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Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi to receive UCI Citizen Peacebuilding Award

Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, will visit UC Irvine in May to accept the third UCI Citizen Peacebuilding Award.

Ebadi will receive the award and give a public talk on "The Challenges to Women, Children and Human Rights Today" at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel.

Ebadi will visit the campus Friday, May 20, for a 4 p.m. tree-dedication ceremony in Aldrich Park, commemorating the anniversary of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama's visit last spring. California Coastal Redwood tree seedlings were blessed by the Dalai Lama and given to the university during his visit, symbolizing citizens' role in planting the seeds of peace throughout the world.

Ebadi's visit is hosted by the Citizen Peacebuilding Program in the School of Social Sciences.

"Ms. Ebadi is an inspiration for millions of Iranians, for whom she has tirelessly advocated the peaceful expansion of democracy and human rights - despite personal risk," said Barbara Anne Dosher, dean of the School of Social Sciences. "Given the recent tensions in that part of the world, it is more important than ever that all of us understand the challenges facing Iranians working for peace. We are honored to have Ms. Ebadi at our campus to accept the third UCI Citizen Peacebuilding Award."

Ebadi is the only Iranian ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize, which she received in 2003 for her human rights activism. She is the first female judge in her country, serving as president of the Tehran City Court from 1975 to 1979. Ebadi has led efforts to change Iran's discriminatory laws against women, provide more protection for street children and free those detained for expressing opposition to the government - efforts she continued despite detention, suspension from legal practice and threats to her security.

Ebadi now practices law and teaches at the University of Tehran.

The UCI Citizen Peacebuilding Award is being given to Ebadi in honor of her "citizen advocacy" of democracy and human rights in recent years. The first UCI Citizen Peacebuilding Award was given to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the second to the Dalai Lama. The award, created by UCI studio art professor Gifford Myers, is made from parts of guns that were confiscated and donated by the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

For reservations to the public talk, e-mail or call (949) 824-8468. A minimum donation of $40 per ticket is encouraged. Students are free with a valid student ID. Limit one ticket per student ID.

About the Citizen Peacebuilding Program: The CPBP engages in research, education and action supporting citizen participation in public peace processes. Its activities aim to prevent violent conflict and in areas where violence occurs, to promote reconciliation and sustainable peace. The UCI program takes an integrated approach to studying the best grassroots peacebuilding methods in both domestic and international conflicts and uses those findings in direct engagement in peacebuilding projects in neighborhoods in Orange County and Los Angeles, as well as in select communities in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Bosnia/Herzegovina and the former Soviet Union. For more information about the program, visit

About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked public university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,400 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion. For more UCI news, visit

... Payvand News - 4/23/05 ... --

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