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OVERHEARD

Published Aug. 26, 2002|Updated Sep. 3, 2005

"After all I have seen and heard, I believe that Dr. Al-Arian has abused his position at the university and is using academic freedom as a shield to cover improper activities."

_ USF president Judy Genshaft, during a press conference at which she announced the university is moving its dispute with professor Sami Al-Arian into civil court.

"I'm an Arab, I'm a Palestinian, I'm a Muslim. That's not a popular thing to be these days. Do I have rights or don't I have rights?"

_ Al-Arian, responding to the news that he is being sued.

"I wondered if anybody ever prayed with him and blessed him, one-on-one (since the revolution)."

_ Monsignor Laurence Higgins, Tampa's most prominent clergyman, on his thoughts after he gave Fidel Castro an impromptu blessing on a recent trip to Cuba with Mayor Dick Greco and other local leaders.

"I wanted to get his autograph. I wanted to get his autograph more than anybody in the world."

_ Jimmy Friday, 7, describing his feelings after not meeting NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal, who skipped a weekend of events scheduled in Tampa.

"It's a miracle. The baby and stroller, not a scratch. But she couldn't save herself."

_ Esy Amroei, owner of the Fowler Avenue Texaco station which sits at the intersection where Lynda Cenatus was hit by a car while pushing her baby in a stroller across the street. Cenatus later died at the hospital, but 7-month-old Sergeley Pierre was unharmed.

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