The Political Doctrine of Jihad

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute at Columbia University

Monday, December 12

4:00 - 5:30pm

International Affairs Building, Room 1512

School of International & Public Affairs

Columbia University

420 W. 118th Street

New York, NY 10027


Join us for a lively discussion on The Political Doctrine of Jihad featuring:

Sam Cerribi, Presenter. Senior Lecturer at Emory University, author of In the House of War: Dutch Islam Observed (2013) and of Fridays of Rage: Al Jazeera, The Arab Spring, and Political Islam (upcoming). 

Abram de Swaan, Discussant. Queen Wilhelmina Visiting Professor at Columbia University and Professor Emeritus at Amsterdam University.

This event is co-sponsored by The European Institute; The Program of Studies of the Dutch-Speaking World; the History Department; the Middle East Institute (MEI); and the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life (IRCPL) at Columbia University.

To RSVP for this event, please click here.

The Chief Haram Eunuch and Ottoman Orthodoxy/Confessionalization

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute at Columbia University

Monday, December 12

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Columbia University

Knox Hall, Room 208

606 W. 122nd Street

New York, NY 10027

Join us for a lively discussion with Professor Jane Hathaway of the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey and of Ohio State University. Assistant Professor Hossein Kamaly of Barnard College Columbia University will provide introductory remarks.

Dr. Hathaway is the author of the book on the Chief Eunuch of the Ottoman Imperial Harem from the origins of the office in the late ­sixteenth century through the beginnings of westernizing reform in the late eighteenth century, with an epilogue following the story to the end of the Ottoman Empire. Her work specializes in the Ottoman Empire before 1800, with a particular focus on the Arab provinces. Until recently, her research focused on Egypt and, to a lesser extent, Yemen. She earned a Ph.D. from Princeton's Near Eastern Studies department in 1992.

Dr. Hossein Kamaly, Assistant Professor in the Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures Department, specializes in Middle Eastern history and Islamic Studies. After years of working as an electrical engineer, computer programmer, mathematical analyst, and simultaneous interpreter, he obtained a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University in 2004. His research interests focus on intellectual history, and the broad field of Perso-Islamic studies. He is committed to close reading of classical texts, and teaches courses in which important themes are traced across texts and societies.

For more information on this event, please contact Professor Hossein Kamaly via email:

A Conversation About Love: Queer & Straight Muslims Talk About Love & Dating

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute at Columbia University

Friday, December 9
4:00 - 6:00pm

Columbia University
The Italian Academy Library (3rd floor)

1161 Amsterdam Ave.

New York, NY 10027

The co-editors of Love, InshAllah and Salaam, Love will join a panel of contributors to and readers of these groundbreaking essay collections for a university-wide conversation about love, sex, and intimacy.

Speakers include:

  • Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi, co-editor of Love, InshAllah and Salaam, Love
  • Contributors to the books John AustinHaroon Moghul, and Yusef Ramelize
  • Reader Ayah Eldosougi '17
  • And moderator K. Soraya Batmanghelichi

Stay after and continue the conversation at a reception with the speakers, where copies of Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women and Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy will be available for purchase.

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life; the Institute for Women, Gender, and Sexuality; the Middle East Institute; and the Affect Studies University Seminar.

This event is the first in a series on aspects of Muslim sexualities.  This Spring 2017, the series continues with two one-day conferences: "Intimacies I: Sexuality in Contemporary Muslim Societies" and "Intimacies II: Exploring Queer Affects in Contemporary Muslim Societies."

For more information on this event, please click here.

Wine, Water, and Prayer: Early Debates at the Meccan Sanctuary

Sponsored by the Seminar in Arabic Studies at Columbia University

Thursday, December 8

 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Faculty House

64 Morningside Drive

New York, NY 10027

During the first two centuries of Islamic history, the sanctuary at Mecca underwent considerable transformations, both in terms of architectural refashioning and in the actual ritual performances and offices associated with the pilgrimage. Many of these developments are largely forgotten in the succeeding centuries and survive today mostly as antiquarian lore. Travis Zadeh will discuss these developments in ritual and architectural terms and will examine what these changes reveal about the formation of religious practice and mythology at the sanctuary complex. This talk forms the basis of a current book project that Zadeh is completing on the early history, formation, and memory of the Meccan sanctuary.

