Arabic Circle
Oct
23
6:10 PM18:10

Arabic Circle

The Halaqa ʿArabiyya (Arabic Circle) provides extra language practice for Arabic language students in a conversational setting. Its core group of 5-11 attendees is composed of Columbia University and Barnard College students as well as some non-university affiliated individuals. The Arabic Circle is primarily held in Modern Standard Arabic, with some use of the Shami, Egyptian and Tunisian dialects.

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 Persian Circle
Oct
24
11:00 AM11:00

Persian Circle

The Persian Conversation Hour is a weekly opportunity for Persian-speaking students of all levels to meet and interact with each other, instructors, TAs, and native Persian speakers from the local community. Learners of all levels are welcome so long as they have some proficiency, however basic, in Persian language. The subject of conversation is entirely free and determined by the participants, their skill levels and their interests. The conversation is often broken up into smaller groups when practicing with learners of a similar level is more beneficial. Lunch is served.

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Elyes Baccar Film Screening and Talk
Oct
24
7:30 PM19:30

Elyes Baccar Film Screening and Talk

MEI invites you to a screening of Elyes Baccar’s award winning film, Tunis by Night, which offers an intimate look at a contemporary family trying to adjust to the rapidly evolving landscape in pre-revolution Tunisia. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the Director, Elyes Baccar and Columbia lecturer, Dr. Rym Bettaieb.

About the Film: Tunis by Night follows Youssef, who after more than two decades working for Tunisia’s national radio, is on his way to retirement when he is viciously cut off broadcasting during the last episode of his program. Youssef’s family portrays the different lifestyles in Tunisia, as each member of his family suffers from major conflicts and Youssef is engulfed by a city he no longer recognizes. Tunis by Night made its world premiere at the 39th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) within the Official Section for Feature and Documentary Films: International Competition, where its lead, Raouf Ben Amor, won the Best Actor Award. Film is in Arabic and French with subtitles in English.

About the Director: Elyes is an award-winning Tunisian director, screenwriter and producer of feature films and documentaries who studied Directing at the French Film School (CLCF). He produced and directed several award winning feature documentaries such as Lost in Tunisia, Pakistan 7.6 and Cairo 30th. In 2006 he directed She & He, his first feature length film which was featured in international film festivals. Rouge Parole, his feature documentary about the Tunisian revolution, was acclaimed by international critics and won several awards. Tunis by night, his second feature film, won several international awards such as Best Actor Award in Cairo International Film festival.

The event will be held in Schermerhorn Hall, Room 501 .

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Arabic Circle
Oct
30
6:10 PM18:10

Arabic Circle

The Halaqa ʿArabiyya (Arabic Circle) provides extra language practice for Arabic language students in a conversational setting. Its core group of 5-11 attendees is composed of Columbia University and Barnard College students as well as some non-university affiliated individuals. The Arabic Circle is primarily held in Modern Standard Arabic, with some use of the Shami, Egyptian and Tunisian dialects.

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Persian Circle
Oct
31
11:00 AM11:00

Persian Circle

The Persian Conversation Hour is a weekly opportunity for Persian-speaking students of all levels to meet and interact with each other, instructors, TAs, and native Persian speakers from the local community. Learners of all levels are welcome so long as they have some proficiency, however basic, in Persian language. The subject of conversation is entirely free and determined by the participants, their skill levels and their interests. The conversation is often broken up into smaller groups when practicing with learners of a similar level is more beneficial. Lunch is served.

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Gender, Governance and Islam Book Launch
Nov
11
6:30 PM18:30

Gender, Governance and Islam Book Launch

With Nadje Al-Ali, Deniz Kandiyoti, Kathryn Spellman Poots
Monday November 11th 6:30 pm

Compiled against a global backdrop of mounting culture wars in the realms of gender, family, and sexuality, Gender, Governance and Islamaims to unsettle and interrogate the key conceptual categories through which the politics of gender in Muslim majority countries and Muslim diasporas have been commonly apprehended. It does so through finely-grained analyses of a continuum of cases: fragmented societies that are in the grip of ongoing conflict such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine (that are characterized by more direct interventions by global governance institutions), Pakistan that has been directly affected by conflict, Turkey and Egypt that have undergone popular unrest and regime change and the “Islamic” regimes in Saudi Arabia and Iran that have undergone major transformations. The particular alignments of changing geo-politics, the inroads made by international gender platforms, their instrumental use (and misuse) by power holders, the stakes of diverse Islamic actors in the politics of gender and patterns of grass-roots mobilization and resistance are illustrated with reference to selected cases. Efforts to enforce gender hierarchies and uphold male entitlement on the one hand, and diverse patterns of grassroots resistance and (periodic accommodation by power holders), on the other, cut across all cases.

