The Bodies of Virgins and God's Will: Holy Women in Early Eastern Christianity

Thursday December 12

Time: 5:30-7:30 pm

Location: Hamilton 302, Columbia University, Morningside Heights Campus

Valentina Calzolari Bouvier, Professor at the University of Geneva and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University will address the valorization of female 

virginity in Early Eastern Christianity. The violation of virgins, bodies considered Temples of God, was considered the desecration of a sacred space in some traditions. Prof. Calzolari will detail how theanalogy of the virgin's body as a sacred space contributed to certain historiographic accounts about the conversion of pagan peoples and their perceived rebirths as nations.

Free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute.

66 Years and Counting: Al Nakba Continues

Tuesday, December 10

Time: 7PM

Location: New York University, Kimmel Center, Room 808

60 Washington Square South

**Please bring a valid photo ID for entry.

May 2014 marks the 66th anniversary of al Nakba, or the Catastrophe. Israel's establishment resulted in, and required, the forcible displacement of Palestinians both within and outside of Palestine. Many fled their homes to neighboring Arab countries, including Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan where they settled in refugee camps. The Nakba and the resultant refugee population is central to the Israel-Palestinian conflict because it represents Israel's settler-colonial political vision as well as Palestinian claims not simply for land but for rehabilitation. The question of refugees is essential to the discussion of any just resolution.  

Join Noura Erakat for an important discussion on the Palestinian refugee reality, the ongoing Nakba, and future roads to resolution. Also  hear LEAP volunteers discuss meaningful ways to contribute to the Palestinian refugee camp community in Lebanon. 

Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and writer. She is currently a Freedman Teaching Fellow at Temple University, Beasley School of Law and has taught International Human Rights Law and the Middle East at Georgetown University since Spring 2009. She is a Co-Editor of She is also a member of the Legal Support Network for the Badil Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights.  

Her scholarly publications include: "Litigating the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Politicization of U.S. Federal Courts" in the Berkeley Law Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Law,  "BDS in the USA: 2001-2010," in the Middle East Report, and "New Imminence in the Time of Obama: The Impact of Targeted Killings on the Law of Self-Defense" forthcoming in the Arizona Law Review. She is the co-editor of the anthology Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures.

This event is sponsored by NYU SJP and the LEAP Program.


Mock Job Talk: "Zionist Education in Mandate Palestine Between the Secular and the Sectarian"

Monday, December 9 

Time: 12:30 - 2:00 pm

Location: 403 Knox Hall

Faculty and graduate students are invited to attend a mock job talk given by Suzanne Schneider of the MESAAS Department, entitled "Zionist education in Mandate Palestine between the Secular and the Sectarian." You participation would be greatly appreciated! Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.


Screening of Just Vision's Peabody Award-Winning Film "My Neighborhood"

Friday December 6

Time: 4:00 - 6:00pm

Location: LL2 Screening Room, Hagop Kevorkian Center
255 Sullivan Street (at Washington Square South)

Directed by Julia Bacha and Rebekah Wingert-Jabi 

Followed by a discussion with Just Vision's Director of Programming, Suhad Babaa

Free and open to the public. Seating is limited. 

Contact with questions. 

From the critically acclaimed creators of Budrus and Encounter Point, My Neighbourhoodchronicles the story of Mohammed El Kurd, a Palestinian teenager whose family isforced to share a section of their East Jerusalem home with Israeli settlers. WhenIsraeli activists arrive in his neighborhood to join residents in protests against thesettlements, Mohammed comes of age in the midst of unrelenting tension with his neighbors and unexpected cooperation with Israeli allies in his backyard.

The Invisible People: Exploring the History of Mauritania's Hratin

Friday, December 6

Time: 12:00 - 2:00 pm

Location: Schermerhorn Ext. 963

The Hratin are generally thought of as freed slaves or their descendants, although not all Hratin think of themselves this way. Today a resurgence of political activity by self-styled 'abolitionists' is giving visibility to hratin that is not at all consistent with their historical role in society but is nonetheless an important moment in the evolution of their identity. In this seminar presentation and discussion, Prof. Ann McDougall will address the writing of Hratin history as a methodological case study in the dynamics of identity construction. What does it mean to write about a past that is itself constantly changing to create a new present? As an historian how does one prevent one's research being shaped by or becoming part of, that dynamic? Or should these be concerns at all? In the process, she will introduce you to the complex and multi-faceted people called hratin who have long been the largely invisible catalyst to Mauritanian social development.  