Travis Zadeh is an Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, at Yale University. Zadeh is the author of Mapping Frontiers Across Medieval Islam: Geography, Translation, and the Abbasid Empire (IB Tauris, 2010) and The Vernacular Qur'an: Translation and the Rise of Persian Exegesis (Oxford, 2011). He has also published widely on early Islamic intellectual and cultural history, with particular focus on frontiers, religious conversion, pilgrimage, sacred geography, the marvelous, Qur'anic studies, and material and visual cultures.

The talk will begin at 7:00 pm. If you would like to join the speaker for dinner at 6:00 pm, please RSVP to the seminar's rapporteur Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah ( no later than Thursday, December 1, 2016.  Please note that the cost of dinner is $30.00, payable by check made out to "Columbia University."

For more information on this event and future events, please click here.

Free Film Screening: Little Gandhi

Sponsored by the Lebanese American University and SUNY Global Engagement Program

Discussion to Follow

Wednesday, December 7

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Lebanese American University

211 E. 46th Street

New York, NY 10017

Followed by a discussion with filmmaker Sam Kadi, Brian Dooley, and Ş. İlgü Özler

Little Gandhi (93 min.) tells the heart-wrenching tale of iconic Syrian peace activist Ghiyath Matar, dubbed "Little Gandhi" for his strict code of nonviolent protest. In following the journey of a young man dedicated to peaceful change, the film takes viewers through the Syrian people's peaceful pursuit of freedom, and reflects the plight of all Syrians in their long fight for liberty.

Sam Kadi is a Syrian-American filmmaker who has been recognized by Cinema For Peace for raising awareness of human rights issues through motion pictures. He received a Humanitarian Service Award by the Life for Relief and Development Organization, and was asked to speak before the International Criminal Court at The Hague. He is the director and producer of the award winning feature drama The Citizen(2013).

Brian Dooley is director of the Human Rights Defenders program at Human Rights First in Washington, DC.  He works with the U.S. government and other partners to end threats to human rights work around the world. Most recently, he has been concentrating on human rights issues in Syria and the Gulf.

Ş. İlgü Özler is director of the SUNY Global Engagement Program and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at SUNY New Paltz. She is a consultant for human rights and environmental organizations, including Physicians for Human Rights and Earth Child Institute.

For more information on this event and to REGISTER, please click here.

In the Absence of Justice: Embodiment and the Politics of Militarized Dismemberment in Occupied East Jerusalem

Sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University

Monday, December 5

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Columbia Law School

Jerome Greene Hall

Join us for the UN Women launch at Columbia Law School recognizing the new report by Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian on womens' and girls'  access to justice in occupied East Jerusalem and featuring Dr. Katherine Franke and Dr. Lila Abu-Lughod.

This program is co-supported by the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University, and UN Women.

UN Women's Palestine Country Office has supported a series of publications on Palestinian women's access to justice. The first publication in this series, Access Denied (2014), examined the socio-political and legal context of access to justice for Palestinian women in the occupied West Bank. The study focused on the ordeals faced by Palestinian women in Area C and H2, which make up approximately 60 per cent of the West Bank and remain under the full civil and security control of Israel and the Israeli military. In these areas women are limited both physically and procedurally from accessing justice and security institutions.

Access Denied's recommendations included the call for similar research on women's access to justice be carried out in East Jerusalem, which is part of the occupied West Bank, but was unilaterally annexed by Israel in 1967 in contravention of international law. Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem live in uncertainty of evictions, residency revocations, demolitions, movement restrictions and violent encounters with Israeli security forces and settler groups. Palestinian women and girls in East Jerusalem and their access to justice are limited by the interplay between on the one hand the discriminatory multiple legal regimes of the Israeli occupation and on the other the internal mechanisms of patriarchal control within Palestinian communities. In these circumstances women's access to justice in East Jerusalem faces challenges that are unique not only to the occupied Palestinian territory, but to the world in general.

For more information on this event, please click here.

Dialogues on the Bosphorus: A Broken Bridge - Islam, Culture & Politics

Sponsored by Reset Dialogues on Civilizations, Center for Contemporary Critical Culture Theory and Columbia Law School

Friday, December 2

4:00 pm

Jerome Greene Annex

Columbia Law School

410 W. 117th Street

New York, NY 10027

Reset-Dialogues would like to invite you to attend the book presentation of Toward New Democratic Imaginaries - Istanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics. It gathers nine years of work and dialogues "on the Bosphorus," edited by Seyla Benhabib abd Volker Kaul. Reset-Dialogues has been forced to suspend the Istanbul Seminars '17 given the recent political developments in Turkey and the harsh restrictions of freedom of speech and the press. 

The book presentation is also an occasion to reconsider the place of Islam in politics in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and terrorism and to ask how to bring back civil liberties and human rights on the political agenda in the Muslim world. We are pleased to invite you to a cocktail reception after the conference.


Anthony Appiah, Professor, NYU

Seyla Benhabib, Professor, Yale University 

Giancarlo Bosetti, Director of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations

Ian Buruma, Professor, Bard College 

Volker Kaul, Lecturer at LUISS University 

Charles Taylor, Professor Emeritus, McGill University 

For more information and to RSVP, please email Anna Krauthamer at

Israel's New Natural Gas Discoveries: From Power Diplomacy to Gas Diplomacy

Sponsored by The Chazen Institute for Global Business at Columbia Business School

Thursday, December 1

6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Columbia Law School

Jerome Greene Hall

435 W. 116th Street

New York, NY 10027

Just 15 years ago, Israel relied on imported coal, natural gas, and oil for its energy needs. But the discovery of three new natural gas fields within its borders will transform the nation from a buyer to a seller - and make it a major player in the region's energy industry.

What you'll learn:

  • The implications of this important discovery for Israel's economy
  • How these new natural resources may lead to better bilateral relations with Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, the PAL Authority, and Greece
  • What regulatory hurdles still need to be overcome

Ambassador Ron Prosor, former Israel Representative to the UN and currently the Abba Eban Chair of International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, will return to Columbia Business School for a special talk on this timely topic. 

David Schizer, Dean Emeritus and the Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics at Columbia Law School, will moderate.

For more information on this event and to RSVP, please click here.

Teach In: What is the Relationship Between Scholarship and Activism?

Sponsored by The Middle East Institute & MESAAS at Columbia University

Thursday, December 1

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Columbia University

Dodge Hall, Room 511

The Middle East Institute, in collaboration with MESAAS, presents a series of teach-ins open to students, faculty, and workers across the Columbia community. Join us on Thursday, December 1 for a lively discussion on the relationship between scholarship and activism.


Professor Partha Chatterjee, Anthropology & MESAAS

Professor Hamid Dabashi, MESAAS

Professor Mahmood Mamdani, Anthropology & MESAAS

Professor Joseph Massad, MESAAS

For more information on this event, please contact Ms. Astrid Benedek, Associate Director at the Middle East Institute, at

Islamic History Workshop: Forgetting al-Khwarizmi's History

Sponsored by the Middle East Institute

Thursday, December 1

4:10 - 6:00 pm

Columbia University

Room 207, Knox Hall (Second Floor)

606 W. 122nd Street

New York, NY 10027

The Middle East Institute at Columbia University cordially invites you to attend the inaugural session of its new IslamicHistoryWorkshop. 

 The workshops will regularly feature leading scholars of Islamic history from across periods and regions for detailed discussions of their current research.

For our first session, the first presenter will be Professor Antoine Borrut (University of Maryland and the Patricia Crone member at the Institute for Advanced Study in 2016-17). This workshop will be devoted to a discussion of a chapter entitled "Forgetting al-Khwārizmī's History" from his current book project (tentatively) called Heaven and History: Astrologers, Religious Scholars, and the Making of Islamic History.  *A copy of this chapter will be distributed electronically approximately one week before the workshop. 

Participation in the workshop is not restricted to Columbia affiliates so please feel free to circulate this invitation to other faculty and graduate students who might be interested and to put them in touch with the Middle East Institute ( if they wish to be added to the mailing list and to receive the paper ahead of the discussion.

About Antiquities: A Book and its Aftermath by Professor Zeynep Celik

Sponsored by the Ottoman and Turkish Studies University Seminars at Columbia University

Thursday, December 1

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Columbia University

Faculty House

64 Morningside Drive

New York, NY 10027

Join Dr. Zeynep Çelik, distinguished professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology/Rutgers University and adjunct professor at Columbia University, for a discussion on her book entitled About Antiquities which examines the competing claims and aspirations of museums, government officials, archaeologists, and excavation laborers to shed new light on the role of archaeology in empire-building around the turn of the twentieth century.

Professor Çelik has received numerous fellowships, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2004), American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (1992, 2004, 2011), and the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2012).  Her publications include The Remaking of Istanbul: Portrait of an Ottoman City in the Nineteenth Century (1986-winner of the Institute of Turkish Studies Book Award, 1987); Urban Forms and Colonial Confrontations: Algiers under French Rule (1997); Empire, Architecture, and the City: French-Ottoman Encounters, 1830-1914 (2008-winner of the Society of Architectural Historians Spiro Kostof Book Award, 2010), 

For more information on this event and to RSVP, please contact Ms. Zeinab Azarbadegan at

Israel and the United States in the Age of Trump: Lecture by Professor Rashid Khalidi

Sponsored by Middle East Dialogue at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) of Columbia University

Tuesday, November 29

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Columbia Law School

Jerome Greene Hall Annex

410 W. 117th Street

New York, NY 10027

The Middle East Dialogue Group of SIPA would like to invite you to our last event of the semester. Come join us in a lecture by Professor Rashid Khalidi on Israel and the United States in the Age of Trump. We hope to see you there!

Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1970, and his D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1974. He has taught at the Lebanese University, the American University of Beirut, Georgetown University, and at the University of Chicago. He is past President of the Middle East Studies Association, and the editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies.

For more information on this event and to RSVP, please click here or email Yasmina Dardari at

Redefining & Reclaiming Space in Conflict Zones

Sponsored by the Center for Palestinian Studies at Columbia University

Tuesday, November 29

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Columbia University

Knox Hall Room 208

606 W. 122nd Street

New York, NY 10027

Please join us for a lecture and visual presentation on arts and education programming to unite Palestinian youth communities presented by Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre.

For more information on this event and to RSVP, please click here.


Fireworks by Dalia Taha

Sponsored by Noor Theatre

Tuesday, November 15

7:30 pm

83 E. 4th Street

3rd Floor

New York, NY 10003

Translated by Clem Naylor

Directed by Katie Pearl

Featuring Amr El-Bayoumi, Francis Benhamou, Caitlin Cassidy, Fajer Al-Kaisi, Marjan Neshat and Debargo Sanyal

In a Palestinian town, eleven year-old Lubna and twelve year-old Khalil are playing on the empty stairwell in their apartment block. As the siege intensifies outside, fear for their safety becomes as crippling as the conflict itself.

Fireworks was first performed at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Sloane Square on February 12, 2015.

Please join us for refreshments after each reading, courtesy of our sponsors, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Manousheh.

For more information on this event, please click here.

The Demilitarization of Politics and the July 15 Coup Attempt in Turkey

Sponsored by The Middle East Institute at Columbia University

Tuesday, Nov. 15

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Room 208, Knox Hall

Columbia University

606 W. 122nd Street

New York, NY 10027

Join us for a talk with Dr. Koray Caliskan:

How do we explain the dynamics behind the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey at a time when social scientific literature has been discussing the dynamics behind the dissolution of military tutelary regime in the country? Addressing such an unanticipated puzzle, Dr. Caliskan argues that the civilian success behind the dissolution of military's political power in Turkey paradoxically contributed both to the emergence and the failure of the coup attempt organized by a junta composed of Gulenist officers and their collaborators in the army. Describing the historical evolution of civil - military relations in the country, he explains the dissolution of military tutelary regime with reference to a combination of push and pull factors. He will also present the dynamics behind the emergence and failure of the latest coup attempt that took place on July 15, 2016.

Dr. Koray Caliskan is Associate Professor of Political Science at Bogazici University, where he now works on political parties, marketisation and authoritarianism. He received his Ph.D. with distinction from New York University, with which he earned the Malcolm Kerr Social Science Award from the Middle East Studies Association. Previously, Caliskan worked as a columnist on politics in Radikal and BirGün newspapers and as a program host for Haberturk and +1 TV  in Istanbul. His book Market Threads analyzes international trade and global markets, particularly in Turkey, Egypt, and the United States (Princeton University Press, 2011). He owns a film production company where he directed and produced various fiction and documentary films, including In Flames, a popular political comedy on Kurdish question, that opened in 200 theatres in Europe and the Middle East.

"The Uncondemned" Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Tuesday, November 15

4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Columbia Law School

Jerome Greene Hall, Room 104

435 West 116th Street

New York, NY 10027

"The Uncondemned" tells the gripping and world-changing story of a group of young international lawyers and activists who fought to make rape a crime of war, and the Rwandan women who came forward to testify and win justice where there had been none. Up until this point, rape had not been prosecuted as a war crime and was committed with impunity...."The Uncondemned" beautifully interweaves the stories of the characters in this odyssey, leading to the trial at an international criminal court--and the results that changed the world of criminal justice forever.'

