Author and journalist Ethan Casey and his collaborator Fawad Butt will focus on stripping misconceptions about the Pakistani people during a two-day stay at TCU.
Casey’s Web site, ethancasey.com, lists a biography stocked with international experience. This past summer, Casey said he traveled in India and Pakistan and will call upon his experiences there, as well as some background information, to address the university in his lecture, titled “Pakistan: the Human Dimension,” at 7 p.m. tonight in the University Christian Church.
Casey, who spent several years as an international journalist, noted in his blog that the West perceived Pakistan and Pakistani communities in an incomplete and negative light. The lecturers’ intent is to present the Pakistani people in a realistic sense.
Butt, a Pakistani-American who lives in Chicago, is CEO of Zeus Capital Advisers, a company he founded to offer investment alternatives that are compliant with Islamic religious law.
Karen Anisman, the associate director for development and community outreach, said it was important to dispel stereotypes through education.
Sponsors of the event include the Beth-El Congregation, the Islamic Institute of North Texas, University Christian Church, the Muslim Student Association, Brite Divinity School and the Center for Civic Literacy.
The MSA’s involvement seemed to fall into place with other events to promote cultural awareness, Anisman said.
“It was just serendipitous that all of these things came together at the same time,” Anisman said. “Ethan Casey was going to be here the same time they were reading ‘Three Cups of Tea’.”
“Three Cups of Tea,” written by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, is a story of Mortenson’s difficult journey to build schools in Pakistan. The MSA book reading took place Nov. 7.
Samim Giotis, president of the MSA, wrote in an e-mail that the book reading’s purpose was “to make a difference in this world and to become a more informed Horned Frog in the process.”
In 2008, Casey introduced Mortenson at a fund-raising dinner in Renton, Wash.
Casey, the author of “Alive and Well in Pakistan: A Human Journey in a Dangerous Time,” said he would read quotes from his latest book. A very short excerpt from an interview Casey had with Faiysal AliKahn, a development professional in Pakistan, read:
“‘One of the challenges I face is how to get across to Americans the humanity of these people who happen to be Muslims,’ I said.
‘People here don’t know the human side of America,’ he replied.”
Casey and Butt are scheduled to remain at the university through Thursday, giving lectures to staff, faculty and students Wednesday.