Admission is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served and guests are encouraged to bring their own lunches to the seminar.

For more information, like "Ifriqiyya Colloquium" on Facebook or e-mail!

The "Through Surveillance" Book Party

Thursday, December 5

Time: 12:30 pm

Location: Knox Hall Room 208 (606 West 122nd Street)

Join the Center for Palestine Studies and Middle East Institute to celebrate the launch of Thorough Surveillance, the new book by Arcapita Visiting Professor in Arab Studies Ahmad Sa 'di, on Israel's expertise in techniques of surveillance and political control.

Israel has been successful in controlling a native population for a long time. Despite tremendous challenges, it has maintained a tight grip over a large Palestinian population in the territories it occupied in the 1967 war.

We will also celebrate this year's publishing of works by several other Middle East Institute faculty members, including:

Nadia Abu-El Haj

Lila Abu-Lughod

Hamid Dabashi

Wael Hallaq

Rashid Khalidi

Timothy Mitchell

This event is sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies and Middle East Institute.

Marwan Rechmaoui: Images, Texts, and Conversations

Tuesday, December 3

Time:  6:00 pm

Location:  Room 208, Knox Hall (606 W. 122 Street, between Broadway and Claremont)

Beirut-born artist Marwan Rechmaoui's work focuses on urban dynamics, demographics and behaviors. He uses industrial materials such as concrete, rubber, tar and glass to create tactile works on a large scale, many of which focus on the histories of spatial violence in the Lebanese civil war.

This event is brought to you by Studio@, a program curated by Rosalind C. Morris and sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society and the Middle East Institute. This event is also made possible by contributions from Alwan for the Arts.   


Constitutions and Cultural Pluralism: How Can Legal Frameworks Foster Tolerance and Peace in Multireligious Societies? Cases from the Middle East

Tuesday, December 3

Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Location: Earl Hall Auditorium

  In the Middle East today, conflicts along religious and ethnic dimensions

create situations in which minorities are in great danger. It is important

to look at how constitutions and their supporting institutions can protect

religious pluralism and toleration in mixed or divided societies. What are

the constitutional arrangements that are the most successful in ensuring

minority rights? How can constitutions deal with the tensions between

individual and communal rights? What can we harness from local social,

political and cultural traditions in various Middle East and North African

cultures to aid the development of constitutions that promote pluralism?

Opening remarks by:

Karen Barkey, Columbia University

Giancarlo Bosetti, co-founder of Reset-DoC


Asli Bali (UCLA)

Abdullahi An-Na'im (Emory)

Marc Lynch (GWU)

Seyla Benhabib (Yale)

Jean Cohen (Columbia)

Nader Hashemi (University of Denver)

Michael Walzer (Princeton)

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life,

Reset-DoC, and the Center for Democracy, Toleration, and Religion.

The Syria Dilemma: A Critical Dialogue

Monday, December 2

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Earl Hall, Columbia University

The panel will feature

  *   Kenneth Roth

Executive Director of Human Rights Watch & a contributor to The Syria Dilemma

  *   Michael Walzer

Professor Emeritus, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, author of Just and Unjust Wars and Arguing About War

  *   Nader Hashemi

Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver & co-editor of The Syria Dilemma

  *   Bassel Korkor

US Legal Advisor, National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces (Washington and United Nations offices)


  *   Saskia Sassen

Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology & Co-Chair of The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University

No registration necessary. Free and open to the public. First-come, first-seated. This event is organized by the Committee on Global Thought.  

Co-sponsors include:

  • Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War & Peace Studies  
  • Boston Review  
  • Center for International Conflict Resolution, SIPA 
  • Center for Middle East Studies  
  • Dissent 
  • Human Rights & Humanitarian Policy Concentration at SIPA 
  • Human Rights Watch  

A.N.T.S at War: A Socio-Tech Ethnography of the Gaza Flotilla

Monday, December 2

Time: 2:00pm

Location: Sheldon Scheps Memorial Library, Room 457, Schemerhorn Extension

Nikolas Kosmatopoulos, Anthropologist, postdoctoral fellow (Columbia Global Center Paris) and lecturer (Sciences Po and MESAAS/CU) will speak.

