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Should cultural artifacts be returned to their country of origin?

October 25, 2023

The Center of American Studies and Research (CASAR) Student Discussion Series for the fall 2023 semester event is a student-led debate on whether cultural artifacts should be returned to their country of origin or not. The debate began with a welcome remark by CASAR Director Professor Mark W. Deets and CASAR Assistant Director and Adjunct Faculty Yasmeen El-Ghazaly, who explained to the students that CASAR was created in 2003 to promote the United States and Middle East understanding. During the discussion series, students played the role of delving into topics together to understand one another. Refreshments, snacks, and beverages were available for the students who came to support their peers and present their arguments. This event was broadcast on Facebook live via the CASAR Facebook page. Students passionately presented their arguments in an organized manner, going back and forth between the two sides, and often students became excited about leading their side of the class with their perspectives. Some arguments were with returning the artifacts claiming ownership, and ending colonialism. Other students argued that having other countries keep artifacts that do not belong to them could actually encourage people to travel to their country of origin to see more for themselves. The CASAR team is pleased to announce that the runner-up for this discussion is Laila Mamdouh, and the winner of this discussion is Mohanad Fouda. Congratulations!

The winner's name is currently featured on all of our social media outlets in addition to our honor board at the center.

Watch the full discussion.

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