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Registration Open for CALL Program

KEENE, N.H., 08/27/10 - Keene State College Continuing Education and RiverMead, the full-service life-care community, are collaborating to offer the Cheshire Academy for Lifelong Learning (CALL) program at RiverMead. Registration for the RiverMead educational program for learners 55 years old and older is now open.

Two sessions are available: The Persian Revival (1:30 to 2:30 p.m.) and Buddhism (2:45 to 3:45 p.m.).

In a series of six lectures, Persian history, politics, art, and culture are examined. Persia, the only one of the Middle Eastern empires that has survived, seeks to regain its ancient power and influence as Iran, a name it adopted about a century ago. The country is vying with Saudi Arabia for leadership of the Muslim world. Given the world’s wariness of American intentions, Iran’s oil reserves, the country’s demographics - overwhelmingly youthful, educated, and informed - and the high probability it will acquire nuclear weapons capability, checkmating a new Persian revival may prove difficult.

Buddhism is considered by many to be a philosophy, not a religion, and the course presents Buddhism from this perspective. Starting with the culture existing at the time the Buddha lived and developing the essential concepts of the Four Noble Truths, the Eight Fold Path, karma, reincarnation, and Buddhist ethics, the discussion moves to the transition of Buddhism from the teachings of Buddha 2,500 years ago to the many variations existing today.

Javed Chaudhri, instructor of the Persian Revival course, was born in Pakistan. Chaudhri attended Lawrence College at Ghora Gali, a school founded in 1860 in the Himalayas, and his school friends included a Pakistani prime minister, a chairman of the Pakistani Joint Chiefs, princes, generals, ministers, and senior public officials. After college, Chaudhri worked in Canada, the United States, and Pakistan for various multinationals, traveling in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and Europe. He has lectured widely in New England on current affairs, religion, and politics.

Buddhism’s instructor, Sam Hawkes, spent the better part of 20 years managing drilling equipment operations around the world before shifting focus to manufacturing computers. He retired in 2006 from a posting in Hong Kong. While in Hong Kong, Hawkes served as religious class moderator, meeting Chinese nationals interested in learning about Christianity. When questioned about his own beliefs, he allowed that his views differed from traditional Christian views. He was told he sounded more Buddhist than Christian. His curiosity piqued, Hawkes spent a year at Hong Kong University earning a master of Buddhist studies degree following his retirement.

CALL at RiverMead runs Thursdays, September 16 to October 28, with no session on October 7. The cost for Peterborough area residents is $50.

CALL is affiliated with the Elderhostel/Road Scholar network. CALL and other Institutes for Learning in Retirement (ILR) are nonresidential and offer classes on an ongoing weekly basis. CALL’s highly interactive classes give students opportunities to learn new subjects, develop new interests, and make new friends.

Information and registration material are available at KSC’s Continuing Education Office (358-2290). The office is located in Elliot Center, room 144, on the first floor, at 229 Main Street in Keene.

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