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Middle East Studies | Past Events

Past MES@AU Events

Dec. 9, 2009 MES @ AU Colloquium:
Graduate MES @ AU (and Beyond): Opportunities & Community Building

AU faculty, graduate students, and former students working in DC discussed academic and non-academic career paths related to the Middle East, how to succeed in graduate school (at AU and elsewhere), how the university can support graduate students and strategies to find a job in this field.


Nov. 11, 2009 MES @ AU Colloquium:
The State of Ideology: The Breakdown of the Iranian Revolutionary Narrative

Professor Farhang Erfani from the Department of Philosophy and Religion at AU discussed Iran at an historic point in US-Iranian relations and Iranian political dynamics. In the Training and Events Center on Bender Library's first floor, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.


January 20, 2010 MES @ AU Colloquium:
Iran: the Future of the Opposition and the Islamic Republic

Join us on January 20, 2010 for our first colloquium of the new year, discussing Iran: The Future of the Opposition and the Islamic Republic with guest speakers Karim Sadjadpour from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Afshin Molavi with the New America Foundation. This colloquium will be in the SIS Lounge from Noon to 2 p.m. to provide space for everyone.

Karim Sadjadpour is an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He joined Carnegie after four years as the chief Iran analyst at the International Crisis Group based in Tehran and Washington, D.C. A leading researcher on Iran, Sadjadpour has conducted dozens of interviews with senior Iranian officials, and hundreds with Iranian intellectuals, clerics, dissidents, paramilitaries, businessmen, students, activists, and youth, among others. He is a regular contributor to BBC World TV and radio, CNN, National Public Radio, and PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and has written for the Economist, Washington Post, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and New Republic.

Afshin Molavi is a Senior Research Fellow of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. He is the author of Persian Pilgrimages: Journeys Across Iran (Norton, 2002), which was nominated for the Thomas Cook literary travel book of the year and described by Foreign Affairs as “a brilliant tableau of today’s Iran.” A former Dubai-based correspondent for the Reuters news agency and a regular contributor to The Washington Post from Iran, Mr. Molavi has covered the Middle East and Washington for a wide range of international publications. His articles and op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Financial Times, Smithsonian, National Geographic, BusinessWeek, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, the Journal of Commerce, and The Wilson Quarterly, among other publications. He comments regularly on Iran and the Middle East on CNN, the BBC, National Public Radio, and other broadcast outlets.


Feb. 3, 2010

“Obama and the Middle East: What’s Preventing Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations?” Come Listen and Exchange Views with Professors Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Boaz Atzili, and Robert Pastor. We will discuss President Obama’s efforts and the obstacles & prospects for peace in the Middle East. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Israel Studies and Middle East Studies @ AU. 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. in the McDowell Formal Lounge.


Feb. 17, 2010

"Why History Matters: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict." Victor Kattan will speak on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and discuss the international legal framework that governs the conflict and contextualize it within the larger history. He will also introduce his new book, From Coexistence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1891-1949 (Pluto, 2009). This event is sponsored jointly by the Society for Justice in Palestine and Middle East Studies @ AU. The event will be held from noon - 2 p.m. in the Washington College of Law's 6th Floor Lounge. Dr. Max Paul Friedman, Associate Professor of History, will moderate the discussion. To register for this event, please click here. To see the informational flyer, please click here.

Feb. 17, 2010

“Congress and the Middle East: A Personal Journey” with former Congressman Stephen J. Solarz. Former Representative from New York’s 13th District, co-founder of the International Crisis Group, and the key leader on Middle Eastern issues in the House Foreign Affairs Committee for 18 years, Stephen J. Solarz will present a lecture on February 17, from noon to 2 p.m. in the SIS Lounge.

February 18, 2010

Dancing Israeli Identity: Looking Backward, Looking Forward. Come spend an evening with celebrated Israeli dance choreographer, Idan Cohen. Thursday, February 18, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. in the American University Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall.

Feb. 24, 2010 (rescheduled from Feb. 10, 2010)

“Muslim Non-Violent Resistance: the Case of the Al-Aqsa Association for Islamic Restoration and Sanctities (AAAIRS) in Israel” with Ibtisam Ibrahim, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of the Arab Studies Program. This event will be held from noon - 2 p.m. in the training center on the first floor of Bender Library. For more information, please see this flyer.


