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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.

December 13, 2018

5:00pm

Room 505

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

For seventy years Israel has existed as a state, and for forty years it has honored a peace treaty with Egypt that is widely viewed as a triumph of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. Yet the Palestinians—the would-be beneficiaries of a vision for a comprehensive regional settlement that led to the Camp David Accords in 1978—remain stateless to this day. How and why Palestinian statelessness persists are the central questions of Seth Anziska’s groundbreaking book, which explores the complex legacy of the agreement brokered by President Jimmy Carter.

Based on newly declassified international sources, Preventing Palestine charts the emergence of the Middle East peace process, including the establishment of a separate track to deal with the issue of Palestine. At the very start of this process, Anziska argues, Egyptian-Israeli peace came at the expense of the sovereignty of the Palestinians, whose aspirations for a homeland alongside Israel faced crippling challenges. With the introduction of the idea of restrictive autonomy, Israeli settlement expansion, and Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the chances for Palestinian statehood narrowed even further. The first Intifada in 1987 and the end of the Cold War brought new opportunities for a Palestinian state, but many players, refusing to see Palestinians as a nation or a people, continued to steer international diplomacy away from their cause.

Combining astute political analysis, extensive original research, and interviews with diplomats, military veterans, and communal leaders, Preventing Palestine offers a bold new interpretation of a highly charged struggle for self-determination.

Seth Anziska is the Mohamed S. Farsi-Polonsky Lecturer in Jewish-Muslim Relations at University College London and a visiting fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Haaretz. He lives in London.

 

November 27, 2018

7:00pm

Jack Morton Auditorium

805 21st Street NW

Washington, DC 20052

General Ticket: $20.00
GW Student Discount: $16.00

Use discount code IMESHOME to reduce price to $18

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation & GWU’s Institute of Middle East Studies invite you to delve into the intricacies of Arab American identity through the individual experiences of some of today’s most celebrated literary voices. Join notable Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Allam as she sits down with Osama Alomar (The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories), Susan Darraj (A Curious Land: Stories from Home; The Inheritance of Exile) and others to discuss what “Finding Home” looks like for an Arab American, especially in today’s political climate. These award-winning authors will also read from their work in what will be a fascinating and engaging evening.

Osama Alomar

Born in Damascus, Syria in 1968 and now living in Pittsburgh, Osama Alomar is the author of three collections of short stories and a volume of poetry in Arabic, and performs as a musician. His short stories have been published by Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, Words Without Borders, The Southern Review, NewYorker.com, The Paris Review Daily, Conjunctions.comVice.com, Guernica Daily, The Outlet (the blog of Electric Literature), Noon, The Coffin Factory, Painted Bride Quarterly, Gigantic, The Literary Review, and Dissent. New Directions published FULLBLOOD ARABIAN, a pamphlet-sized collection in 2014, and the story collection THE TEETH OF THE COMB in 2017.

Susan Muaddi Darraj

Susan Muaddi Darraj's short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named the winner of the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, judged by Jaime Manrique. The book was published in December 2015 by the University of Massachusetts Press. It also won the 2016 Arab American Book Award, a 2016 American Book Award, and was shortlisted for a Palestine Book Award. In 2018, she was named a Ford Fellow by United States Artists.

Laila Halaby

Laila Halaby is the author of two novels, Once in a Promised Land (a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Authors selection; named by the Washington Post as one of the best 100 novels of 2007) and West of the Jordan (winner of a PEN/Beyond Margins Award), as well as a collection of poetry my name on his tongue (Syracuse University Press, Spring 2012). Halaby was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship for study of folklore in Jordan and holds two Masters’ degrees in Literature and in Counseling.

Laila has always been interested in the power of the creative voice and its role in healing from impossible-seeming traumas. What started out as a lark – listening to Palestinian refugee kids recount folktales – has turned into a lifelong obsession with stories and creativity as an antidote to suffering and she has found ways to incorporate storytelling in all of her social service jobs, including her work with people trying to quit smoking, with homeless youth, and with therapy patients. She currently works as a counselor with cancer patients, as a program coordinator in an expressive arts program for refugee survivors of torture and trauma, and as a museum educator. She also designed a series of programs at the VA hospital as well as teaching creative writing in the Polytrauma Unit there for a few years.

