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15

FRIDAY

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The usual line on e-chatter is that no participant is actually who he or she pretends to be. But that’s less a familiar punch line than a beguiling possibility for women in the Middle East, where cultural and gender identity can be a grave limitation. In today’s seminar, “Cultural Boundaries and Cyber Spaces: Muslim Women’s Empowerment Through Technology,” Iranian-born feminist Mahnaz Afkhami will discuss how women are using the relatively anonymous precincts of the Internet to develop skills and even power. The program will include clips from a video in which women from countries such as Libya, Jordan, and Afghanistan—about as far from Silicon Valley as you can click—are using information technologies to reach and organize other women. Plug in at noon at the Middle East Institute’s Boardman Room, 1761 N St. NW. Free. (202) 785-1141. (Mark Jenkins)