Nawal Ammar, a teacher at Kent State University, negotiates issues of national security in her public and private life.

Ammar, a 45-year-old Egyptian native with dark hair, eyes and skin, has — after 9/11 — been stopped frequently for searches in airports.

Appropriately enough, Ammar is chairing a symposium — free and open to the public — April 26 and 27 at Kent State titled Democracy and Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies and Impact.

The keynote speakers — Adm. James M. Loy, the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and law professor David Cole — are expected to represent different aspects of the debate about balancing civil liberties and national security after 9/11.

Loy was appointed in December to the No. 2 position in the department that was formed in 2002. His address is titled Homeland Security: Preserving Our Freedoms, Protecting America.

Cole is a Georgetown University law professor and author who earlier this year won a ruling from a federal court that struck down a portion of the U.S.A. Patriot Act, the controversial law approved by Congress six weeks after the attacks. The decision was the first time a section of the act had been ruled unconstitutional…


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