Brown Bag Lunch

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Apr
11
12:30 PM12:30

TALK | Covering Iraq: How the News is Made

  • 1118 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A brown bag talk with Jane Arraf, Senior Baghdad Correspondent for CNN

Presented in cooperation with the SIPA International Media and Communication Concentration

Jane Arraf has seen Iraq through sanctions, crises, and the ongoing war. Her experience in the frontlines and interactions with soldiers and civilians from both sides provide her a valuable on-the-ground perspective.

Arraf will discuss the constraints of reporting from Iraq and how the gathering of information has changed since the war. She will comment on the implications of these media constraints on U.S. foreign policy and on public perception of the war, and will also touch on the ever-important and sometimes controversial relationship between the military and the media, as well as on the impact of the growing local media.

Jane Arraf is the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is currently on leave from CNN where she has been Baghdad Bureau Chief and Senior Baghdad Correspondent. Arraf joined CNN in 1998 as its first permanent Baghdad Baghdad Bureau Chief and was for several years the only Western correspondent based in Iraq. She has covered Iraq through crisis, sanctions, and the continuing war. She moved to Istanbul, Turkey as CNN Bureau Chief in 2001, returning to Baghdad as Bureau Chief in 2002.

Before joining CNN, Arraf worked as a reporter for Reuters Financial Television in Washington, D.C. where her assignments included covering the White House, Capitol Hill and the Treasury Department. She also served as Reuters Bureau Chief in Jordan from 1990 to 1993, and has worked as a Reuters correspondent in Montreal and Reuters correspondent/desk editor in New York and Washington D.C. Arraf reported extensively from Iraq for Reuters after the 1991 Gulf War. Other reporting assignments included India, Haiti and Bosnia. She studied journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa.

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Apr
10
12:30 PM12:30

TALK | Iran, the U.S., and Israel: What Moves Ahmadinejad?

  • 1512 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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 A brown bag talk and discussion with David Menashiri

The Islamic regime in Iran since the Revolution has seen western influence as a major threat, viewing the U.S. as the "Great Satan" and calling for Israel to be wiped off the map. Although some lessening of hostility could be discerned under Khatami, moderate voices were frustrated with the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June, 2005.

What does the regime gain from Ahmedinejad’s radical statements? What is behind the Iran-U.S. talks over Iraq? What is Iran’s nuclear policy? Addressing these and other questions, David Menashiri will explore the ideologies and politics behind Iran’s attitudes toward the U.S. and Israel.

David Menashri is Director of the Center of Iranian Studies and the Parviz and Pouran Nazarian Chair for Modern Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University. He has been a Fulbright scholar at Princeton and Cornell, and visiting scholar at the Universities of Chicago, Melbourne, Munich, and Waseda (Tokyo). In the late 1970s he spent two years conducting research in Iranian universities on the eve of the Islamic Revolution.

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Mar
7
1:00 PM13:00

TALK | The 2006 Palestinian Elections: What Do the Results Mean?

  • 1501 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A special brown bag talk and discussion with;

Rashid Khalidi: Director of the Middle East Institute and Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Columbia University.

 

and

Sara Roy: Senior Research Scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University.

The recent Palestinian elections resulted in a decisive victory for Hamas, the political party that has been branded a terrorist organization by the United States, Europe, and Israel. In light of its electoral victory, will Hamas change its position on peace talks with Israel? Will Hamas be able to form a working government? What do the election results mean for Israeli-Palestinian relations, and for relations between the Palestinian Authority, the U.S., and Europe? Addressing these and other questions, Rashid Khalidi, Director of Columbia's Middle East Institute, and Sara Roy, Scholar in Residence at Harvard's Center for Middle East Studies, will probe the complexities underlying Palestinian politics and the implication of the 2006 elections for peacemaking, politics, and security in the Middle East.

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Oct
5
12:30 PM12:30

TALK | Back to 1975 and All that: Iran, Iraq, and the Shatt al-Arab

  • 1118 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

A brown bag discussion with Richard Schofield
Department of Geography, King’s College, University of London

The Shatt al-Arab river – which forms the southernmost part of the boundary between Iran and Iraq – has proved one of the most troublesome territorial divides in the Middle East. A boundary definition before 1975 caused many disputes between the two states, while an agreement reached in 1975 was called into question by Iraq as a prelude to its invasion of Iran in 1980. Doubts about the exact status of the river boundary persist today.

Richard Schofield, prominent geographer and expert on the Shatt al-Arab, will discuss this delicate border dispute and explore the degree to which Iraq recommitted itself to the 1975 agreement in the aftermath of its invasion of Kuwait. He will also discuss how resolution of the issue could best serve prospects for economic rejuvenation and reconstruction in the area, and boost regional cooperation between Iran and Iraq.

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Sep
29
12:30 PM12:30

TALK | Jerusalem Becoming Muslims: 638-785 AD

  • 1118 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

A brown bag talk and discussion with Dan Bahat

Dan Bahat, for many years the Official Archeologist of Jerusalem, will discuss the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 638. He will explore relations with Christians in the city, the arrival of Jews into Jerusalem and their settlement patterns, subsequent events on the Temple Mount, and Christian spiritual references to the Muslim conquest.

Dr. Bahat is currently the archaeologist of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and its tunnels and has excavated many sites in Jerusalem, including Herod's palace. Widely published, he has received many awards for his work in Jerusalem. He teaches archaeology at the University of Toronto and Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

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Sep
22
12:30 PM12:30

TALK | Reform, Youth, and Technology: Observations on the Recent Elections in Iran

  • 1118 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

A brown bag talk and discussion with Hossein Derakshan

A prominent Iranian blogger (http://hoder.com), Hossein Derakhshan went to Tehran last June to observe the presidential elections. Aside from the process of the elections and its surprising result, he saw that a new wave of young but realistic reformists is subtly changing the political dynamics both inside and outside the reformist camp in Iran.

Showing pictures and videos he took during the trip, Derakhshan will discuss the signs of this change and suggest how the world can best help the new movement.

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Sep
14
4:30 PM16:30

No Longer Rogues? Iran and Iraq and the Future of the Middle East

Gary Sick, Columbia University
Acting Director Dr. Gary Sick kicked off the Fall 2000 Brown Bag Series by discussing the current political situations in Iran and Iraq. He argued that it was critical for the United States to pay more attention to rebuilding and nurturing political and economic ties with Iran. In the case of Iraq, Dr. Sick suggested that the US should not be the cause of economic devastation. 

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