In conjunction with Cameron University‘s current academic festival “American Identities in the 21st Century”, Cameron University is pleased to present “Choosing America: Freedom and Human Rights,” a panel presentation focusing on why the United States of America continues to be the country of choice for immigrants. The panel will take place on Monday, April 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the CETES Conference Center and is open to the public at no charge.

The keynote address will be provided by Hamit Bilici, former editor-in-chief of Zaman, the major newspaper in Turkey.  Bilici, who is now in exile and who lives in the Washington, D.C. area, came under fire and was ultimately arrested when his newspaper did not fully support the new regime in Turkey.  Returning to Turkey is no longer an option for Bilici, who has firsthand experience in losing the right to freely express his views, whether personally or through the press. 

 “Now I am in exile, but I am fortunate,” he says. “At least I am out of the country.  Lots of my friends are now in jail.”

 He will be joined for the panel discussion by Matthew Modeste, a native of St. Lucia who is a CPA at Hatch, Croke & Associates, and Dr. Narayan Thapa, a native of Nepal, who is chair of Cameron’s Department of Mathematics. The panel will provide a broad opportunity for discussion of the rights of Americans – rights many Americans take for granted.  Many people leave their home countries, some in search of freedom from tyranny, like Bilici, and others in search of opportunity, like Thapa and Modeste.