May
17
to May 18

Late Imperial Epistemologies: A Eurasian Studies Workshop

  • 1219 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A two-day conference with Anna Afanasyeva, Tarik Amar, Cemil Aydin, Richard Bulliet, Pey-Yi Chu, Alexander Cooley, Marwa Elshakry, Markus Friedrich, Emese Lafferton, Tong Lam, Eugenia Lean, Alan Mikhail, Peter Perdue, Christine Philliou, Ruth Rogaski, Jonathan Schlesinger, Steven Seegal, Natasha Wheatley, and Larry Wolff. 

For detailed information on the speakers CLICK HERE 

Free and open to the public

Sponsored by the Harriman Institute, the Middle East Institute, the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and the Blinken European Institute.
 

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Words & Acts: Scripture vs. Universe
May
2
6:00 PM18:00

Words & Acts: Scripture vs. Universe

A conversation with Yamina Bouguenaya.

Dr. Bouguenaya has taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at various institutions of higher education such as Indiana University, Swarthmore College and Carthage College. Her areas of expertise are Spirituality in the Qur'an, Islamic theology, as well as religion and science. She is fluent in Arabic, French, English and Turkish and has translated and published in these languages. Throughout her life journey in Algeria, England, Turkey and in the US, she has been active in providing retreats, workshops, study circles and counseling as well as interfaith dialogue. 

Free and open to public- Reception will follow.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian & African Studies, Columbia Turkish Club, Columbia Muslim Student Association and the Middle East Institute. 

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Phenomenology of Islamic Prayer
Apr
26
9:00 AM09:00

Phenomenology of Islamic Prayer

A conference led by Souleymane Bachir Diagne.

How and why was the commandment of prayer established? What is its significance in connection with the Prophet's Ascent (Mi'raj)? How should we comprehend the time ofprayer as different from the serial time of our works and days? How should we understand also the different times of the five prayers? 

For example the systematic grouping of zuhr and asr on the one hand, maghrib and isha on the other hand by Shi'i Muslims while such a grouping is exceptional among Sunni Muslims? What interpretations for the very gestures accomplished during a prayer? How do we decipher the signs that are written by the praying body? These are some of the questions that will be raised. 

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Democratization in Muslim Contexts: The Return to the Question of Legitimacy
Apr
24
4:00 PM16:00

Democratization in Muslim Contexts: The Return to the Question of Legitimacy

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A talk with Professor Abdou Filali-Ansary - Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations, Aga Khan University, UK. 

Martin Seymour Lipset stressed, more than fifty years ago, that 'prerequisites' for democracy include economic development and political legitimacy. However, since the beginning of the so called Arab Spring, it is aspects of political legitimacy which dominate discussions, while economic development seems to have been put on the back burner, if not forgotten altogether. This redefining of fundamentals, particularly the coming to the fore of issues of legitimacy bringing to the fore religious and cultural traditions of society, leads us to raise fresh questions about the ongoing transitions in Muslim contexts and the prospects of democratization in the Third World in general. 

Abdou Filali-Ansary is Research Professor at the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations (AKU-ISMC) in London, UK. Previously, he was the Founding Director of the same Institute (2002-9), Director of the King Abdul-Aziz Foundation for Islamic Studies and Human Sciences in Casablanca, Morocco (1973-84). Professor Filali-Ansary initiated a bilingual journal (Arabic/French) "Prologues: revue maghrébine du livre" with a team from the academic community in Morocco. 

Sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life and the Middle East Institute

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The True Cross in Iran: Christian Symbolics of Power in a Zoroastrian Empire
Apr
18
6:00 PM18:00

The True Cross in Iran: Christian Symbolics of Power in a Zoroastrian Empire

  • 509 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A discussion with Richard Payne, assistant professor in Mount Holyoke College's Department of History and a visiting research scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (NYU). 

As the Iranian Empire reached the apogee of its power in the late sixth and early seventh centuries, Christian elites came to play an ever more prominent role in its institutions and political culture. Iran conquered the Eastern Roman Empire from circa 609 to 628, incorporating overwhelmingly Christian regions such as Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. Iran also co-opted the Christian symbols of Roman rule, in particular the True Cross, the most important sign of Christian Roman imperial power, seized after the conquest of Jerusalem in 614. This mobilization of Christian symbols depended on peculiarly Zoroastrian understandings of human difference that allowed for the recognition of merit and power in religions nevertheless deemed inferior to the "Good Religion." 

Free and open to the public

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Abu'l-Fazl and the Apotheosis of Akbar
Apr
17
4:00 PM16:00

Abu'l-Fazl and the Apotheosis of Akbar

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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Join us for a conversation with Wheeler Thackston - Professor of Persian and other Near Eastern Languages & Literature Harvard University. 

Free and open to the public

Sponsored in conjunction with the South Asia Institute and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies

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Brokers of Deceit
Apr
1
7:30 PM19:30

Brokers of Deceit

  • 501 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University (map)
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Join critically acclaimed historian Rashid Khalidi, as he discusses his latest publication Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East

For more than seven decades the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people has raged on with no end in sight, and for much of that time, the United States has been involved as a mediator in the conflict. Khalidi zeroes in on the United States's role as the purported impartial broker in this failed peace process. 

Khalidi closely analyzes three historical moments that illuminate how the United States' involvement has, in fact, thwarted progress toward peace between Israel and Palestine. The first moment he investigates is the “Reagan Plan” of 1982, when Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin refused to accept the Reagan administration's proposal to reframe the Camp David Accords more impartially. The second moment covers the period after the Madrid Peace Conference, from 1991 to 1993, during which negotiations between Israel and Palestine were brokered by the United States until the signing of the secretly negotiated Oslo accords. Finally, Khalidi takes on President Barack Obama's retreat from plans to insist on halting the settlements in the West Bank. 

Discounted books will be sold on site

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Islamic Constitutionalism and Human Rights: Case studies of Iraq and Egypt
Mar
28
4:00 PM16:00

Islamic Constitutionalism and Human Rights: Case studies of Iraq and Egypt

  • 701 Jerome Greene Hall (Case Lounge), Columbia Law School (map)
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Dr. Seyed Masoud Noori, Former Faculty Member at the Center for Human Rights Studies at Mofid University in Qom, Iran and currently a Visiting Scholar at Emory Law, will explain the relationship between Shariah and state law in Muslim-majority countries' constitutions approved since 2000, as well as the role of Shariah in basic and fundamental codes in those countries. He will focus on Iraq's and Egypt's constitutions, as these two models balance Shariah and state law, and he will examine how these models affect human rights issues. 

Free and open to the public

Sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, the Middle East Institute, Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, Human Rights Institute

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Revolt in Syria: Violence through a lens
Mar
26
7:30 PM19:30

Revolt in Syria: Violence through a lens

  • 501 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University (map)
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Join us for a screening of short films and videos followed by a Q & A with Syrian playwright and activist Mohammad Al Attar and theatre director Eyad Houssami, editor of Doomed by Hope: Essays on Arab Theatre

This program of short films and videos by activists, amateurs, filmmakers, and citizen journalists offers intimate perspectives on the tragedy in Syria today. The videos include new material from film organizations such as Kayani for Audio-Visual Arts and Abounaddara, which broadcasts emerging talent directly online. 

The title is a tribute to the late Syrian activist Basel Shehada, who was killed in May 2012 by government shelling on the besieged city of Homs, where he was filming and training other activists. 

Sponsored by Alwan for the Arts and the Middle East Institute.

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The Syrian Agony
Mar
12
6:00 PM18:00

The Syrian Agony

  • 1512 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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Join us for a talk with former Ambassador Richard Murphy. Murphy has been following Middle Eastern developments for over 50 years. His assignments in the US Foreign Service included service in Aleppo, Syria, Jidda, Saudi Arabia and then Amman, Jordan during the 1967 war. After a tour in Washington as Director of the office of Arabian Peninsula affairs, he served as US Ambassador to Mauritania, Syria, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia. He became Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs from 1983-89. After his retirement from the US Government, he was the Hasib Sabbagh Senior Fellow for the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York from 1989-2004. He is now an independent consultant on the region. Murphy has been a frequent commentator on regional development for the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and the Iranian Press/TV. 

Introduction by David Cuthell, Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs

Sponsored by the School of International and Public Affairs and the Middle East Institute

Registration Required 

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Seeking Palestine: New Palestine Writing on Exile and Home
Mar
6
6:15 PM18:15

Seeking Palestine: New Palestine Writing on Exile and Home

  • 754 Schermerhorn Extension, Columbia University (map)
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Seeking Palestine is a newly published collection of fifteen innovative and outstanding Palestinian writers essayists, poets, novelists, critics, artists and memoirists respond with their reflections, experiences, memories and polemics. 

