The Erna P. Kaldegg Endowment through the ETSU Office of Multicultural Affairs will present a special lecture event, “Muslim Woman Behind the Veil.”

It will feature guest speaker Zohra Sarwari, a groundbreaking author and educator, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Culp Center 3rd floor Ballroom.

According to Sarwari, the lecture will address three topics: “What is terrorism? What do Muslims believe in? And why do Muslim women dress the way that they do?”

Sarwari is an international speaker, entrepreneur, publisher and proud mother of three children. She has written 14 books and three home-schooling curriculums.

Sarwari graduated high school in 1993 and got married shortly after.

She has obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master of business administration degree. On top of that, she is also pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies.

Sarwari is an orthodox Muslim who moved to America with her family at age 6.

Living at first as a refugee, she traveled from New York to Virginia before eventually being able to settle down in California. Being a Muslim woman and growing up behind the veil, Sarwari has had to face many challenges throughout her life.

She has been forced to survive through unfounded stereotypes, foul comments, and harsh misunderstandings about her faith. She now tours the world to take opportunities to speak out about the truth and promote love and acceptance among different cultures.

Utilizing humor and accounts of her personal experiences, Sarwari will deliver a message of tolerance and diversity.

“I pray that the audience members get out facts from my lecture,” Sarwari said. “They are bombarded with opinions on TV, myths, misconceptions, and false information.  I am here to combat the fiction with some facts.  I want them to walk away enlightened by the truth and no longer fear their Muslim friends, neighbors or students.”

Sarwari said for her the most rewarding aspect of participating in this type of event is to have people come up to her afterward and tell her that they learned so much—that they felt they went around the globe and back to the U.S., within an hour.

“The power of a live lecture is that you get to meet the person, and they can answer your questions live,” Sarwari said. “They can cite sources for you and help you understand the issues we are going through.”

Part of International Education Week at ETSU, “Muslim Woman Behind the Veil” is free to attend, open to the public and a great way to broaden ones’ horizons and learn about a subject one may not have access to elsewhere.