Robert Wirsing Focused Discussion and Farewell

CIRS hosted a Focused Discussion and farewell gathering for Robert Wirsing, Professor of Government at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Mehran Kamrava, Director of CIRS, addressed the audience made up of faculty, students, and staff, as he recollected Wirsing’s long and illustrious career spanning over four decades. Kamrava said that Wirsing’s scholarly pursuits were defined by a thorough internationalism in which he traveled the world, embracing a variety of global adventures and endeavors. Wirsing’s career has been one devoted to learning, appreciating, and understanding diverse cultures, and engaging with people of all backgrounds—characteristics that have been equally applied to Wirsing’s classrooms. Kamrava said that “Professor Wirsing is someone who meets people on their own turf, and on their own terms. He brought us civility, and reminded us what it means to be a gentleman and a scholar.”

Wirsing, in turn, thanked the audience, saying that Georgetown University in Qatar was a unique institution built on collegiality, congeniality, and the basic humanist tenets of international relations. He concluded by saying: “If you scratch the very thin veneer of cultural difference there is a tremendous amount of commonality. Human beings are very alike despite their different nationalities.”