The Martin Institute Celebrates 30 Years with Forum "From Iraq to Idaho"

Monday, September 14 2009

MOSCOW, Idaho – To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Martin Institute at the University of Idaho will host a one night event “From Iraq to Idaho” as part of the Martin Forum on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. The event will take place in the University Auditorium in the Administration Building, 851 Campus Dr. in Moscow. Admission is free.

The evening forum begins with opening remarks by University of Idaho President M. Duane Nellis, followed by a panel discussion with Wisam “Sam” Abdul Aziz Al-Hormezi and Leslye Moore on their experiences with the refugee resettlement program in the U.S. The discussion will be followed by a question and answer period.

“We’re excited to highlight this linkage of international issues to the state of Idaho,” said Bill L. Smith, director of the Martin Institute and School. “It fits nicely with Boyd and Grace’s vision and is a worthy way to recognize the thirtieth anniversary.”

Al-Hormezi was a translator for U.S. Armed Forces in his native Iraq before becoming a refugee and, eventually, resettling in Boise. He earned a bachelor's degree in standard English and a master's degree in English and American Literature, both from the Baghdad University in Iraq. He taught “English as a Second Language” at the Salahideen University in Erbil, Iraq. He also served as a cultural adviser for Blackwater Worldwide, responsible for maintaining an open line of communication between the company and Kurdistan Regional Government, translating official documents, interpreting directly into three languages, and briefing senior level company executives about emerging situations in Iraq. Before joining Blackwater, Al-Hormezi worked as interpreter for the U.S. Army National Guard with real-time translation for the 210th Military Police Company in Bagdad.

Moore is the director of the International Rescue Committee in Boise. Since 2005, she has worked with the Project for Strengthening Organizations Assisting Refugees as an expert adviser in strategic planning and effective leadership. Moore shares her expertise with a number of refugee-run community organizations across the country. Her contributions to Project SOAR as a member of the Field Advisory Network play an integral role in the project’s success in working with ethnic-community based organizations.

The celebration coincides with a meeting that will take place earlier in the day of the Martin Institute Advisory Board and the arrival of Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.

Founded in 1979 by Boyd and Grace Martin, the Martin Institute is celebrating 30 years of advancing research and teaching into the causes of conflict and peaceful resolution. The Institute administers an interdisciplinary undergraduate major in International Studies including offering courses, speakers, and sponsors a lecture and discussion series on international topics.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit  

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit