Jimmy Carter at GSU

Jimmy Carter came to Georgia Southern (GSU) last Tuesday with his wife Rosalynn Carter and spoke about their long life journey from farming to presidency and public service to civil society work and community service.

I met Jimmy Carter for the first time when I worked for Carter Center in Egypt. As an international observer, I monitored the 2011 first round of Egypt Presidential Elections. I still remember that I got a confirmation of my travel to Egypt only one week before the elections because Carter Center was negotiating his mission till the last few days.  Eventually, Carter Center was the only foreign observation mintoring in Egypt’s first democratic elections. Actually, that was the question I would have asked him on how Carter Center can still influence the transparency and accountability in countries like Egypt not only during the transition but also under dictatorship.

Carter center is not a mere organization that monitors elections but it is a big family that gathers people from around the world with different backgrounds, languages, cultures and expertise. Among several issues, Jimmy Carter put emphasis on his stand for peace in the Middle East. I didn’t know Carter was from Georgia but I could see his pride when talking about being “southern”.

Georgia southern university students had interesting questions but again only related to their field of studies and to their world. Nobody asked about conflict zones, Africa or the Middle East though Carter stressed out many times his work in peace building as a president and organization leader.  Being in Georgia Southern for eight months now, I think American students, juniors and seniors are extrovert and need openness beyond Georgia and the United States of America.



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