Moderated by: Hannah Allam

Hannah Allam is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News, covering U.S. Muslim life. She previously spent a decade as a foreign correspondent at McClatchy, serving as Baghdad bureau chief during the Iraq War and Cairo bureau chief during the Arab Spring uprisings. She has also reported extensively on national security and race/demographics. Her reporting on Muslims adapting to the Trump era won national religion reporting prizes in 2018. Allam was part of McClatchy teams that won a Polk Award for Syria reporting and an Overseas Press Club award for exposing death squads in Iraq. Allam is on the board of the International Women’s Media Foundation and was a 2009 Nieman Fellow at Harvard. She lives in Washington.

November 29, 2018

5:00pm

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room

Suite 503

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

In Mughal Occidentalism, Mika Natif elucidates the meaningful and complex ways in which Mughal artists engaged with European art and techniques from the 1580s-1630s. Using visual and textual sources, this book argues that artists repurposed Christian and Renaissance visual idioms to embody themes from classical Persian literature and represent Mughal policy, ideology and dynastic history. A reevaluation of illustrated manuscripts and album paintings incorporating landscape scenery, portraiture, and European objects demonstrates that the appropriation of European elements was highly motivated by Mughal concerns. This book aims to establish a better understanding of cross-cultural exchange from the Mughal perspective by emphasizing the agency of local artists active in the workshops of Emperors Akbar and Jahangir.

October 24th, 2018

6:00pm

Lindner Family Commons (Room 602)

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

Please join us for a conversation about the prospects for Arab reform.

Dr. Marwan Muasher has served as Jordan’s ambassador to the United States, foreign minister, and deputy prime minister; and a member of the Jordanian Senate. He served as senior vice president at the World Bank from 2007-2010. Since 2010 he now currently serves as vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is overseeing the “Arab Horizons” project on reform in the Arab world at the Carnegie Endowment; copies of the report will be available at the event.

Moderating the conversation will be Dr. Hala al-Dosari, a specialist in health care, as well as a very prominent writer on Saudi social and political affairs. She currently serves as a resident scholar at the center for human rights and global justice at the New York University School of Law, researching the sexual reproductive health of women in Saudi Arabia.

November 8, 2018

5:00pm

Gelman Library 609

2130 H St NW

Washington, DC 20052

In recent years, Arab activists have confronted authoritarian regimes both on the street and online, leaking videos and exposing atrocities, and demanding political rights. Tarek El-Ariss situates these critiques of power within a pervasive culture of scandal and leaks and shows how cultural production and political change in the contemporary Arab world are enabled by digital technology yet emerge from traditional cultural models.

Focusing on a new generation of activists and authors from Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, El-Ariss connects WikiLeaks to The Arabian Nights, Twitter to mystical revelation, cyberattacks to pre-Islamic tribal raids, and digital activism to the affective scene-making of Arab popular culture. He shifts the epistemological and historical frameworks from the postcolonial condition to the digital condition and shows how new media challenge the novel as the traditional vehicle for political consciousness and intellectual debate.

Theorizing the rise of “the leaking subject” who reveals, contests, and writes through chaotic yet highly political means, El-Ariss investigates the digital consciousness, virality, and affective forms of knowledge that jolt and inform the public and that draw readers in to the unfolding fiction of scandal.

Leaks, Hacks, and Scandals maps the changing landscape of Arab modernity, or Nahda, in the digital age and traces how concepts such as the nation, community, power, the intellectual, the author, and the novel are hacked and recoded through new modes of confrontation, circulation, and dissent.

Tarek El-Ariss is associate professor of Middle Eastern studies at Dartmouth College. His books include Trials of Arab Modernity: Literary Affects and the New Political and The Arab Renaissance: A Bilingual Anthology of the Nahda.

November 1, 2018

5:00pm

Lindner Family Commons (Room 602)

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

Palestinian refugees’ experience of protracted displacement is among the lengthiest in history. In her breathtaking new book, Ilana Feldman explores this community’s engagement with humanitarian assistance over a seventy-year period and their persistent efforts to alter their present and future conditions. Based on extensive archival and ethnographic field research, Life Lived in Relief offers a comprehensive account of the Palestinian refugee experience living with humanitarian assistance in many spaces and across multiple generations. By exploring the complex world constituted through humanitarianism, and how that world is experienced by the many people who inhabit it, Feldman asks pressing questions about what it means for a temporary status to become chronic. How do people in these conditions assert the value of their lives? What does the Palestinian situation tell us about the world? Life Lived in Relief is essential reading for anyone interested in the history and practice of humanitarianism today.

 

Ilana Feldman, the author of Life Lived In Relief, is a Professor of Anthropology, History, and International Affairs at George Washington University. She is also the author of Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917–1967 and Police Encounters: Security and Surveillance in Gaza under Egyptian Rule.