March 16, 2010

“Change in Israeli Politics: Why has the Left Weakened? Are Ethnic Influences Growing – Russians, Arabs, Mizrahim?” Join us for a panel discussion with Dr. Yoram Peri, Kay Chair in Israel Studies at the University of Maryland, and Dr. Sammy Smooha, Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Maurice Roumani, Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Visiting Professor of Israeli Studies. This event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Butler Board Room. It is cosponsored by AU Center for Israel Studies, SIS, and Middle East Studies@AU.


March 18, 2010

Veiled Voices

Veiled Voices goes in-depth into the world of three Muslim women religious leaders, who say women were always meant to be powerful within the religion. Filmed over the course of two years in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, Veiled Voices reveals a world rarely documented, exploring both the public and private lives of these luminary women. A panel discussion will follow. The screening will take place at 7PM in the Wechsler Theater on the 3rd floor of the Mary Graydon Center and will be presented jointly by MES@AU and the School of Communication.

For more information, please click here.


Mar. 25, 2010

Iraqi guest speaker, Dr. Hashim Al-Tawil, Professor and Chair of Art History at Henry Ford Community College, will present two lectures. 

The first lecture is entitled “Lost Culture of Iraq: The Abuse and Destruction of Public Monuments, Artworks, and other Cultural Materials since the US Invasion in 2003.” This event will take place from noon - 2:00 p.m. in the Katzen Arts Center Recital Hall.

The second lecture is “Visual Representations of the Arabs in the Pre-Islamic Time & the Formation of Islamic Art.” This event will take place from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in Ward 1.

The above events are sponsored by: the Department of Sociology, the Department of Art; the Department of Anthropology; Middle East Studies@AU; and the Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace. For more information, please click here.


April 14, 2010

Nina Spiegel, Visiting Fellow in the Jewish Studies Program in the Department of History, will present her lecture entitled "The Creation of Israeli Culture: Origins and Dilemmas." Dr. Spiegel will examine the development of Israeli culture during the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920-1947. Her lecture will uncover how a national culture was consciously created and elucidate the dilemmas and tensions in the process, showing how many of the defining characteristics and tensions of Israeli culture have continued to the present day. This event will take place from noon - 2 p.m. in the First Floor Training Room of Bender Library. For more information, please see the attached flier.


October 13, 2010

Employment and Educational Opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa Region - Wednesday, October 13, 2010, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Kogod School of Business Student Lounge. Information about education and employment in the Middle East and North Africa. Jointly sponsored by MES@AU, the Kogod International Business Department, AU Abroad, and the International Business Club. For more information, please see the News and Events section.


October 27, 2010

Religious Freedom in Islamic International Law. Join us on Wednesday, October 27th as Professor Kristine Kalanges of the Department of Justice, Law, & Society explores the ways in which Islamists sought to institutionalize their religious and political authority and develop Islamic alternatives to Western international law. This event will be held in Room B60 of the new Graduate Research Center in Bender Library. For more information, please see the flier.

*Please note the above event's new location in the Graduate Research Center.      


October 28, 2010 The Oath - October 28th at 5:30 – 8:00 PM, in the Katzen Arts Center.  The Oath tells the story of Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard, and Salim Hamdan, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay Prison and the first man to face the controversial military tribunals. MES@AU will be co-sponsoring the showing of The Oath as part of the eleventh annual Human Rights Film Festival. New SIS faculty member, Dr. Shadi Mokhtari, along with Dr. Richard Wilson of the Washington College of Law and director Laura Poirtras, will be participating in a panel discussion following the film moderated by Dr. Diane Singerman. For more information about this film and the Festival, please visit the Human Rights Film Festival website.


November 9, 2010

FAITH MISPLACED: The Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations, Nov. 9, 12:45 PM, Ward 2

In his latest book Ussama Makdisi explores why Arabs once had a favorable view of America and why they no longer do. Unearthing this neglected history puts current politics and Arab attitudes toward the United States in a crucial historical perspective. By tracing how American missionaries laid the basis for an initial Arab discovery of America, and then how later U.S. policy decisions fueled anti-Americanism, Makdisi tells a powerful historical tale brimming with contemporary relevance. Ussama Makdisi is Arab American Educational Foundation Professor of History at Rice University. In April 2009 the Carnegie Corporation named Makdisi a 2009 Carnegie Scholar for his contributions to enriching the country's discourse on Islam. His previous book, Artillery of Heaven, won the 2009 John Hope Franklin Prize. He will be introduced by Max Paul Friedman, Associate Professor of History, American University, and author of the forthcoming Rethinking Anti-Americanism

This event will take place in on November 9, from 12:45 - 2 p.m., in Ward 2.  For more information, please see the accompanying flier.


