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Brian Barber

KNOXVILLE— University of Tennessee, Knoxville, professor Brian K. Barber will be UT’s eyes and ears on the ground in Cairo, Egypt, during the next two weeks and through social media will report on the drama unfolding in Tahrir Square.

He’ll also report on happenings in other parts of the North African country through Twitter, Facebook, and a blog.

Barber is a professor of child and family studies in UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS).

He is founding director of the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict. He specializes in the study of cross-cultural parent-youth relations and adolescent development in the context of political violence, with a particular focus on youth from the Gaza Strip, Palestine, and Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Barber’s research findings include evidence that youth who have been exposed to political violence are more resilient than expected, able to grow up and become responsible, well-adjusted adults.

Barber went to Egypt in February, just days after the uprising had its initial success, and stayed for four weeks. He interviewed a dozen diverse young Egyptians to learn about the revolution. The protest which sparked the uprising was largely orchestrated by young people, facilitated by Internet communications and social media outlets, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

He subsequently won a $450,000 grant from the Swiss-based Jacobs Foundation to fund a two-year study of Egyptian youth involved in the overthrow of the country’s government.

The money will allow him to regularly interview young people—those Barber interviewed on his February trip to Egypt, plus others—to monitor their personal and civic development as they assist in creating a new government and a renewed society.

The grant also will fund an Egyptian national survey to see how widely the revolution and its aftermath have affected Egyptian youth. In addition, the funding will help pay for the making of a feature film–length documentary that will parallel the research project in chronicling youth development during and after the historic revolution.

To arrange a phone interview with Barber, please call 865-974-3993.

C O N T A C T :

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,