A key conclusion is that this is a uniquely productive moment to de-Orientalize scholarship on gender in Muslim societies by breaking the shackles of lingering binaries such as tradition/modernity, Islam/secularism, imperialism/national authenticity.

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Defeated revolutionaries, lasting legacies: the afterlife of revolution in Dhufar, Oman
Nov
12
4:00 PM16:00

Defeated revolutionaries, lasting legacies: the afterlife of revolution in Dhufar, Oman

Professor Alice Wilson, University of Sussex (Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology); with an introduction by Professor Mandana E. Limbert, CUNY (Associate Professor of Anthropology)

Description: Post-conflict authoritarian states often rely on patronage and repression as strategies to quell dissent and to win hearts and minds. Gulf monarchies have relied on these tactics in the Arab Spring, and in facing earlier generations of insurgents including during Oman’s war against Dhufar’s revolutionaries (1965-1975). Re-examination of the everyday lives of ex-revolutionaries in Dhufar nevertheless suggests how, forty years after defeat, some ex-militants and relatives use kinship and mundane socialising to reproduce revolutionary networks and values of social egalitarianism. This social “afterlife” of defeated revolution points towards a counter-history of vanquished revolutionaries: this afterlife highlights limitations of post-conflict patronage to win and change hearts and minds, and the potential of family relations during and after revolution to challenge dominant norms.

Cosponsored by CSMS.

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The Baghdad Clock - Book Talk
Oct
18
5:10 PM17:10

The Baghdad Clock - Book Talk

Book talk with the author of The Baghdad Clock, Shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Featuring:

Shahad Al Rawi: author of the IPAF shortlisted novel The Baghdad Clock. Shahad Al Rawi is an Iraqi writer, born in Baghdad in 1986. She completed secondary school in Baghdad before moving with her family to Syria, where she obtained an MA in Administration. She is currently studying for a PhD in Anthropology and Administration and lives in Dubai. The Baghdad Clock, her first novel, was published in Arabic in 2016.

Luke Leafgren: translator of The Baghdad Clock and Professor of Arabic at Harvard University

About the Book: Baghdad, 1991. A young Iraqi girl and her best friend find themselves living in war-torn Baghdad during the first Gulf War. Populated by a host of colorful characters, we share the two girls' dreams, music, school life and first loves as they grow up in a city torn apart by civil war. And as the bombs fall, the international sanctions bite and friends begin to flee the country, the city services collapse while abandoned dogs roam the streets and fortune-tellers thrive amidst the fear and uncertainty. This poignant debut novel will spirit readers away to a world they know only from the television, revealing just what it is like to grow up in a city that is slowly disappearing in front of your eyes, and showing how in the toughest times, children can build up the greatest resilience.

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North Africa in Africa: the Decolonizing Centrality of Algeria
Oct
17
2:10 PM14:10

North Africa in Africa: the Decolonizing Centrality of Algeria

  • International Affairs Building, room 1510 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

A panel and roundtable with Daho Djerbal (University of Algiers), Mohamed Amer Meziane (Religion), Mamadou Diouf (MESAAS), Mahmood Mamdani (Anthropology, Political Science), and Madeleine Dobie (French).
To the extent that they identify Africa to subsaharan Africa and the Arab world to the Middle East, predominant global geographies tend to marginalize North Africa. This workshop is part of a larger project which aims at questioning the geographic divides of Africa and the Middle East. The ‘‘North Africa in Africa’’ project questions the marginalization of North Africa in Western-centered global geographies. This specific workshop is focused on the Algerian case. It will address the following question: if one takes into account the centrality of both the colonization and the decolonization of Algeria in the colonization and the decolonization of Africa and the Third World, how might the postcolonial predicament of the African continent and the Third World be re-conceptualized? How are we to think about what is happening today in this country as something else than a simple extension of the ‘‘Arab Spring’’?

Section I: Critical Perspectives, (2:10 - 4:30 PM)
Daho Djerbal (University of Algiers)
Mohamed Amer Meziane (Religion)
Mamadou Diouf (MESAAS)
Mahmood Mamdani (Anthropology and Political Science)

Section II: The Algerian Uprising Today (4:45 - 6 PM)
Roundtable moderated by Madeleine Dobie (French)

Register here.

This event is organized by the Institute for Religion,Culture and Public Life and cosponsored by the Middle East Institute.

