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FORMER HOSTAGE TERRY WAITE TO SPEAK TODAY

World-renowned diplomat and humanitarian Terry Waite will give a Marc and Connie Jacobson Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Lecture Thursday, Feb. 23, at Old Dominion University.

Waite's lecture, titled "Iraq, Guantanamo and Human Rights," begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Mills Godwin Jr. Building auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Long devoted to humanitarian causes, intercultural relations and cultural resolution, Waite garnered international recognition in the 1980s when he successfully negotiated the release of hostages in Iran and Libya.

In 1987, while negotiating the release of hostages in Beirut, Waite himself was taken hostage. In captivity for 1,763 days, four years of which were in solitary confinement, he was beaten, chained to a wall and subject to mock executions.

Released from captivity in 1991, Waite now devotes his time to humanitarian efforts around the world.

"What I have tried to do is take the positive side of the experience of being a hostage and build on it," he says. "It has given me increased empathy with those who are victims of warfare or oppression."

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the media have frequently called upon Waite for his expertise. He has been featured on national news networks, including CNN and BBC, to discuss the topics of Islamic fundamentalism, the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and numerous hostage situations in Iraq.

Waite is the author of "Taken on Trust," "Travels with a Primate" and "Footfalls in Memory: Reflections from Solitude."

For more information about his lecture at Old Dominion, call 683-5759.

This article was posted on: January 17, 2006

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