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November 27, 2018


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,, The Paris Review Daily,, 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.

Monday, April 30, 2018
12:00pm - 1:15pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

Ann Wainscott will join POMEPS to discuss her new book, Bureaucratizing Islam: Morocco and the War on Terror (Cambridge University Press, 2017) at the Elliott School for International Affairs, Room 505 from 12:00 pm- 1:15 pm.This innovative and insightful book examines how states in the Middle East and North Africa have responded to the War on Terror by investigating Morocco’s unique approach to counter-terrorism: the bureaucratization of religion. Morocco’s strategy unique relies on reforms that seek to transform the country’s religious institutions into tools for rewarding loyalty and discouraging dissent from religious elites. Through these measures they have limited opposition through an enduring form of institutional control, accommodating some of the country’s most virulent critics. This book will be of great use to researchers and scholars of Middle Eastern politics, and it will also appeal to those policymakers interested in security studies and counter-terrorism policies.

Ann Wainscott is an assistant professor of political science at Miami University in Ohio where she teaches Middle East politics. She is currently on leave to serve as the American Academy of Religion senior fellow at the United States Institute Institute of Peace (USIP). Prior to teaching at Miami, she taught at Saint Louis University for four years. She has conducted fieldwork in Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, and Mali. She earned a PhD from the University of Florida in 2013.

Limited copies of the book will be available for students

A light lunch will be provided

Please RSVP Here:

A concert co-hosted by The Middle East Policy Forum at the George Washington University and the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center
Friday, April 27, 2018

7:00pm - 9:00pm

School of Media and Public Affairs
Jack Morton Auditorium

Ziyad Al Harbi

Ziyad Al Harbi is an Oud player, Composer and Singer from the Sultanate of Oman. Member of the Omani Oud Hobbyist Association and East Strings Band. Ziyad started his Music career when he was 6 years old as keyboard player, and later started to play Oud and became one of the lead Oud players in Oman.

Ziyad has contributed in representing Omani Culture and Music with over 20 international shows all over the world and State of Art stages including the U.S. (The Kennedy Centre), Australia, The Netherlands, China, India, South Korea, and various Arab and GCC countries. In addition to various local TV shows and stage performances in Oman including Royal Operah House Muscat, Muscat Festival, Salalah Festival, Shado Al Maqam Festival and Sehr Al Sharq recital.

In 2014, he was awarded the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Medallion “GCC’s Youth Musician” by the Prince of Kuwait SHIEKH Subah Al-Ahmed Al Subah. In 2015, he was also awarded by the National Youth Committee of Oman for his Musical achievements. In 2017, Ziyad was awarded by the Omani Oud Hobbyist Association as “The best member” for the years of 2015 & 2016.
Wahab Al Dhanki

A player of Qanun (Zither), Wahab Al-Dhanki is a composer, arranger and Qanun Player from the Sultanate of Oman. He is a Member of the Omani Oud Hobbyist Association and East Strings Band.  He began his musical studies playing the guitar and piano, before discovering a talent for the Qanun and became the lead Qanun Player in the Sultanate. He has participated in many concerts organized by the association, and on a solo level he has performed for many cultural and educational organizations. Mr. Al-Dhanki has played internationally, including Russia, US, South Korea, China, France, Belarus, Greece, UK, Australia and Singapore in state of Art stages such as Royal Opera House Muscat and Russia Opera House. He was selected from the GCC region to perform in London Olympics. In 2010, he was awarded “Peace Keeper” Medal from the International Commission on Public Awards from UNESCO.

Idris Al Balushi

Idris Al Balushi is a Percussionist and Guitarist from the Sultanate of Oman. He is a Member of the Omani Oud Hobbyist Association and East Strings Band. He began his musical career in western music as a guitarist. After joining the association, he was exposed to oriental music percussions and developed his skills to become distinguished in both, oriental and western music. Mr. Al Balushi participated in many local shows and festivals accompanying many artists in their concerts. He also performed various international shows in US, China, Australia, Turkey and South Korea.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
3:30pm - 5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

Almost four decades after the Islamic Revolution in Iran fundamental challenges are confronting the religious establishment in the country. Economic hardship and endemic corruption together with the state’s inability to provide a clear agenda for the future have turned the majority younger generation in a country of over 80 million into protestors demanding change. In the realm of foreign policy pressure is also mounting on the Islamic Republic. There is now concerted effort in the West to change Tehran’s regional behavior particularly in Syria. Its missile program is also a point of contention in international policy circles.  How can the Islamic Republic deal with these internal and external threats? Can the religious framework provide a more promising future for its disillusioned people? How, if at all, can it justify a meaningful change in foreign policy without seriously compromising its ideological strongholds? Can any policy change, domestic or foreign, be put into effect through the present jurisprudential system? What possible changes could be on the horizon and how they may come about?
SM Farid Mirbagheri is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He is a Professor of International Relations and holds the Dialogue Chair in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus. His BA and PhD (International Relations) were received from Keele University, England.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
12:00pm - 1:30pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons

Join us for this panel discussion on how the two countries can manage their differences on critical international issues involving security, migration and trade. 
Joseph Bahout is currently a visiting scholar in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Harvey Feigenbaum serves as professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.  He is an expert on the political economy of Western Europe and a specialist on France.
Moderator: Kimberly Morgan serves as professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
3:30pm - 5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

Since its inception as a nation state from 1970, Oman’s expanding heritage industry and market for crafts and site fashions a distinctly national geography and a territorial imaginary. Material forms, and their circulation through institutional techniques of education and mass publicity that cultivates every-day civic virtues, new modes of religiosity and forms of marking time, defining the ethical actions necessary to becoming an Omani modern through the framework of tradition. In this lecture, Amal Sachedina explains how constructions of heritage in Oman as an iterable mode of representation generates a conception of history that leads to a distinctive Omani modernity and way of life.

Amal Sachedina is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University. She is a former research fellow at the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore (August 2015-Dec 2016) and was also the Aga Khan Visiting Professor for the Islamic Humanities at Brown University (Sep 2014-Aug 2015). She completed her doctoral degree in socio-cultural anthropology in December 2013 at UC Berkeley. Her research, now a book project, explores the material practices of making and reflecting on the past through examining the changing functions and roles of material objects and landscapes over the course of the 20th century at a time when the last Ibadi Imamate (1913-1959) pervaded the interior of what is now the Sultanate of Oman.


Saturday, April 14, 2018
9:00am - 3:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons

GW's Institute for Middle East Studies and World Affairs Council-Washington, DC Professional Development Workshop on Iran.

Register here:

Friday, April 13, 2018
8:00am - 5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons Room 602

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel and of the Nakba, the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinian people that was part of this establishment. Our conferencetakes the occasion of the anniversary to reflect on the continuing effects of this experience. Panels will explore new directions in scholarship on 1948, the multiplicity of ways that Palestinians and Israelis remember and reckon with these events, and ongoing resonances of the Nakba in people’s lives today.

Please RSVP Here:

IMES Annual Conference 2018 - Nakba: Past and Present
Friday, April 13, 2018
Elliott School of International Affairs, Lindner Commons, Room 602
Conference Schedule
8:30-9:00: Light Breakfast
9:00-10:30: Keynote Address - Sherene Seikaly, UC Santa Barbara
How I Met My Grandfather: Archives and the Writing of History 
10:30-10:45: Coffee Break
10:45-12:15PANEL 1: New Directions in Scholarship on 1948
Chair: Shira Robinson, George Washington University
Shay Hazkani, UMD
Different Kinds of Return: Nakba and Independence through Personal Letters
Sreemati Mitter, Brown University
The Missing Municipality Cheque, and Other Stories From 1948: A Financial History of the Nakba
Leena Dallasheh, Humboldt State University
Despite the Nakba: Palestinian Nazareth in Israel 
12:15-1:00: Lunch
1:00-2:45Panel 2: Forms of Reckoning With The Nakba
Chair: Arie Dubnov, George Washington University
Diana Allan, McGill University
What Bodies Remember: Affective Histories in the Nakba Archive 
Michal Ran-Rubin, University of Chicago
Nakba and the Politics of Digital Witnessing: Coding the Geography of the Nakba in Cyberspace
Bashir Abu-Manneh, University of Kent
Nakba, Novel, Habiby
Hannan Hever, Yale University
From Revenge to Empathy: Abba Kovner from Jewish Destruction to Palestinian Destruction
2:45-3:00: Coffee Break
3:00-4:30:Panel 3: Resonances of the Nakba Today
Chair: Ilana Feldman, George Washington University
Emily McKee, Northern Illinois University
Beyond Recognition: Cultural Politics of Land Rights in the Naqab 
Amahl Bishara, Tufts University
Permission to Converse: Barriers to an Exchange Between Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank 
Anja Kublitz, Aarlborg University
The Rhythm of Nakba: Recursive Catastrophes among Palestinians in Denmark

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