The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law will host a panel discussion following the film, engaging lawyers who worked on the cases discussed in the film among others to discuss the issues that accompany the prosecution of rape a war crime and as an act of genocide.

Panelists include:

Sara Darehshori, Senior Counsel, US Program, Human Rights Watch

Consolee Nishimwee, Author and Journalist, and Survivor of the Rwandan Genocide

The Panel will be moderated by Professor Katherine Franke, of Columbia Law School

This event is co-supported by the Columbia If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, Human Rights Institute, Social Justice Initiatives Columbia Law School, Rightslink, and Columbia | SIPA's Gender Policy Working Group. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information on this event, please click here.

Assistant Professor: Modern Arabic Literature

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto invites applications for a tenure-stream position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the field of Modern Arabic Literature (nineteenth century to the present). The position will be held jointly in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (NMC) (75%) and the Centre for Comparative Literature (25%) and will commence July 1, 2017. 

Native or near native fluency in Modern Standard Arabic and English is required. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree by the date of appointment or shortly thereafter and have a record of excellence in teaching and research. Evidence of excellence in research will be demonstrated by publications in leading international journals, presentations at major conferences, awards and accolades, and strong endorsements by referees. Evidence of excellence in teaching will be demonstrated through teaching evaluations, sample syllabi and statements about teaching accomplishments included in the teaching dossier submitted as part of the application, as well as strong letters of reference. Knowledge of the pre-modern Arabic literary tradition is required. Online posting closes on November 15, 2016, and the position is open until filled.

For more information on this position and for application instructions, please click here.

Beyond the Secular State: Secularism, Empire, Hegemony

Monday, November 14

6:15 pm - 8:15 pm

403 Jerome Greene Hall

Columbia University

New York, NY 10027

A roundtable conversation with Talal Asad, Etienne Balibar, and Mohamed Amer-Meziane

According to critiques, secularism is more exclusionary than emancipative. French secularism (laïcité) and its current relation to Muslims is widely considered as the paradigmatic example. But secularists often claim that such exclusions are not "really secular" and distort the truth of secularism. Their claim is given credit by the attacks against the idea of secularization emanating from "fundamentalist" religious discourses, some of which are violent indeed. However, seen from outside the Eurocentric West, this defense of secularism would be more convincing if secularists displayed a greater capacity to criticize their own tradition. This roundtable discussion will examine these questions from a genealogical, philosophical, and political perspective.

Talal Asad is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at CUNY; Etienne Balibar is currently a Visiting Professor at Columbia University; and Mohamed Amer-Meziane is a Research and Teaching Fellow at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University.

Event co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and Center for Contemporary Critical Thought at Columbia Law School.

For more information on this event and to RSVP, please click here.

Annual NYC Arab Student Gala

Friday, November 11

7:00 pm

Diana Event Oval

Barnard Campus

Columbia University

New York, NY 10027

Turath, the Undergraduate Arab Students' Association at Columbia University, is excited to invite you to our annual Arab Student Gala. Continuing on with our regular success at this event, our goal is to provide an opportunity for Arab students and students interested in the Arab world to enjoy a night of fun music, great food, and even better company. 

Semi-formal or formal attire is encouraged. Dinner will be served.  

General ticket admission is $15.50. At the door, tickets are $20.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here.

Movement Without Mobility, Settlement Without Belonging: A Proposal for Theorizing "Unsettlement" Today

Sponsored by Global Thought Columbia University

Friday, November 11

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Fayerweather Hall, Room 301M

Columbia University

Join us for a Lunchtime Seminar featuring Dr. Rosalind Morris, Columbia Professor of Anthropology.

Rosalind Morris focuses her fieldwork in two main areas: South Africa and mainland Southeast Asia, especially Thailand. Her earlier scholarship focused on the history of modernity in Southeast Asia and the place of the mass media in its development, particularly in the encounter between old and new forms of mediation. More recently, she has been writing an ethnography of South Africa's mining communities. Traversing these fields of inquiry, her work addresses questions of the relationships between value and violence; aesethetics and the political; the sexualization of power and desire; and the history of anthropological thought and social theory. In her formally wide-ranging writings on all of these issues, she attends specifically to the problem of language, and the matter of representation.

For more information on this event, please click here.