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Pulitzer Prize Winner Hedges to Speak to Journalism Students

By Musa Odeh

Journalist. Author. War correspondent.  These are a few of the titles that can describe the work of Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges.  He is a journalist who says what he believes about controversial subjects, fearing neither reprimands nor consequences. 

Now the TMO foundation has invited Hedges to speak to journalism students and pass on his wide advice to them.  Hedges will touch on the effects of war and explain why he describes war as “the most potent narcotic invented by humankind.”

“I have read three of Hedges’ books and I’m really looking forward to hearing what he has to say.  It will definitely be an exciting night,” said Abbass Hammoud, a 21-year-old student who attends Henry Ford Community College.

Hedges will find a receptive audience at the TMO Foundation dinner, where Muslim journalism students will listen to his views and analysis.  This stands in contrast to previous speaking engagements where he found his audience unreceptive, for example a 2003 experience at Rockford College in Rockford Illinois, which made national headlines. 

The incident in 2003 began when Hedges was invited to give a commencement address at Rockford College, shortly after the war began in Iraq.  He told the graduating class “We are embarking on an occupation that, if history is any guide, will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige, power and security.”  He also stated “This is a war of liberation in Iraq, but it is a war of liberation by Iraqis from American occupation.”  These statements caused an uproar as the audience began to boo him.  Hedges’ microphone was cut and a couple young men rushed the stage in an attempt to silence him.  Shortly after, he was escorted off campus by security–before the ceremony was over.

“I became very angry when I read about Chris Hedges getting booed at Rockford College for speaking the truth about the Bush Administration.  It’s an honor to sit in the same room as a Pulitzer Prize winner and I will make sure my cheers are heard on Friday,” said Mariam Bazzy, a 23-year-old journalism student at Wayne State University.

The TMO foundation encourages Hedges’ views and thoughts and unlike the incident in 2003, Hedges can expect a warm welcome and plenty of group support when taking the stage at Byblos Banquet Hall in Dearborn on Friday, August 6th.  TMO Foundation’s First Annual Award Banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The night is dedicated to honoring Muslim journalism students, and to present awards to the few selected winners of the national essay contest. 

There will also be a book signing where Hedges will present his most recent book, Empire of Illusion.


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