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Persian Circle
Oct
17
11:00 AM11:00

Persian Circle

The Persian Conversation Hour is a weekly opportunity for Persian-speaking students of all levels to meet and interact with each other, instructors, TAs, and native Persian speakers from the local community. Learners of all levels are welcome so long as they have some proficiency, however basic, in Persian language. The subject of conversation is entirely free and determined by the participants, their skill levels and their interests. The conversation is often broken up into smaller groups when practicing with learners of a similar level is more beneficial. Lunch is served.

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Arabic Circle
Oct
16
6:10 PM18:10

Arabic Circle

The Halaqa ʿArabiyya (Arabic Circle) provides extra language practice for Arabic language students in a conversational setting. Its core group of 5-11 attendees is composed of Columbia University and Barnard College students as well as some non-university affiliated individuals. The Arabic Circle is primarily held in Modern Standard Arabic, with some use of the Shami, Egyptian and Tunisian dialects.

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Rethinking the Friday Mosque: A Critical Enquiry of an Architectural Paradigm Lecture
Oct
16
6:00 PM18:00

Rethinking the Friday Mosque: A Critical Enquiry of an Architectural Paradigm Lecture

Rubna Kana’an (University of Toronto)

This paper re-thinks the common perception of the Friday mosque as the “architectural monument par excellence.” The talk discusses the historical development of Friday mosques in the pre-modern Muslim world and the relationship between these architectural monuments and the ways in which contemporaneous Muslim jurists discussed and legislated for Friday prayer. By so doing, it questions the current art historical approach that mainly focuses on materiality and patronage while failing to take due consideration of the legal understanding of the functional as well as symbolic nature of the Friday mosque.

This lecture is part of the “Re-Approaching Architecture of the Lands of Islam” Series addressing the historiography of the field ‘Islamic Art’ by scoring the particular moments of ruptures that fractured its foundations.. Click here for more details.

Organized by Avinoam Shalem, Riggio Professor, Arts of Islam, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, in collaboration with the Center for Spatial Research at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the Middle East Institute of Columbia University, and the Centre for the Study of Muslim Societies at Columbia University.

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Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique - A Lecture
Oct
15
12:00 PM12:00

Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique - A Lecture

A Lecture by Dr. Sa’ed Atshan

Solidarity with Palestinians has become a salient domain of global queer politics. Yet LGBTQ Palestinians, even as they fight patriarchy and imperialism, are themselves subjected to an "empire of critique" from Israeli and Palestinian institutions, Western academics, journalists and filmmakers, and even fellow activists. Such global criticism has limited growth and led to an emphasis within the movement on anti-imperialism over the struggle against homophobia. Dr. Sa’ed Atshan will discuss how transnational progressive social movements can balance struggles for liberation along more than one axis.

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Book Talk: Law and Revolution in the Arab Spring
Oct
10
6:00 PM18:00

Book Talk: Law and Revolution in the Arab Spring

Nimer Sultany, Reader in Public Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

In this talk Dr. Nimer Sultany will discuss his book Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring, which won the 2018 Book Prize awarded by the International Society of Public Law and the 2018 Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship awarded by the Society of Legal Scholars. The book examines the role of law in the events that transpired in the Arab World since the ouster of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt. It critically discusses the role of law during revolutionary upheavals and critiques liberal constitutionalism from the vantage point of Arab legal and constitutional experiences.

Cosponsors: MEI, MESAAS, and the Columbia Law School

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Persian Circle
Oct
10
11:00 AM11:00

Persian Circle

The Persian Conversation Hour is a weekly opportunity for Persian-speaking students of all levels to meet and interact with each other, instructors, TAs, and native Persian speakers from the local community. Learners of all levels are welcome so long as they have some proficiency, however basic, in Persian language. The subject of conversation is entirely free and determined by the participants, their skill levels and their interests. The conversation is often broken up into smaller groups when practicing with learners of a similar level is more beneficial. Lunch is served.

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Arabic Circle
Oct
9
6:10 PM18:10

Arabic Circle

The Halaqa ʿArabiyya (Arabic Circle) provides extra language practice for Arabic language students in a conversational setting. Its core group of 5-11 attendees is composed of Columbia University and Barnard College students as well as some non-university affiliated individuals. The Arabic Circle is primarily held in Modern Standard Arabic, with some use of the Shami, Egyptian and Tunisian dialects.

View Event →
Persian Circle
Oct
3
11:00 AM11:00

Persian Circle

The Persian Conversation Hour is a weekly opportunity for Persian-speaking students of all levels to meet and interact with each other, instructors, TAs, and native Persian speakers from the local community. Learners of all levels are welcome so long as they have some proficiency, however basic, in Persian language. The subject of conversation is entirely free and determined by the participants, their skill levels and their interests. The conversation is often broken up into smaller groups when practicing with learners of a similar level is more beneficial. Lunch is served.