Professor Michael Taussig, Anthropology, CU, Responding

Reception to follow  

This event is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, and the Columbia University Scheps Memorial Lectures and Workshops

Spirit and Sound: A Concert Series Najib Shaheen and Friends with Special Guests Rabbi Rolando Matalon and Deacon Naji Yousuf

Monday, November 25

Time: 7:45 - 9:00 PM

Location: Glicker-Milstein Theater, 3009 Broadway

Join the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life on Monday, November 25th, when oudist Najib Shaheen performs with members of Simon Shaheen's Near East Music Ensemble, with special guests Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon and Deacon Naji Yousuf.  The performance will be followed by a discussion of the shared musical histories between Jewish, Islamic, and Christian music traditions in the context of Israel and Palestine, led by moderator Nili Belkind, PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and a reservation is required. 

 Reserve your seat now at

This event is sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life and the Glicker-Milstein Theatre.  

More information about this and other upcoming events from the IRCPL is available at 

Reflections on Iranian Cinema

Friday, November 22

Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Location: 50 Washington Square South, New York University

                Kevorkian Center for Middle Eastern Studies

 A Presentation & Panel Discussion with:

Hamid Naficy

Round-table Panelists:

Hamid Dabashi (moderator)

Negar Mottahedeh

Richard Peña

Farbod Honarpisheh

This event is sponsored by Columbia University's School of the Arts (Film) and Middle East Institute, as well as NYU's Iranian Studies Initiative.    

Mediatic Public Diplomacy: Iranian State, Iranian People, and the West

Thursday, November 21

Time: 7:30 - 9:30 pm

Location: Columbia University Faculty House

(64 Morningside Drive)

 Over the last thirty years, normal diplomatic relations between Iran and the West, particularly with the United States, have been curtailed. Much of the diplomacy has been either in deep secrecy or in plain sight, via the media. This talk focuses on the four-partner diplomatic dance through film and media by which the Iranian government, American government, Iranians at home, and Iranians in the diaspora engage in; illustrated by video clips.

Please join us for a presentation by Hamid Naficy (Northwestern University) with respondent, Farbod Honarpisheh (Columbia University).  

This event is sponsored by Columbia University's Sites of Cinema and the Middle East Institute.

The Arabic Circle

Wednesday, November 20th

Time: 6:00 - 7:30 PM

Location: 207 Knox Hall

الحَلَقَة العرَبِيَّــة

The Arabic Circle invites you to its eleventh meeting.

Topic: Movie Screening -The Yacoubian Building

Moderated by: Abeer Shaheen

Refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by:

قسم دراسات الشرق الأوسط وجنوب اسيا وإفريقيا

Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

معهد دراسات الشرق الأوسط

Middle East Institute

Please note the Arabic Circle takes place weekly and is open to all.

Osman Hamdi Bey's Genesis (1901): Symbolism, Emulation, Provocation

Thursday, November 14    

Time: 11:30am -1:00pm
Location: Fayerweather 313

During a special lecture, Professor Edhem Eldem of the Bogaziçi University history department will speak on the topic of "Osman Hamdi Bey's Genesis (1901): Symbolism, Emulation, Provocation." 

The lecture will be followed by lunch in the Faculty House. Please note that the price of lunch is $22.50. RSVP to if you plan to attend, and specify whether or not you will stay for lunch. 

This event is sponsored by the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Seminar, the Department of History and the Middle East Institute. 

Photography in the Spaces of Violence: Politics of Witness in Occupied Palestine and Libya

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Time: 12:00-2:00 pm

Location: Stabile Center Room, Columbia University's Journalism School, main floor

Mohammad Al-Azza is a refugee from the village of Beit Jibreen. He was born and resides in Aida Refugee Camp. He is a documentarian and photographer, and he directs the Arts & Media Unit of Lajee Center (insert hyper link in Aida Refugee Camp, Palestine.

In this capacity, he helps youth to produce photography and video projects. His first documentary, Ali Wall, won the Global Jury Prize of the It Is Apartheid Film Contest (2010), and his documentary Everyday Nakba (2011) has been screened in numerous festivals and mobilized an international movement to improve access to clean water in Aida Refugee Camp and other Palestinian communities. His award-winning photography on media representation, refugee rights, and popular protest has exhibited in Palestine, France, and the United States, among other places.

