Middle East Studies

Director's Message Fall 2019

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

It is my pleasure to convey that Ryan Saadeh ’20, an MES concentrator, has been awarded the highly prestigious Marshall Scholarship for two years of postgraduate study in the United Kingdom.

At the Center for Middle East Studies, the work and achievements of our affiliated faculty and students continues to drive our endeavors. We have an extensive array of programming on offer for the semester. From the ranks of our colleagues, Emily Drumsta (3/12) and Sreemati Mitter (4/23) will present lunch seminars highlighting their research during their sabbatical leaves. The Center has led the planning for two major workshops organized by our faculty. On March 6-7, the New Directions in Palestinian Studies Initiative, led by Beshara Doumani, hosts the seventh iteration of its annual workshop. The title this year is “Who Owns Palestine?”, and the workshop is preceded by a lecture from the eminent historian Rashid Khalidi (3/5). In April, Jennifer Johnson presents a workshop on “Decolonization, Development and State Building in North Africa”. We cosponsor two further major events that are focused on gender: a workshop entitled “Gendered Approaches to Restitution: Labor, Migration, Structural Amnesia and Trauma” (2/7), and a symposium on “Gender in Israeli and Palestinian Film” (2/9-10).

Addressing issues currently in the news, former postdoc at the Watson Institute Narges Bajoghli (1/27) will discuss the political situation with respect to Iran. Additional lectures include: Dilan Okcuoglu (2/19) and Salih Can Aciksoz (4/9) on Turkey, with emphasis on the Kurds; Tarek El-Ariss (2/26) on Arab media and culture; James Crossley on representation of religion and the Middle East in English political discourse; and Zahra Ali (4/15) on women and gender in Iraq.

The events cycle takes place concurrently with the many Middle East related courses being offered during the semester. Our departmental undergraduate group (DUG) is also very active and will organize events highlighting student academic work (3/11 and 5/6) and activism (2/21).

We greatly value your attendance at our events and would welcome suggestions for the future.

Shahzad Bashir

Director, The Center for Middle East Studies
Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities