Tunisia's Transition to Democracy: A Discussion with Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa
6:00 pm18:00

Tunisia's Transition to Democracy: A Discussion with Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa

  • 301 Uris Hall, Columbia Business School

Earlier this year, Tunisia, the country that launched the MENA region into a wave of popular uprisings in January 2011, adopted one of the Middle East's most liberal constitutions yet. Though strained by the multiple layers of its social fabric, notably tensions between Islamists and secularists, liberals and left-wing partisans, Tunisia today offers a glimpse of optimism against a somber post-Arab spring backdrop. An agreement between Prime Minister Ali Larayedh of the Ennahda party and opposition parties diffused the political crisis which had paralyzed the country following the assassination of two prominent secular politicians. Larayedh stepped down on January 9th in order to be replaced by Mehdi Jomaa, who previously served as the Minister of Industry. Jomaa as caretaker prime minister will oversee the government ahead of elections later this year. 

On Tuesday, April 1st, prior to his meeting with President Obama, Mehdi Jomaa will come to Columbia to speak and answer questions on Tunisia's historic democratic transition. 

Registration is required. Register here for this event:http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/chazen/events/event2/register 

This event is sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life; the Middle East Institute; Tuness; the Center for Democracy, Toleration, and Religion; the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business; and the Institute of African Studies. 

9:00 am09:00

Hinge of the World: Connections, Networks, and Linkages in Inner Eurasia

  • 1512 International Affairs Building, Columbia University

Seventh Annual OASIES Graduate Student Conference.

The Harriman Institute and the Organization for the Advancement of Studies of Inner Eurasian Societies at Columbia University, Princeton University, and New York University are pleased to announce its 7th Annual OASIES Conference. 

Inner Eurasia has been and continues to be particularly fertile terrain for thinking through ideas of connections, networks, and linkages across culture, space, and time. The very language of connecting and linking, however, can inadvertently simplify the complex and mutually constituting qualities of interactions at the point of impact. While the popular concept of globalization, for example, often highlights the entangled nature of politics, history and society, its theorizations also open up possibilities for more thorough investigation into the different elements of these entanglements. In other words, a productive engagement with connections and networks must be coupled with a re-interrogation of the basic units of analysis that might otherwise be too easily presupposed. Bearing this in mind, this year's conference asks: in what ways can rethinking connections, networks, and linkages not only reconfigure but re-conceptualize the categories that structure our scholarship on Inner Eurasia? 

The conference considers Eurasia past and present, spanning from the Black Sea to Mongolia, from Siberia to South Asia. Stressing multi-disciplinarity, submissions are welcome from a variety of departments, programs, and centers, including but not limited to: Anthropology, Archeology, Art History, Comparative Literature, Fine Arts, History, Political Science, Religion, Sociology, Caucasian Studies, Central Asian Studies, Inner Asian Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, the Middle East Institute, Mongolian Studies, Slavic Languages and Literature, South Asian Studies, and Tibetan Studies. 

For a full program, please visit:http://harriman.columbia.edu/files/harriman/OASIES_Conference2014_Program.pdf 

7:00 pm19:00

From Armenia to New York: Five Short Films and Evening with Young Armenian Filmmakers

  • 501 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University

Please join us for a screening and discussion of five short films by up-and-coming Armenian filmmakers Ophelia Harutyunyan, Jesse Soursourian, Viktorya Aleksanyan, Eric Shahinian, and Anahid Yahjian, followed by a Q&A with the directors moderated by Raffi Asdourian (from A&E, Sundance Channel). 

This event is free and open to the public. Food and refreshments provided. 

This event is organized by the Columbia graduate student group OASIES (Organization for the Advancement of Studies of Inner Eurasian Societies), and sponsored by the Armenian Society of Columbia University, the Harriman Institute, the Middle East Institute, the Kurdish Studies Student Association, and the Armenian General Benevolent Union. 

Kamran Shirdel and His Cinema: Screening and Round-table with Kamran Shirdel, Amir Naderi, and Hamid Dabashi
7:15 pm19:15

Kamran Shirdel and His Cinema: Screening and Round-table with Kamran Shirdel, Amir Naderi, and Hamid Dabashi

  • 501 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University

Kamran Shirdel is considered one of Iran's most influential documentary filmmakers.Women's Prison (1966), Tehran is the Capital of Iran (started in 1966, but finished in 1980), The Red Light District (1967-80) and The Night It Rained (1967) are among his most well-known films made during the Pahlavi era. Throughout the 70s and 80s, he directed a substantial number of commissioned industrial documentaries, many of them now considered as the classics of their genre in Iran, for their lyricism, abstraction, and irony. 

For more information on Kamran Shirdel, please visit:http://bigstory.ap.org/article/noted-iranian-filmmaker-makes-first-us-visit 

Amir Naderi, now living in New York for more than two decades, has directed some of the most celebrated films in the history of Iranian cinema. After a number of years of working in the film industry as a still photographer, he made his feature debut Goodbye Friend in 1970, and in 1971 The Dead-end. Shot in stark black and white, these two films offered shockingly dark images of the urban sprawl that is the capital of Iran. The Runner made in 1984 became the first film from the post-revolutionary Iran to gain international acclaim. In 1993 Naderi made Manhattan by Numbers, his first film after moving to New York. 

