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Dr. Mohssen Esseesy, Associate Professor of Arabic and International Affairs, met with representatives of Meethaq Bank in Oman presentations in Arabic about the operation of the Islamic banks in Oman. GW students took notes in Arabic and asked the presenters questions about the operations of Islamic banks in the region over spring break as part of Dr. Esseesy's CCAS 2190 "Oman Business & Culture" course.

April 3, 2019

1:00pm

Lindner Family Commons (Room 602)

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

Join us for a panel discussion on the difficulties facing academics conducting fieldwork in the Middle East.

Featuring:

Matthew Hedges, PhD Candidate, Durham University

Elizabeth Pertner, PhD Candidate, George Washington University

Thomas Dolan, PhD Candidate, George Washington University

Mark Berlin, PhD Candidate, George Washington University

Karim El-Taki, PhD Candidate, Cambridge University

Moderated by Dr. Shana Marshall

 

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
10:00am to 3:00pm
Ralph J. Bunche International
Affairs Center at Howard University
(first floor), 2218 6th St NW,
Washington, DC 20059

Join us for the 5th Annual Children and Youth Literature Workshop at Howard University, co-sponsored by CCAS Georgetown University, the Center for African Studies at Howard University, the Howard University School of Education, and the Institute for Middle East Studies at the George Washington University. The workshop will explore the enjoyment of these three genres of literature for children and youth, and discover deeper aspects of the stories that teach about geography, socio-economic issues, politics, and universal wisdom that have made these narrations durable staples in literature for young and old alike. Speakers include Animal Village author Nelda Latif and Dr. Roberta Robinson, children’s literature expert and book awards reviewer for the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC).
Teachers will select books to take home, and other resources. Lunch will be served. 

This program is made possible by a Title VI grant from the United States Department of Education, which is funding National Resource Centers on Africa at Howard University and on the Middle East at Georgetown University, and by support from the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown.

March 20, 2019

5:15pm

Lindner Family Commons (Room 602)

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

The Judge offers a portrait of Judge Kholoud Faqih, one of the first women to
serve as a Palestinian family court judge,. With unparalleled access to the courts,
THE JUDGE presents an unfolding legal drama,offering views into both Islamic
law and gendered justice. In the process, the film illuminates some of the
pressing issues in family law universally and in a Palestinian context.

Mirjam Künkler (Ph.D. Political Science, Columbia University) is Senior Research
Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study. Her books include Democracy and Islam in Indonesia, Columbia University Press, 2013; A Secular Age Beyond the West, Cambridge University Press, 2018; Female Religious Authority in Shi‘i Islam: Past and Present (with Devin Stewart), Edinburgh and Oxford University Press, 2019; and The Rule of Law and the Politics of the Judiciary in Contemporary Iran (with Hadi Enayat), Cambridge University Press, 2019. Before joining SCAS, she taught Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, where she also directed the Oxford-Princeton research cluster on “Traditional authority and transnational religious networks in contemporary Shi’i Islam,” and co-directed the Luce Program on “Religion and International Affairs” for many years. She is a founder and PI of the Iran Data Portal and sits on the boards of various academic journals.

Abdullah Alaoudh is a Senior Fellow at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for
Christian-Muslim Understanding and a fellow at Yaqeen Islamic Institute. He was
Research Scholar in Law and an Islamic Law & Civilization Research Fellow at Yale
Law School (2017-2018). He earned his LL.M. and S.J.D. from the University of
Pittsburgh School of Law, where his dissertation focused on the role of religious
institutions in post-revolutionary Arab countries and the transition to democracy.
Alaoudh also received his bachelor’s degree in Islamic law from Qassim University.

January 23rd, 2019

6:00pm

Lindner Family Commons (Room 602)

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

Satoshi Ikeuchi is a professor of Religion and Global Security at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) of the University of Tokyo. He was a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2009 and Visiting Fellow at the Clare Hall University of Cambridge in 2010. He specializes in Middle East Politics and Arab-Islamic Thought. His publications include Islamukoku-no Shogeki (The Shock of the Islamic State) published in 2015 which was a nation-wide best selling book in Japan and awarded several prizes. He also published literary and critical essays in various journals and compiled them into a book Shomotsu-no Ummei (The Fate of Books) which was award Mainichi Book Review Prize in 2006.