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Arabic Circle
Oct
2
6:10 PM18:10

Arabic Circle

The Halaqa ʿArabiyya (Arabic Circle) provides extra language practice for Arabic language students in a conversational setting. Its core group of 5-11 attendees is composed of Columbia University and Barnard College students as well as some non-university affiliated individuals. The Arabic Circle is primarily held in Modern Standard Arabic, with some use of the Shami, Egyptian and Tunisian dialects.

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The (R)evolution of Arab Queer Cinema: Queer Representation in Film Pre- and Post-Arab Uprisings
Oct
2
6:00 PM18:00

The (R)evolution of Arab Queer Cinema: Queer Representation in Film Pre- and Post-Arab Uprisings

This panel will engage five emerging LGBTQ filmmakers from the Arabic speaking region in a meaningful discussion on the role of Arab queer cinema in shaping and giving voice to the Arab LGBT community. The panel will explore how emerging Arab queer cinema is engaging with the region’s turbulent socio-political arena, while drawing on the filmmakers’ personal journeys, creative expressions and motivations. Recognizing the agency of Arab queer filmmakers through cinema, the panel will explore how LGBTQ issues are being represented in popular Arabic culture, and how their work is being received by local and regional audiences.

Panelists

Anthony Chidiac

Anthony is an independent film artist based in Beirut. His works include Equal men and Maman, non, merci. His latest work, Room for a man,premiered at the Montreal International Documentary Festival where it was awarded the grand prize for international competition, as well as being awarded best film in Queer Lisboa and Queer Hamburg in 2018.

Cyrine Hammemi

Cyrine is a 25-year-old audiovisual production graduate student and human rights activist based in Tunisia. In 2019, she coordinated Mawjoudin (We Exist) in Tunisia, the only queer film festival in the Arab world. Cyrine is an active member of Mawjoudin’s grassroots organization.

Sam Abbas

Sam is an Egyptian writer, director and producer. He and his business partner launched the first ever Arab-based LGBTQ-focused production company, ArabQ Films, during the 2018 Berlin film festival. The Weddingwas his debut feature film and the first ArabQ title. Sam is currently working on his new feature, Alia’s Birth.

Rolla Selbak

Rolla is a writer/director of film and TV drama and a Sundance alumna. Her most recent credits include American ParadiseThree Veils, and Choke. She has served on the Board of Directors of Outfest, home to the largest LGBT International Film Festival in the world.

Moderated by

Samar Habib

Samar Habib is a scholar of gender and sexuality in the Arab world. Her seminal publications on same-sex love and desire among women in the Middle East and North Africa include Female Homosexuality in the Middle East (2007), Arabo-Islamic Texts on Female Homosexuality (2008), and the two-volume, edited collection Islam and Homosexuality (2009).

Introduction by

Safwan M. Masri

Safwan Masri is Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University and a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. A scholar on education and contemporary geopolitics and society in the Arab world, his work focuses on understanding the historic, postcolonial dynamics among religion, education, society, and politics. He is the author of Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly (Columbia University Press, 2017).


See more information and register here.

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Arabic Circle
Sep
25
6:10 PM18:10

Arabic Circle

The Halaqa ʿArabiyya (Arabic Circle) provides extra language practice for Arabic language students in a conversational setting. Its core group of 5-11 attendees is composed of Columbia University and Barnard College students as well as some non-university affiliated individuals. The Arabic Circle is primarily held in Modern Standard Arabic, with some use of the Shami, Egyptian and Tunisian dialects.

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Describing Manuscripts from the MWM Project: A Hands-On Codicology Workshop with Kelly Tuttle
Sep
20
9:00 AM09:00

Describing Manuscripts from the MWM Project: A Hands-On Codicology Workshop with Kelly Tuttle

  • Chang Seminar Room, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This is an intensive, one-day workshop to begin to familiarize students and scholars of other manuscript traditions with the Islamic codicological tradition. Over the course of the day, students will learn about safe handling of manuscripts, collation, bindings, paper, common types of hands, decoration, and layouts, including traditional locations and styles of recording authors, titles, and dates in Islamicate manuscripts. To practice what they are learning, attendees will work hands-on with Islamicate manuscripts from the Columbia collection, many of which have been recently cataloged for the first time as part of the Muslim World Manuscripts project.

See more information and register here.

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Arabic Digital Humanities Open Seminar
Sep
6
2:00 PM14:00

Arabic Digital Humanities Open Seminar

September 6 Seminar: "Current work of the OpenITI and Kitab Projects: Resources and Challenges"

In this session, I introduce currently available resources from the KITAB/OpenITI projects and provide a sneak preview of in-progress digital research applications. I then discuss key challenges involved in working with our corpus and methods. The session will encourage discussion and involve demonstrations.

