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Terry Waite

Fall 2005


From November 10-12, 2005, Terry Waite, hostages’ negotiator, humanitarian and author was the special guest to deliver for The Cairo Lectures.


Terry Waite has led a remarkable life as a diplomat and a humanitarian. A world-renowned agent of peace, he is a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit.


Long devoted to humanitarian causes, inter-cultural relations, and conflict resolution, Waite garnered international recognition in the 1980s when, serving as a special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, he successfully negotiated the release of hostages in Iran and Libya.  


In the mid-80’s he often traveled to Beirut, Lebanon, to seek the release of Western hostages. It was during shuttle diplomacy between London and Beirut in January of 1987 that he was taken hostage by Shiite Muslims. For the next five years or 1,763 days, Waite, 47, was confined by his captors. In captivity (four years of which were in solitary confinement), he was chained to a wall, often left in darkness, beaten and subjected to a mock execution.


Since his release in September 1991, Waite has campaigned tirelessly to humanitarian causes, lecturing, writing and making appearances all over the world. He has been awarded an MBE and CBE in the United Kingdom and been given numerous honorary degrees from universities. He is also involved with many charities, including Emmaus. In his lectures, Waite will provide audiences a perspective of world affairs founded on open communication, cooperation and a deep understanding of diverse cultures, with a particular focus on his experiences both as a hostage negotiator and hostage.


Mr. Waite’s speaking schedule for The Cairo Lectures entailed the following


A lecture at American University of Cairo (AUC)--Title of Lecture: “Terrorism--Root Issues: An Examination of some of the root questions which give course to violent action”


A presentation to the high school students and faculty at the Cairo American College/Maadi.


THE CAIRO LECTURE at St. John’s Church--Title of Lecture: “Survival in Solitude”--- A talk of his own experiences in solitary confinement in Beirut for almost five years.  

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