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with Ibrahim El Houdaiby
Monday, December 5, 2016

3:30pm - 5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

Join us for the second installment of the 2016-2017 IMES Lecture Series, featuring Ibrahim El Houdaiby. El Houdaiby will speak on rethinking theories of revolution and revolutionary failure in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
Ibrahim El Houdaiby is a PhD student in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, Columbia University. An Associate Fellow in the DGAP Middle East and North Africa Program, his research focuses on political economy and Islamic movements in the Middle East.
Monday, December 5, 2016
3:30pm - 5:00pm
Elliott School of International Affairs, room 505
1957 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20052


Sponsored By:

The IMES Lecture Series is sponsored by the Institute for Middle East Studies and the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant Program.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
12:00pm - 1:30pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

With a newly elected US administration preparing to take office, the speakers will present their views on how development efforts in the Muslim world can be reconfigured. They will consider how programming could be better aligned with the diversity of religious beliefs and practices in Muslim societies and what development practitioners can do to foster meaningful partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders in the Muslim world.


Shahed Amanullah, Co-Founder, Affinis Labs

Afeefa Syeed, Senior Fellow and Advisory Council Member, Institute for Global Engagement’s Center for Women, Faith & Leadership

Novia Sagita, Co-founder and Managing Director, Planet Indonesia

Moderated by:

Saman Amir, MA student in International Development Studies, GW


Sponsored By:

The International Development Studies Program, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and the Institute for Middle East Studies

With Matt Gallagher
Thursday, November 10, 2016

10:00am - 1:30pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

Encounter: Engaging Narratives from the Other Side focuses on the construction of war narratives, and how this process enables veterans to both process and communicate their own experiences of war. These narratives also give us unique opportunities to engage with those on the “other side,” and see the war from their perspectives. This is a half-day event, featuring a morning panel discussion with two GWU professors, followed by a lunch keynote by author Matt Gallagher. The event is specifically intended for student veterans, though all are welcome to attend.
10:00 - 10:30 - Coffee and pastries
10:30 - 11:45 am - Panel Discussion: Writing War
George Washington University Professors Dina Rizk Khoury and Derek Malone-France will lead a discussion of war narratives and the process of writing about war, from both American and Iraqi perspectives. This will be a multidimensional discussion, approaching the writing of war narratives from a broad array of perspectives, including personal experience. Professor Malone-France will place current veterans’ writings within a cultural and historical context. He will also speak about his time leading a writing circle for veterans, working with them to help them tell their stories through writing. Professor Khoury will discuss the ways that American veteran writers and Iraqi novelists write about the 2003 war, focusing on the themes and elements that both distinguish and unite these narratives.
Derek Malone-France is an Associate Professor in GWU’s Department of Religion, as well as an Associate Professor of Philosophy, and of Writing.  He currently also serves as Executive Director of GW’s nationally recognized University Writing Program and as Founding Co-Director of GW’s French Embassy Center of Excellence.
Dina Rizk Khoury is a Professor of History and International Affairs at GWU. Her research and writing spans the early modern and modern history of the Middle East. Professor Khoury new book, Iraq in Wartime: Soldiering, Martyrdom and Remembrance draws on government documents and interviews to argue that war was a form of everyday bureaucratic governance that transformed the manner in which Iraqis made claims to citizenship and expressed notions of selfhood.
11:45 - Break
12:00 - Keynote Lunch with Matt Gallagher
Matt Gallagher is the author of the novel Youngblood, published in February 2016 by Atria/​Simon & Schuster. Reviewing for The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani wrote of Youngblood, "On one level, the novel is a parable - with overtones of Graham Greene's The Quiet American - about the United States and Iraq and the still unfurling consequences of the war ... Mr. Gallagher has a keen reportorial eye, a distinctive voice and an instinctive sympathy for the people he is writing about ... [This] is an urgent and deeply moving novel." Youngblood has also received positive reviews or been featured in The Washington Post, Esquire, The Wall Street Journal and Vogue.
A former U.S. Army captain, Matt's work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Paris Review Daily and Playboy, among other places. He's also the author of the Iraq memoir Kaboom and coeditor of, and contributor to, the short fiction collection Fire & Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. In 2015, Gallagher was featured in Vanity Fair as one of the voices of a new generation of American war literature. Among other media, he's appeared on CBS News Sunday Morning and NPR's The Diane Rehm Show.
A graduate of Wake Forest University, Matt also holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn and works as a writing instructor at Words After War, a literary nonprofit devoted to bringing veterans and civilians together to study conflict literature.
Sponsored By:

The Institute for Middle East Studies and the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant Program.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Cloyd Heck Marvin Center
Marvin Center Amphitheater

As part of IMES' 2016-2017 Middle East Film Series, we will be screening the documentary "Kickflips Over Occupation," followed by a discussion and Q&A session with the film's director, current ESIA graduate student Maen Hammad.

About the Film: "Kickflips Over Occupation is a project set out to document the newly emerged skate scene in Palestine's West Bank and highlight how adolescents and youth are using skateboarding as a positive tool to overcome the ailments of the Israeli military occupation"

Maen Hammad is a Palestinian born, American raised, skateboarder, student, and film-maker. After deciding to drop out of law school in 2014, Maen returned to the West Bank and spent 8 months documenting Palestine’s newly emerged skateboard scene. Maen’s film, “Kickflips Over Occupation”, has been premiered in over half a dozen film-festivals across the globe. When Maen isn't filming or skateboarding he spends his time studying for his Masters degree in International Affairs at George Washington University.