Professor Sarah Bowen Savant (Aga Khan University-ISMC) is a cultural historian, focusing on early Islamic history and history writing up to 1400, with a special focus on Iraq and Iran. She is the author of The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran: Tradition, Memory, and Conversion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), which won the Saidi-Sirjani Book Award, given by the International Society for Iranian Studies on behalf of the Persian Heritage Foundation. Her other publications include The Excellence of the Arabs: A Translation of Ibn Qutaybah’s Faḍl al-ʿArab wa l-tanbīh ʿalā ʿulūmihā (with Peter Webb; The Library of Arabic Literature; Abu Dhabi: New York University Press, 2016), as well as articles and edited volumes dealing with ethnic identity, cultural memory, genealogy, and history writing. Her current project focuses on the history of books in the Middle East. With a team and partners she is developing digital methods to collect texts and to study the origins and development of the Arabic and Persian textual traditions. Her next monograph arises from this work, and interrogates concepts of the book and authorship. Please see kitab-project.org and https://github.com/OpenITI.

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Arabic Digital Humanities Open Lecture
Sep
5
7:00 PM19:00

Arabic Digital Humanities Open Lecture

September 5 Talk: "How were so many Arabic writers so prolific? The Role that recycling played in the growth of the history Arabic tradition"

The historic Arabic tradition is one of the largest up to its day, partly because of the way that authors collected and recycled earlier texts. For example, many works now reckoned as lost are in fact preserved, in whole or in part, within large texts, and arguably, for medieval audiences, were not lost, per se. In this paper, I first introduce the KITAB project’s ~1.5 billion word corpus, its text “reuse” detection methods, and its latest data set documenting the intertextual relationships across all texts and the repeated transmission of many substantial chunks of texts. I argue that our methods – which might usefully be called a “textual forensics” – can show us a great deal about how Arabic writers conserved the past. I illustrate this through case studies showing Arabic writers at work, common expectations around the recycling of texts, and the underlying cultural patterns that gave rise to this recycling. Amid the cases, I raise issues that become more evident with our evidence, including the highly selective nature of what survives.

Professor Sarah Bowen Savant (Aga Khan University-ISMC) is a cultural historian, focusing on early Islamic history and history writing up to 1400, with a special focus on Iraq and Iran. She is the author of The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran: Tradition, Memory, and Conversion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), which won the Saidi-Sirjani Book Award, given by the International Society for Iranian Studies on behalf of the Persian Heritage Foundation. Her other publications include The Excellence of the Arabs: A Translation of Ibn Qutaybah’s Faḍl al-ʿArab wa l-tanbīh ʿalā ʿulūmihā (with Peter Webb; The Library of Arabic Literature; Abu Dhabi: New York University Press, 2016), as well as articles and edited volumes dealing with ethnic identity, cultural memory, genealogy, and history writing. Her current project focuses on the history of books in the Middle East. With a team and partners she is developing digital methods to collect texts and to study the origins and development of the Arabic and Persian textual traditions. Her next monograph arises from this work, and interrogates concepts of the book and authorship. Please see kitab-project.org and https://github.com/OpenITI.

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May
14
2:30 PM14:30

TALK | Celebrating the Life of Peter Awn

Please join
President Lee C. Bollinger and Jean Magnano Bollinger
and the School of General Studies
to celebrate the life of

PETER J. AWN

Professor of Religion and Dean Emeritus
of the School of General Studies
1943–2019

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
2:30 p.m.
 

Roone Arledge Auditorium, Lerner Hall 
2920 Broadway
Columbia University in the City of New York
(Enter on Broadway)

We invite you to register here by May 7.
For any questions, please email 
columbiaevents@columbia.edu.

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May
9
to May 10

FILM FESTIVAL | New York Forum of Amazigh Film

  • LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The New York Forum of Amazigh Film will celebrate the 5th Annual Amazigh Film Festival exploring North African Identitites.

Sponsored by LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, LaGuardia Community College, International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva, and Columbia University Middle East Institute.

Reserve your seat here.

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Apr
26
to Apr 27

WORKSHOP | Representations of Exile and Migration

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Columbia University Middle East Institute will be hosting a professional development workshop for teachers, grades 8-12.

This two-day course will provide a nuanced portrait of the experience of displacement and the figure of the migrant by focusing on literary, cinematographic, pedagogical, and theoretical materials.