Free and Open to the Public

Sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies, Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Middle East Institute

Discounted books will be sold on site

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Gendered Paradoxes: Jordanian Women in Nation, Faith, and Progress
Mar
5
7:00 PM19:00

Gendered Paradoxes: Jordanian Women in Nation, Faith, and Progress

  • 150 Horace Mann, Teachers College, Columbia University (map)
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Join us for a discussion with Dr. Fida Adely on her new book: Gendered Paradoxes: Educating Jordanian Women in Nation, Faith, and Progress.

Dr. Adely is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. Her research interests include education in the Arab world, women and development, gender and labor, and development in the Arab world. In Gendered Paradoxes, Fida Adely takes readers into the halls of a Jordanian public school—the al-Khatwa Secondary School for Girls—to examine how the young women there are facing the social and economic challenges of today's Jordan. 

Free and Open to the Public.

Discounted books will be sold on site.

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Sketched of Iran: A Glimpse from the Front Lines of Human Rights
Mar
4
6:00 PM18:00

Sketched of Iran: A Glimpse from the Front Lines of Human Rights

  • 417 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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Join us for the book launch of 'Sketches of Iran'- a collection of drawings, portraits and editorial cartoons on human rights themes by internationally acclaimed Iranian artists, accompanied by commentary and personal narratives by leading Iranian scholars, activists, journalists, writers, filmmakers and family members of prisoners of conscience. 

The event will include readings from the book, an appearance by prominent Iranian musician Mohsen Namjooa and a discussion by leading experts on Iran, including Dr. Hadi Ghaemi (Executive Director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and publisher of Sketches of Iran) and Professor Dabashi, on the state of human rights in Iran, the upcoming Iranian presidential elections in June 2013, and U.S. foreign policy options on Iran The discussion will be followed by a question and answer period and book sale/signing by contributors and the editor of the book. For more information CLICK HERE

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Women in the Turkish Parliament
Feb
28
12:00 PM12:00

Women in the Turkish Parliament

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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Join us as Nursuna Memeca discusses what it mean to be a woman in parliament and the challenges and risks faced by women in government. 

Born in Istanbul, Memecan attended Bosphorus University and majored in Industrial Engineering. She continued her graduate work at Temple University in Philadelphia and later at NYU. Returning to Turkey, MP Memecan was drafted by Prime Minister Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul to run as a Member of Parliament representing Istanbul. During her time in Parliament, MP Memecan has been an active and outspoken advocate for women's rights and parity in the home as well as in the workforce, demonstrating great courage in an institution that remains overwhelmingly male. 

Registration Required 
 

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Contemporary Social Movements and the Karbala Paradigm: From South Asia to Iran
Feb
25
7:00 PM19:00

Contemporary Social Movements and the Karbala Paradigm: From South Asia to Iran

  • 501 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University (map)
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The martyrdom of Husayn - the grandson of Prophet Muhammad - in the Battle of Karbala on the tenth of Muharram (Ashura) 680 AD has been seen as a defining moment in the history of Islam, particularly within the Shi'i community. Contemporary Social Movements and the Karbala Paradigm is an event that will discuss the impact that Karbala has had on modern societies, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. This event is often considered unique to the Shi'i community, and, as such, only important to a minority of the world's population. This event will explain the far reach it has had, and how it has been uniquely reinterpreted by different groups in order to fit their political and social movements. Our panelists are the foremost scholars on this topic, and engage this concept directly in academia. They, therefore, feel a vested interest in this panel, and are excited to make better known how the example of Karbala is lived today. 

Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Barnard College, Organization of Pakistani Students, Columbia Students for Justice for Palestine, Muslim Students Association, Middle East Law Students Association and the Middle East Institute

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Jan
28
7:00 PM19:00

Women and Media: Gender Equality

  • 1512 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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Join us for a discussion with Vuslat Dogan Sabanci on women and the media. 

Ms. Sabanci is the CEO of Hurriyet Newspaper Publishing Company in Turkey and a member of the International Press Institute's Board of Directors. 

REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Free and Open to the Public

Sponsored with Columbia Turkish Students and Columbia Global Centers- Turkey.

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