Sponsored By:

The Institute for Middle East Studies

With Zainab Saleh
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

12:30pm - 2:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

Inaugurating the 2016-2017 IMES Lecture Series, Professor Zainab Saleh will speak on on how mass media reconfigures exilic experiences and national consciousness, specifically discussing how the Iraqi diaspora in London read the live coverage of the fall of Saddam Hussein's statue, and the immediate relay of his execution in 2006.

Zainab Saleh is an assistant professor of anthropology at Haverford College. She earned her Ph.D. in  sociocultural anthropology at Columbia University. She was the 2011-2013 Mellon Post-Doc Fellow at the John B. Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities, and the 2011 Sultan Program Postdoctoral Fellow in Arab Studies at University of California at Berkeley. Her research focuses on memory, nostalgia, belonging, war, and violence in Iraq and the Iraqi Diaspora. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled,  Inhabiting Destruction: Exile, Political Subjectivity, and the Iraqi Diaspora.The book focuses on how Iraqi exiles in London  live with the realization that they are not exiles waiting to return home anymore, but rather Iraqis in the United Kingdom, a place that is no longer a temporary sojourn in a journey back home, but rather, home itself.

Sponsored By:

This event is sponsored by the Institute for Middle East Studies and the US Department of Education's National Resource Center grant program.

with Assistant Secretary Anne Patterson
Thursday, October 13, 2016

6:00pm - 7:15pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602

For decades U.S. Presidents have confronted issues of peace and stability in the Middle East. Assistant Secretary Patterson joins MEPF to discuss her view of the three biggest Middle East challenges the next administration will face.

Prior to returning to Washington to serve as the Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Anne Patterson served as United States Ambassador to Egypt (2011-2013) and as Ambassador to Pakistan (2007-2010).


Please note that this event is closed to the media and to the public. Attendance is open to the GWU community only.



Members of the GWU Community Only

Sponsored By:

Middle East Policy Forum with Phi Delta Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity

Featuring Michele Clark and Shadi Mokhtari
Monday, October 10, 2016

3:00pm - 5:30pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602

The first screening of the IMES 2016-2017 Film Series will be held on October 10, and will feature award-winning documentary The Trials of Spring, followed by a discussion of the film by Professor Michele Clark and Dr. Shadi Mokhtari.

"When a young Egyptian woman travels from her village to Cairo to add her voice to the tens of thousands of Egyptians demanding an end to 60 years of military rule, she is arrested, beaten, and tortured by security forces and later punished and imprisoned by her family for daring to speak out. Unbreakable, she sets out in a search for freedom and social justice in a country in the grips of a power struggle, where there is little tolerance for the likes of her. Buoyed by the other activists she meets along the way, Hend Nafea’s story mirrors the trajectory of the Arab Spring—from the ecstasy of newfound courage to the agony of shattered dreams. In the end, despite crushing setbacks, it is resilience that sustains the hope for reform even in the darkest hours of repression."

Michele Clark is an internationally recognized expert on combating trafficking in human beings. She is currently a lecturer at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

Shadi Mokhtari specializes in human rights, Middle East Politics and Political Islam. She has an extensive background in human rights and women’s rights issues in the Middle East and Muslim World, and is an assistant professor at American University's School of International Service.


Sponsored By:

This event is sponsored by the Institute for Middle East Studies and the US Department of Education's National Resource Center grant program.

A Panel Discussion
Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602

Panelists will provide their perspectives on Russia’s current involvement in the Middle East. What are Russian objectives? What are the implications for the region and the United States?


Max Abrahms, Associate Professor of Political Science, Northeastern University

Mark Katz, Professor of Government and Politics, George Mason University

Amb. Edward "Skip" Gnehm, Kuwait Professor for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Affairs, George Washington University


*A light lunch will be provided.


Sponsored By:

Middle East Policy Forum and the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

with Daniel Demeter
Thursday, September 22, 2016

4:00pm - 5:30pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602

From 2006–2009, American photographer Daniel Demeter traveled broadly throughout Syria, documenting the country’s warm and kindhearted people, vibrant markets, exciting landscapes, archaeological sites, historic monuments, and religious architecture. In seven chapters organized by region, Lens on Syria offers a unique visual experience of pre-war Syria and serves as an invaluable record of the country’s long history, rich heritage, and diverse culture.
Mr. Demeter will discuss his experiences capturing the cultural heritage of Syria through photographs, and reflect on the changes Syria has seen since the outbreak of violence there in 2011. Dr. Christopher A. Rollston will be present to discuss the book and the photographs with Mr. Demeter.

Prof. Christopher Rollston is a scholar of the ancient Near East at GW, specializing in Hebrew Bible, Old Testament Apocrypha, Northwest Semitic literature, epigraphy and paleography, and he has previously excavated in Syria.

Thursday, September 22, 2016
4:00 - 5:30 pm
1957 E Street, NW
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602

With Ambassador Thomas Pickering
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

6:00pm - 7:15pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons

Ambassador Pickering joined MEPF to discuss Russia and the Middle East. Drawing on his past experiences as the Ambassador to Russia and his diplomatic career in the Middle East, Ambassador Pickering discusses Russia's political interests in the turbulent conflicts of the region. What is the historical context for Russia's current role in the Middle East? How has Russia's increased involvement affected its relationships with Middle East power players? Will Russia be a hindrance or a help in achieving lasting solutions to current conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and beyond?

Ambassador Pickering served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (1997-2000) and as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, Jordan and the United Nations.

September 21, 2016

6:00-7:15 pm

Lindner Family Commons, 1957 E Street, NW


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