UA professors discuss American withdrawal from Afghanistan in open forum


Courtesy of Ginger Morrow

UA students join professors Daniel Levine and Waleed Hazbun at Monarch Espresso Bar to discuss America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Ginger Morrow, Contributing Writer

Two UA professors hosted a roundtable discussion Tuesday night at Monarch Espresso Bar. This installment of their speaking series “Tuscaloosa Takes On the World” addressed the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.

Political science professors Waleed Hazbun and Daniel Levine discussed American versus Afghan culture, religion, defense, women’s rights and American influence with the group of almost 20 attendees. Pat Duggins of Alabama Public Radio moderated the discussion and said he hoped to represent the “average person.” 

In May, Hazbun and Levine hosted their first event discussing the Israel-Palestine conflict, along with UA theater instructor Misha Hadar. More than 30 people attended the first event. 

“Sometimes we might not know the answer, but that probably means it’s a really good question,” Levine said. “That’s why we wanted to set this up.”

“The country is really divided about what the future of the U.S. should be,” Hazbun said. “In a divided country, can you mobilize a new strategy? We don’t know the answer to that.” 

Hazbun hoped the event would attract a variety of perspectives, which he said he saw on Tuesday night.

Aidan Dollins, a senior majoring in public relations who attended the event, said the organizers achieved their goals of promoting civil discourse. 

“[Civil discourse] is the only way equitable, creative, decent solutions are reached,” he said. “I just wanted to come be around academic discussions again.”

He said the night gave him motivation to return to academic discourse, and it was a welcome relief from Zoom. 

Hazbun and Levine plan to host more discussions as part of the “Tuscaloosa Takes on the World” series in upcoming months. 

“This is something a community like this should have,” Levine said.

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