Facilitator Biographies:

Anthony Alessandrini is Professor of English at Kingsborough Community College and in the MA Program in Middle Eastern Studies at The CUNY Graduate Center, where he is also a member of the Committee on Globalization and Social Change. He is the author of Frantz Fanon and the Future of Cultural Politics: Finding Something Different; the editor of Frantz Fanon: Critical Perspectives; the co-editor of “Resistance Everywhere”: The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey; and has recently published a poetry chapbook entitled Children Imitating Cormorants. He is on the faculty of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the MLA West Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Forum, and on the Nominating Committee of the Middle East Studies Association.

Hande Gurses holds a PhD in Literary Studies from University College London, and currently teaches in the English Department at Ryerson University and in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Toronto. She has published her work on Orhan Pamuk in Fear and Fantasy in a Global World, Global Perspectives on Orhan Pamuk, and other academic and non-academic journals. She was previously a Visiting Lecturer in the Comparative Literature Program at UMass Amherst, where she taught courses on the international short story, dystopian literatures, and ecocriticism. Her primary research interests include contemporary world literature, ecocriticism, and critical animal studies. She is interested in inclusive pedagogies and contemplative practices in higher education. At UMass Amherst she was the recipient of a TIDE fellowship (Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity, and Equity) and an active member of the Contemplative Pedagogy Working Group. Most recently she co-edited a volume on eco-critical approaches to contemporary Turkish literature titled Animals, Plants, and Landscapes: An Ecology of Turkish Literature and Film (published in 2019 by Routledge). Her current book project examines the relation between animals and sovereignty in the construction of national identity.

Kirsten Helmer, Ed. D., is a lecturer and the Director of Programming for Diversity, Inclusion & Equity with the Institute for Teaching Excellence & Faculty Development (TEFD) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is in charge of developing and overseeing TEFD’s programming for intercultural teaching development with a focus on inclusive course and syllabus design, inclusive and culturally responsive teaching and assessment practices, universal design for learning, anti-oppressive and contemplative pedagogies, intercultural competence, and facilitating difficult dialogues.

She designed and facilitates the TIDE Ambassador (Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity, & Equity) program, a year-long faculty fellowship; regularly offers teaching workshops for faculty; and consults with departments and one-on-one with faculty. Kirsten has taught courses on multicultural education, anti-racism, intergroup dialogue, queering the curriculum, exploring gender and sexuality diversity, multicultural children’s literature, and German language in face-to-face and online settings at both UMass Amherst and Mount Holyoke College.

Kirsten holds a Doctorate in Education from the department of Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies; a Master’s Degree in Bilingual/English as a Second Language/Multicultural Education; a Social Justice Education Graduate Certificate in Teaching for Diversity; and a Certificate as Educational Specialist (Ed. S.) from the College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In addition, she also received a Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies from the department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst and has a degree as a Diplom-Betriebswirt (Business Administration) from the Berufsakademie Mannheim, Germany. Her publications include “Queer literacies: A multidimensional approach to reading LGBTQI-themed literature” in D. Linville & D. L. Carlson (Eds.). Beyond Borders: Queer Eros and Ethos (Ethics) in LGBTQ Young Adult Literature, 2016; “Reading queer counter-narratives in the high school literature classroom: possibilities and challenges” in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, Special Edition: Queering LGBT-Themed Literature with Teachers and Students. Guest editors: Mollie Blackburn, Caroline Clark, & Wayne Martino; and “Disruptive practices: Enacting critical pedagogy through meditation, community building and explorative spaces in a graduate course for pre-service teachers” in the Journal of Classroom Interaction (2014), 49(2), 33-40.

To learn more, visit here.

Please email Simone with any questions at sr3429@columbia.edu.

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Apr
24
6:00 PM18:00

FILM SCREENING |

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An evening with acclaimed Syrian filmmaker Ossama Mohammed presenting Silvered Water: Syria Self-Portrait, “a rare poetic work that powerfully expresses the humanity and perseverance of Syrians, as it explores the topography of their country torn by civil war,” and a selection form an earlier short Step by Step. “A frightening, captivating and insightful portrait of how the Baath regime transformed generations of peasants into citizen-soldiers and sent the poor in droves to provincial cities as migrant laborers.”

Reception to follow.

Sponsored by: Columbia Global Centers, SIPA MENA Forum, Middle East Institute, and ArteEast.

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Apr
19
to Apr 21

CONFERENCE | The Cultural Turn in Arabic Literary Production

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The Cultural Turn in Arabic Literary Production

April 19-21

A conference in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Journal of Arabic Literature. Full program details to follow. 

Organized by Muhsin al-Musawi (Columbia), Elizabeth Holt (Bard), Tarek El-Ariss (Dartmouth College), Nizar F. Hermes (University of Virginia) and Anna Ziajka-Stanton (Penn State University). 