Jon Alterman is a senior vice president, holds the Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and is director of the Middle East Program at CSIS. Prior to joining CSIS in 2002, he served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State and as a special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. He also previously served as an expert adviser to the Iraq Study Group (also known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission). In addition to his policy work, he often teaches Middle Eastern studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the George Washington University.

Karen Young is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she focuses on the political economy of the Middle East, the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (best known as the GCC), and the Arabian Peninsula. She concurrently teaches courses on the international relations and economy of the Middle East at George Washington University and at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

February 21, 2019

5:00pm

Room 505

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

For the past six years, the world has watched in horror as Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have endured some of the worst human and heritage violence since World War II. In this talk, Stephennie will argue that the dominant universalist model of archaeological heritage preservation, wherein heritage is envisioned as a property-based model belonging “to all humankind”, has in fact been an important motivation for the destruction of heritage in wartime and the alienation of local communities from their heritage following reconstruction. Archaeologists, as researchers on the past who can assist in shaping the narratives of the present, should instead work to understand local models of heritage and support communities traumatized by war to rebuild in ways that serve local needs first. Often, post-war reconstruction has only multiplied the trauma of people in the aftermath of conflict. However, if sites damaged by war are rebuilt in an inclusive manner, reconstruction has the potential to be a genuinely healing act of resistance to the violence perpetrated during wartime. 

Stephennie Mulder is Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a specialist in Islamic art, architectural history, and archaeology. She worked for over ten years as the head ceramicist at Balis, a medieval Islamic city in Syria, and has also conducted archaeological and art historical fieldwork throughout Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and elsewhere in the region. 

Her research interests include the art and architecture of Shi’ism, the intersections between art, spatiality, and sectarian relationships in Islam, anthropological theories of art, material culture studies, theories of ornament and mimesis, and place and landscape studies. Dr. Mulder also writes on the contemporary aesthetics of the art of resistance in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

March 7, 2019

5:30pm

GW Textile Museum

701 21st Street, NW

Washington, DC 20052

This event is cosponsored by the Loeb Institute for Religious Freedom and the GW Textile Museum.

In March 1996, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson), an all-star guard for the Denver Nuggets and an African American Muslim convert, was suspended by the NBA for not standing for the national anthem. Until then, Abdul Rauf had earned national headlines only for his record-setting free-throw shooting game and overcoming Tourrette Syndrome. The sudden NBA suspension and the media interest that immediately followed sparked a national debate about race, politics, religion, and freedom of speech with Abdul Rauf at center-stage. The media controversy pivoted on the question of what it means to be American and un-American, particularly for Muslims, and reveals how so many contemporary political anxieties about patriotism, racism, political correctness, freedom of speech, and Islamophobia have histories deeper than 9/11 and the War on Terror. Tracing his evolution from a media darling and icon of the American dream to an "un-American foreigner," this timely film documents the history of anti-Muslim racism and xenophobia through a simple, poignant story of one man's spiritual journey turned public trial.

Zareena Grewal is a historical anthropologist and a documentary filmmaker whose research focuses on race, gender, religion, nationalism, and transnationalism across a wide spectrum of American Muslim communities. Her first book, Islam is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority (NYU 2013), is an ethnography of transnational Muslim networks that link US mosques to Islamic movements in the post-colonial Middle East through debates about the reform of Islam. Her forthcoming book, titled “Is the Quran a Good Book?”, combines ethnographic and cultural studies analyses with historical research to trace the place of the Islamic scripture in the American imagination, particularly in relation to national debates about tolerance. She has received awards for her writing and research grants from the Fulbright, Wenner-Gren and Luce Foundations. 

A full lesson plan for middle school and high school teachers will be available at the event.

November 8, 2018

6:00pm

Lindner Family Commons (Room 602)

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

In 2011, Egyptians of all sects, ages, and social classes shook off millennia of autocracy, then elected a Muslim Brother as president. The 2013 military coup replaced him with a new strongman, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has cracked down on any dissent or opposition with a degree of ferocity Mubarak never dared. New York Times correspondent David D. Kirkpatrick arrived in Egypt with his family less than six months before the uprising first broke out in 2011, looking for a change from life in Washington, D.C. As revolution and violence engulfed the country, he received an unexpected and immersive education in the Arab world.

For centuries, Egypt has set in motion every major trend in politics and culture across the Middle East, from independence and Arab nationalism to Islamic modernism, political Islam, and the jihadist thought that led to Al Qaeda and ISIS. The Arab Spring revolts of 2011 spread from Cairo, and now Americans understandably look with cynical exasperation at the disastrous Egyptian experiment with democracy. They fail to understand the dynamic of the uprising, the hidden story of its failure, and Washington’s part in that tragedy. In this candid narrative, Kirkpatrick lives through Cairo’s hopeful days and crushing disappointments alongside the diverse population of his new city: the liberal yuppies who first gathered in Tahrir Square; the persecuted Coptic Christians standing guard around Muslims at prayer during the protests; and the women of a grassroots feminism movement that tried to seize its moment. Juxtaposing his on-the-ground experience in Cairo with new reporting on the conflicts within the Obama administration, Kirkpatrick traces how authoritarianism was allowed to reclaim Egypt after thirty months of turmoil.

David D. Kirkpatrick is an international correspondent based in the London bureau of the New York Times. From the beginning of 2011 through the end of 2015 he was the Cairo bureau chief. Before joining The Times in 2000, Mr. Kirkpatrick served as a fact checker for The New Yorker, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and a contributing editor for New York magazine.\

Ambassador Anne Patterson is the former Assistant Secretary of State for Near
Eastern Affairs (2013-2017) and Ambassador to Egypt (2011-2013), Pakistan (2007-2010), Colombia (2000-2003), and El Salvador (1997-2000). She recently retired with the rank of Career Ambassador after more than four decades in the Foreign Service. Ambassador. Patterson also served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, as well as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, among other important assignments.

Dr. Yasser El-Shimy will be serving as the moderator of this conversation. Dr. El-
shimey is the co-director of the Program on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States
(CMRAS) at the Carnegie Middle East Center. His expertise covers research design, civil military relations (CMR), democratization, revolutions, domestic politics and international relations in the Middle East. He has worked at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and the International Crisis Group (ICG). He earned his PhD from Boston University in international relations and comparative politics. El-
Shimy has recently published on the conscription system in Tunisia and on Egypt’s foreign policy. El-Shimy is currently an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.

April 4, 2019

5:00pm

Room 505

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

Beirut is a city divided. Following the Green Line of the civil war, dividing the Christian east and the Muslim west, today hundreds of such lines dissect the city. For the residents of Beirut, urban planning could hold promise: a new spatial order could bring a peaceful future. But with unclear state structures and outsourced public processes, urban planning has instead become a contest between religious-political organizations and profit-seeking developers. Neighborhoods reproduce poverty, displacement, and urban violence.

For the War Yet to Come examines urban planning in three neighborhoods of Beirut's southeastern peripheries, revealing how these areas have been developed into frontiers of a continuing sectarian order. Hiba Bou Akar argues these neighborhoods are arranged, not in the expectation of a bright future, but according to the logic of "the war yet to come": urban planning plays on fears and differences, rumors of war, and paramilitary strategies to organize everyday life. As she shows, war in times of peace is not fought with tanks, artillery, and rifles, but involves a more mundane territorial contest for land and apartment sales, zoning and planning regulations, and infrastructure projects. 

About the Author 

Hiba Bou Akar is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. She has also worked as an architect and urban planner in Beirut.

March 21, 2019

5:00pm

1957 E St NW

Room 505

Washington, DC 20052

Iraq's healthcare has been on the edge of collapse since the 1990s. Once the leading hub of scientific and medical training in the Middle East, Iraq's political and medical infrastructure has been undermined by decades of U.S.-led sanctions and invasions. Since the British Mandate, Iraqi governments had invested in cultivating Iraq's medical doctors as agents of statecraft and fostered connections to scientists abroad. In recent years, this has been reversed as thousands of Iraqi doctors have left the country in search of security and careers abroad. Ungovernable Life presents the untold story of the rise and fall of Iraqi "mandatory medicine"—and of the destruction of Iraq itself.

Trained as a doctor in Baghdad, Omar Dewachi writes a medical history of Iraq, offering readers a compelling exploration of state-making and dissolution in the Middle East. His work illustrates how imperial modes of governance, from the British Mandate to the U.S. interventions, have been contested, maintained, and unraveled through medicine and healthcare. In tracing the role of doctors as agents of state-making, he challenges common accounts of Iraq's alleged political unruliness and ungovernability, bringing forth a deeper understanding of how medicine and power shape life and how decades of war and sanctions dismember projects of state-making. 

About the Author

Omar Dewachi is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Social Medicine, and Global Health and Co-Director of the Conflict Medicine Program at the American University of Beirut.

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