June 3 at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall in the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. The free event is hosted by North Central’s Office of International Programs and Leadership, Ethics & Values program and is the culmination of the college’s three-year focus on global human rights, which has featured symposiums, films, speakers, exhibits and visiting Fulbright Scholars-in-Residence.

Karman was a leading figure in the revolution in Yemen during the “Arab Spring” and has been imprisoned on a number of occasions for her pro-democracy, pro-human rights protests. Among Yemen’s youth movement, she is known as the “Mother of the Revolution,” “The Iron Woman” and, more recently, “The Lady of the Arab Spring.” She is founder and president of Women Journalists without Chains, which advocates for rights and freedoms and provides media skills to journalists.

A senior member of the Al-Islah political party, Karman is also on the advisory board for Transparency International and several international human rights groups. She is a mother of three.

In 2007, she initiated weekly protests in Yemen’s capitol city of Sana’a, targeting systemic government repression and calling for inquiries into corruption and other social and legal injustices. Her protests continued until 2011 when she redirected protesters to support the Arab Spring.

After receiving her Nobel award, Karman began leveraging social media to communicate with those promoting peace in her home country. Although there’s a high illiteracy rate in Yemen, she currently has a combined 1.4 million followers on Facebook and Twitter.

Karman has been named among the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine and the first among the 16 most revolutionary women in history by Time magazine.

For part of her lecture, Karman will be joined by Yemen native and North Central College student Mustafa Alnaqeb for a question and answer session. Alnaqeb hopes to teach English when he returns to Yemen.

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