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. After finishing his first college degree at the University of Tehran he moved to the United States, where he received a dual Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Max Weber's theory of charismatic authority with Philip Rieff, the most distinguished Freudian cultural critic of his time. He engages with Iranian cinema by not only placing specific filmic texts within the larger socio-political context, and the Iranian intellectual history, but also by opening them to other artistic modes such as Persian poetry and fiction. 

Free and open to the public. 

This event is sponsored by Columbia's Middle East Institute, MESAAS, and School of the Arts (FILM).

6:00 pm18:00

The Syrian Civil War: Human Rights, Law, and Strategy

  • Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School

Lama Fakih, Human Rights Watch researcher on Syria and Lebanon, will talk about her work on the human rights crises in Syria after more than two years of civil war. She will discuss the overall approach and strategy involved in working as a human rights lawyer, including how HRW chooses areas of focus and applies tools strategically. Ms. Fakih previously worked for the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project. She is a graduate of NYU law school. For full bio, please visit http://www.hrw.org/bios/lama-fakih

Free and open to the public. 

Dinner will be served. 

This event is co-sponsored by Rightslink, CSIL, the Human Rights Institute, the Middle East Institute, the Middle Eastern Law Students Association and SIPA's Arab Student Association. 

Through the Lens of the Law: The "Jewish and Democratic State"
7:00 pm19:00

Through the Lens of the Law: The "Jewish and Democratic State"

  • 102B Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School

How do the legal values of the State of Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state" impact the rights of Palestinians? Join us for an evening with Attorney Hassan Jabareen, founder and general director of Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel who will discuss how the values of the State of Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state" are expressed in the law. Attorney Jabareen has litigated landmark constitutional rights cases before the Israeli Supreme Court on behalf of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. He is also a Schell Center Human Rights Fellow at Yale Law School. 

This event is sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies. Middle East Institute, Human Rights Institute, Adalah - The Legal Center For Arab Minority Rights In Israel and Social Justice Initiatives. 

8:00 pm20:00

Al-Intithar, inside Jordan's Zaatari Refugee Camp

  • 403 International Affairs Building, Columbia University

Join Mario Rizzi for a screening of his documentary Al-Intithar (The Waiting), which narrates the life of a Syrian refugee mother and her three children in Jordan's Zaatari Camp. The short film was first shown at the Berlin Film Festival competition in February 2013. Film to be followed by a Q&A with the director. 

This event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute. 

8:30 am08:30

Unsettlement and Decolonization: New Directions

  • Heyman Center, Common Room, Columbia University

Plenary Speakers:

  • Kevin Bruyneel (Politics, Babson College).
  • Jodi A. Byrd (English and American Indian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).
  • Mark Rifkin (English and Women's and Gender Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro).
  • Dale Turner (Government and Native American Studies, Dartmouth College).


  • Elizabeth Povinelli (Columbia University); Audra Simpson (Columbia University).


  • Phanuel Antwi (St Mary's University), Hadeel Assali (Columbia University), Bruno Cornellier (University of Winnipeg), Melissa Forbis (SUNY Stonybrook), Shiri Pasternak (Columbia University), Mezna Qato (Columbia University). And featuring artist Stephen Paul Jackson (presenting as Stron Softi) and filmmaker Hadeel Assali presenting on their creative work.


This conference is organized by Dr. Michael R. Griffiths Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University and co-sponsored by Department of Anthropology, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Center for Palestine Studies, INTERACT Initiative, The Middle East Institute, and The Heyman Center for the Humanities. 

From Gezi Protests to State Crisis: Turkey's Domestic Politics in a Critical Election Year
12:30 pm12:30

From Gezi Protests to State Crisis: Turkey's Domestic Politics in a Critical Election Year

  • 410 International Affairs Building, Columbia University

Following more than a decade of AKP administration, growing social cleavages and a deficit of democratic checks and balances became clear with the June 2013 Gezi protests and the December 2013 graft crisis. This talk will explore the issues that will define Turkish political agenda ahead of a set of critical elections. 

Dr. Ioannis N. Grigoriadis is an Assistant Professor and Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Bilkent University and Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP). 

This event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute. 

6:15 pm18:15

Poetics of Pedagogy in Revolution: First Case, Second Case (1979, Kiarostami, 47')

  • Michelson Theater, Department of Cinema Studies (6th floor), NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Screening and Round-table discussion 

Discussion moderated by:

  • Hadi Gharabaghi, New York University
    With Panelists:
    Agnes Devictor, University of Paris 1, Pantheon - Sorbonne
    Jean-Michel FRODON, Slate.fr, Sciences Po Paris, St. Andrews
    Alisa Lebow, University of Sussex
    Mohammad Salemy, Independent Curator

  • Free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia's School of Art and Film, the Iranian Studies Initiative and the Middle East Institute.