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The Right ‘Focus’

Dr. Jabbar Al-Obaidi earns presidential seal of approval

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If you’re looking for volunteers they can be found all over Bridgewater State University’s campus. 

But if you’re looking for volunteers recognized by the President of the United States, one can be found in the communication studies department.

Professor Jabbar Al-Obaidi, who is also the director of BSU’s Center for Middle East Studies, was honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award for an educational television program he hosts.

The Corporation for National and Community Service awarded Dr. Al-Obaidi with a silver award, which was accompanied by a letter from President Obama. In the congratulatory note, President Obama referenced his inaugural address, in which he called for a “new era of responsibility” by Americans to serve the country and the world.

“These are duties that we do not grudgingly accept, but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit than giving our all to a difficult task,” President Obama’s letter read. “Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise.”

Dr. Al-Obaidi volunteered hundreds of hours in 2016 as the producer and host of Bridgewater Cable TV-9’s “InFocus” program, which is a weekly cultural and educational talk show that has been on the air since 1999.

The show, which is also available online, utilizes video chatting technology to connect with scholars and experts around the world.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized on a national level,” said Dr. Al-Obaidi. “I’m determined to continue my volunteer work to serve the community. No matter how busy with our beautiful families, professional work and career, and personal affairs, we ought to give back to our community here at home and to the world to make and leave a tiny positive impact.” (Story by Charlie Peters, University News & Media)

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