Sponsored by the Middle East Institute; the Department of Middle Eastern; South Asian, and African Studies; Society of Fellows, Heyman Center; the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures; Weatherhead East Asian Institute and Center for Chinese Literature and Culture; University Seminars; Division of Humanities in the Arts and Sciences; Dartmouth College; Brill Academic Publishers; Dr. Aziz Shaibani/Arab-American Educational Foundation, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University.

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Apr
11
to Apr 14

FILM FESTIVAL | Gaza on Screen

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All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 11, 2019
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University 1180 Amsterdam Ave, Room 612

Paper Boat (2017) directed by Mahmoud Abu Ghalwa.

A shelter in Gaza during a bombing. A young couple waits in the small claustrophobic room. She is pregnant, but how can she give life to a human being in these conditions? The future father is lost in the memories of his childhood. A reflection on freedom, slavery and surrender, sustained by a pressing emotional tension. Director in attendance.

Degrade (2015) directed by Ahmad Abu Nasser and Mohammed Abu Nasser.

The Gaza Strip today. Christine’s beauty salon is crowded with female clients: a bitter divorcée, a religious woman, a woman addicted to prescription drugs and a young bride-to-be, among others. However, their leisure is disrupted when gunfire breaks out across the street. A gangland family has stolen the lion from Gaza’s zoo, and Hamas has decided it is time to settle old scores. Imprisoned in the salon, the women begin to unravel.

Friday, April 12, 2019
10:00 AM - Noon
Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University, 1180 Amsterdam Ave, Room 612

Scenes from the Occupation in Gaza (1973) directed by Mustafa Abu Ali.

A work created from a French news report about the Gaza Strip that Abu Ali re-edited, adding additional footage and a new commentary. This is the only film produced by the Palestinian Cinema Group, a large collective of Palestinian and Arab filmmakers and artists who came together in 1973 for the purposes of creating a vibrant Palestinian revolutionary cinema.

Voices from Gaza (1989) directed by Antonia Caccia and Maysoon Pachachi.

Voices from Gaza is the first full-length documentary produced after the start of the first Palestinian intifada. With minimal commentary, it allows the people of Gaza - 70% of whom are refugees - to tell their seldom-heard story. In the film Palestinian men, women, and children speak frankly about the effect of Israel’s occupation on their lives, but also about their organized and empowering grassroots resistance to the occupation.

Gaza Diary (2001) directed by Taysir Batniji.

Combining still and moving images, Batniji’s short experimental film invites reflection on daily life and violence.

Al-Wafaa (2014) directed by Yassir Murtaja.

Al-Wafaa is the sole hospital in the Gaza Strip that serves the needs of the disabled. This is the story recounted by its staff and patients of their experience being shelled and bombed during the 2014 Israeli attack.

Shuja’iyah: Land of the Brave (2014) Directed by Hadeel Assali.

Shuja’iyah: Land of the Brave represents one filmmaker’s personal reflection on the meaning of “crimes against humanity” in the context of Israel’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ waged in the Gaza Strip in 2014. Juxtaposing footage of her family filmed in the summer of 2013 against audio from the summer of 2014 Assali poses the question, when we say ‘crimes against humanity’, what ‘humanity’ are we talking about?” Director in attendance.

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Dodge Hall, Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, Room 511

Daggit Gaza (2009) directed by Hadeel Assali and Iman Saqr.

Politics, food, and family are the topics of a phone conversation between Houston and Gaza that serves as voiceover commentary to the preparation of a spicy tomato salad.

Ouroboros (2017) directed by Basma Alsharif.

Ouroboros is acclaimed visual artist Basma Alsharif’s first feature film. This experimental film is an homage to the Gaza Strip and to the possibility of hope based on the eternal return. The film follows a man through five different landscapes, upending mass-mediated representation of trauma. The film is a journey outside of time, marking the end as the beginning and exploring the subject of the eternal return and how we move forward when all is lost.

4:00 PM- 6:00 PM
Dodge Hall, Columbia University 2960 Broadway, Room 511

Masterclass with Abdel Salam Shehada

Abdel Salam Shehada will talk about dreams and reality, images and imagination. He will share stories from his life, his beginnings in film as a cameraman and a visual album of his journey.

7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University 1180 Amsterdam Ave, Room 501

Samouni Road (2018) directed by Stefano Savona.