Diana Matar is a photographer based in London and New York. Her projects, which often incorporate testimony, text, or sound, focus on the interplay of history, memory and landscape. Her internationally award winning projects include those on political disappearance, immigration, veiled women, and the disappearing landscape of peripheral Cairo .

She has been awarded the International Fund for Documentary Photography, the Deutsche Bank Award for Fine Art, an Individual Artist Grant by the British Arts Council and was nominated for the Prix Pictet Photography Award. Her work has been exhibited at Saatchi Gallery London, and in over 15 countries. Earlier this year her work from Libya was published in the New Yorker Magazine. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections around the world.  An installation of Matar's work from Libya will be exhibited in the Tate Modern exhibition, Photographers Responding to Conflict, in 2014. 

The discussion will be moderated by The New Yorker's Photo Editor,  Elissa Curtis.

The event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute, Center for Palestine Studies, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists' Association and SIPA's (IMAC) International Media, Advocacy and Communications specialization.

The Impact of the Lausanne Peace Treaty in the World - A Celebration for the 90th Anniversary

Thursday, November 14

Time: 6-7 PM Light Reception, 7-9 PM Panel and Q&A Session

Location: Lerner Hall Room 555

Confirmed Speakers: Dr. David Cuthell, Amb. Robert Finn, Dr. Christopher Vassilopulos. 

More speakers are expected to be announced in the upcoming days.

The Lausanne Peace Treaty (LPT) has been a significant milestone in the world history. it has reshaped the world as we live in today. The LPT has defined the borders and led to the formation of the very first secular, parliamentary and democratic regime of Republic of Turkey (October 29th, 1923) in the Middle East, Africa and Asia at large. Therefore, it needs to be more acknowledged and studied further on the academic and global levels.

We also aim to emphasize the significance of the LPT as a pioneering model for a Peace Treaty for the World Peace within the general context and philosophy of "Peace at Home, Peace in the World". This is also very relevant to the 2000 UN-Millennium Development Goals#8: Global Partnerships for Development as well as with the Post-2015 Sustainable Millennium Development Goals.

Event page:

All guests must register online at 

This event is organized in collaboration with The Light Millennium, an NGO associated with the UN-DPI since 2005 and operating on Web since 1999 .

The Other Israel Film Festival

November 14- 21, 2013

Theaters across NYC  

 "The Other Israel Film Festival uses film to foster social awareness and cultural understanding. The Festival presents dramatic and documentary films, as well as engaging panels about history, culture, and identity on the topic of minority populations in Israel with a focus on Arab citizens of Israel/Palestinian Citizen's of Israel, who make up twenty percent of Israel's population. Our goal is to promote awareness and appreciation of the diversity of the state of Israel, provide a dynamic and inclusive forum for exploration of, and dialogue about populations in margins of Israeli society, and encourage cinematic expression and creativity dealing with these themes. Our programming is guided by our mission to showcase quality cinema that brings to the big screen the human stories and daily lives of Arab Citizens and other minorities groups in Israel, often overlooked by mainstream Israeli society and culture."

 For full schedule and details, please visit:

Iran: Silenced, Expelled & Imprisoned

Wednesday, November 13

Time: 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Location: The New School, Wollman Hall, 55 West 11th Street, Fifth Floor

A panel discussion about the ongoing imprisonment and persecution of students and scholars in Iran.   


Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, Institute for Women's Leadership, Scholar Rescue Fund Fellow, Rutgers University

Mehdi Arabshahi, exiled Iranian student activist; pursuing his M.A. at the University of Albany

Hadi Ghaemi, Executive Director, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

 Hadi Kahalzadeh, Visiting Scholar, Political Science, Valdosta State University; former economist for Iran's Social Security Organization

Moderator: Gissou Nia, Executive Director, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.

Registration is recommended. Please RSVP to

The event is free and open to the public.

Co-organizers: Center for Public Scholarship at the New School; Amnesty International

Co-sponsors: Scholars at RiskInternational Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Artist Audree Anid at the Times Square Art Center

Saturday, November 9

Time: 7pm to Midnight

Location: Time Square Art Center

300 West 43rd St. and 8th Ave, 6th floor

Artist Audrée Anid, painter and photographer, will be featuring her artwork at Times Square Art Center.

The "Times Square Art Show", a one-day group show featuring more than 35 exhibiting artists presented by Dacia Gallery, will take place on and will open at 2pm with an evening reception from 7pm to Midnight with DJ and cocktail bar.