November 9, 2010

Peace Through High Tech: Integrating Israel's Arab Citizens into Its High-Tech Industry

Kogod School of Business hosts the leaders of Israeli NGO “Tsofen” which is dedicated to increasing the participation of Israel’s Arab citizens into its high tech industry and to extending the benefits of these industries to Arab communities in Israel. The speakers are the leaders of Tsofen Dr. Ramzi Halabi, Chairman and Smadar Nehab, Executive Director. The moderator is Prof. Erran Carmel of the Information Technology department at the Kogod School of Business.  This event will take place in Room 234 of KSB on November 9, from 12:45 - 2:15 p.m. and is jointly sponsored by: Information Technology (KSB) Department, Center For Israel Studies, Middle East Studies @ AU, Ameinu, and One Voice @ AU.  For more information, please contact Erran Carmel.


November 12, 2010  

"Women in Conflict: Iraq and Afghanistan"

Please join us next Friday, November 12, at 6pm in the Wechsler Theater for "Women in Conflict: Iraq and Afghanistan." Women's Voices Now (WVN) will screen selected films from their Women's Voices from the Muslim World Festival. The event will also include two short readings by authors who have written about women living in areas of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan: Christina Asquith's Sisters in War and Manal Omar's recent memoir, Barefoot in Baghdad, which is a moving account of her experience as a Muslim American aid worker in Iraq shortly after the U.S. invasion.

The event is made possible due to the sponsorship and support of the Center for Social Media, Middle East Studies @ AU, and the School of Communications.


February 28, 2011

“Muslim-Western Relations during the Middle East Revolutions”

Feisal Abdul Rauf, a voice for Islamic moderation, works to reconcile Muslims and the West. His proposal for an Islamic center near Manhattan’s Ground Zero raised a furor, especially among conservatives, and raised questions about the basic tenets of Islam. The Middle East uprisings spark new questions about the role of religion in government and the proper U.S. response to a changing Arab world.  As Imam of Masjid al-Farah, a mosque located 12 blocks from Ground Zero, Feisal Abdul Rauf advocates understanding between people of all creeds. He is the author of “What is Right with Islam is What is Right with America,“ “Islam: A Search for Meaning,” and “Islam: A Sacred Law: What Every Muslim Should Know About the Shariah.”  Monday, February 28, 2011, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the School of International Service Founder's Lounge.  For more information, please contact Andrew Clark


March 15, 2011

New Media, Youth and Revolutions: What is Next for the Middle East?

Dalia Ziada, director of the American Islamic Congress office in Cairo, will provide a firsthand report on the uprising that has shaken Egypt. She will offer insight on public attitudes and identify new opportunities for strengthening the democratic cultural transformation in the Middle East. Dr. Ziada has been involved in the pro-democracy youth movement through online activism via Twitter and Facebook. The Prince of Monaco recently presented her with the Anna Lindh’s Euro-Med Blogger of the Year Award. Please join us Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 3 – 4:30 p.m. in the Founders Room in the School of International Service. A reception will follow. Please see the attached flier for more information.


March 23, 2011

THE WOMEN OF AFGHANISTAN: Their situation and how to get involved

Professor Diane Singerman will moderate a discussion about the current situation in Afghanistan.  The distinquished panelists include: Eva Weigold Schultz, Executive Director of the US-Afghan Women’s Council and a career Foreign Service Officer; Anita McBride, Executive in Residence at the Center of Congressional and Presidential Studies in SPA and former Assistant to President George W. Bush and Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush; Leslie M. Schweitzer, Senior Trade Advisor at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and David Lee, Coordinator for Georgetown student fellows working with the US-Afghan Women’s Council and founder of Sanitation NOW (New Opportunities for Women).  The discussion will be held Wednesday, March 23, from 5 - 6:00 p.m. in the SIS Founders Room.  A reception will follow.  Please see the attached flier for further details.