In the rural outskirts of Gaza City a small community of farmers, the Samouni extended family, is about to celebrate a wedding. This will be the first celebration since the latest war. Amal, Fuad, their brothers and cousins have lost their parents, their houses and their olive trees. The neighborhood where they live is being rebuilt. As they replant trees and plow fields, they face their most difficult task: piecing together their own memories. Through these young survivors’ recollections, Samouni Road conveys a deep, multifaceted portrait of a family before, during, and after the tragic event that changed its life forever. Winner of the L’Œil d’or prize for best documentary at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Saturday, April 13, 2019
10:00 AM - Noon
Dodge Hall, Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, Room 511

My 3 Dreams (2018) directed by Mohamed Nayef Ahmed Ali, Birzeit University.

In Gaza, Mohammed Mahani dreams of race cars, playing oud, and karate. 5.03. Director joining via videoconference.

Dema (2015) directed by Amjad M. A. Al Fayoumi. Al-Azhar University.

Too young to be a bride. 3.15.

Seekers for Life (2017) directed by Mahmoud Awad. Al-Aqsa University.

Gaza’s used clothing market. 4.32.

Private Number (2012) directed by Omar Elemawi, Al-Aqsa University.

An unexpected warning. 8.03.

We Love Life (2015) directed by Mohammed S. Ewais. Al-Aqsa University.

A portrait of graffiti artist Bilal Khaled in Gaza. 7.13. Director joining via videoconference.

Moving Dream (2012) directed by Alaa Alaloul. Birzeit University.

Nader dreams of going back to work. 2.00.

The Cage (2016) directed by Khaled Tuaima. Birzeit University.

The hazards of catching birds in Gaza. 6.42.

Parkour on the Rubble of Gaza (2014) directed by Khaled Tuaima. Birzeit University.

A team of athletic daredevils. 2.33.

1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Screening: Two Films by Abdel Salam Shehada
Dodge Hall, Columbia University 2960 Broadway, Room 511

Rainbow (2004) directed by Abdel Salam Shehada.

Of Rainbow, his film essay made in the aftermath of Israel’s 2004 attack on Gaza, Shehada says “These are people who have crossed my path...Some of these rose from among the debris. Carrying their tears, some were looking for answers to worries that haunted them...Others were exhausted by contemplating the reality ...They appeared like me...I used to love the camera and believe in what it could do to transfer the pain...forget sorrows, or may be promise of a better life.”

To My Father (2008) directed by Adel Salam Shehada.

“Those were the days when girls were prettier, when eyes were in all colours, without any colour. What is different now - the camera, or the eyes?” asks Abdel Salam Shehada’s poetic and mesmerizing homage to the studio photographers of the 1950’s - 70’s. Set partly in a refugee camp in Rafah, this is a remarkable look back at fifty years of Palestinian and Arab history, through photographs, reportage and the voices of these photographers today. Director in attendance.

4:00 PM- 6:00 PM
Academic Panel
Avery Hall, Columbia University, 1172 Amsterdam Ave, Room 114

Gaza Film Between the Event and the Everyday

Nadia Yaqub: Nadia Yaqub is Professor of Arab Culture at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ghazza ala bali: Memory, Place and Trauma in Rashid Masharawi’s Haifa

Kamran Rastegar: Kamran Rastegar is Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at Tufts University

Documentary Art Films “About” Gaza

Samirah Alkassim: Samirah Alkassim is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Film and Video Studies at George Mason University. Moderated by Hamid Dabashi: Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Co-sponsored by Studio-X Amman and GSAPP

7:00 PM-9:00 PM
Closing Night
Lenfest Center for the Arts, 615 West 129th Street, Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room

We Will Return (2018) by Ibrahim Ghunayim, Samir al-Burnu, Sami Shahadah, Arkan Gharib, and Faris Abdal-Malik.

A music video by rapper Ibrahim Ghunayim shot at the Great March of Return. Ghunayim has dedicated the song and video to the journalist Yaser Murtaja who was shot and killed by Israeli security forces while reporting on the March in April 2018.

Ambulance (2016) directed by Mohamed Jabaly.

A raw, first-person account of the Israeli war on Gaza in the summer of 2014. The filmmaker joins an ambulance crew as war approaches, looking for his place in a territory blockaded under siege, and films their harrowing and heroic lifesaving work. In response to the dark chaos of war, the filmmaker learns to rely on the ambulance captain and crew, who in turn support him to make a film that expresses both the trauma and hope of the Palestinians of Gaza. Director in attendance. Advisory: Graphic war violence.

9:00 PM-10:00 PM
Reception
Jerome L. Greene Science Center 3227 Broadway

Join us for a closing reception at Dear Mama Coffee’s location in the New Manhanttanville campus. It is in the southwest corner of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center’s ground floor, facing the Lenfest Center for the Arts. Copies of Nadia Yaqub’s book “Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution” will be available for sale at the opening screening.

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