Courtesy of Laura Rostad

NEWS & EVENTS

The Middle East Center at Penn sponsors and supports programs and initiatives across the disciplines and professional schools, and runs a dynamic outreach program in the Delaware Valley. Faculty and students at Penn are also active and prominent in the field of Middle East studies, making significant and highly regarded contributions to scholarly output in their areas of interest. We will continue to update news of the Center's activities and highlight the achievements of our faculty and students here.

Dec
2
Ciruce Movahadi-Lankarani Ciruce Movahadi-Lankarani is a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. Ciruce is interested in Iranian understandings of the modern world and how those notions were shaped by encounters with scientific knowledge and technological objects. Toward that end he not only studies the society and culture of modern Iran but also the global contexts of modernizations, development, and the production of scientific knowledge. 
3:30pm
Fisher-Bennett 016
Nov
24
Dr. Gal Levy, Visiting Israeli Professor in Jewish Studies, University of Kansas This lecture will focus on changes to citizenship since the monumental protests of the Arab Spring.   Gal Levy is the Visiting Israeli Professor in Jewish Studies at the University of Kansas, and a senior teaching faculty & researcher at the Open University, Israel. Gal has published on the relationships between education, ethnicity, religion and citizenship in both Jewish and Palestinian societies in Israel. His chapter on Contested Citizenship of the Arab Spring and Beyond has recently been published in The Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies (edited by E. F. Isin & P. Nyers, 2014).   Please click on flyer for details.
5:15pm
Stiteler Hall B21
Nov
20
Dr. Rami Khouri (American University of Beirut) Dr. Rami Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and US citizen whose family resides in Beirut and Nazareth. He is the founding Director, and now senior public policy fellow, of the Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. In 2006 he was the co-recipient of the Pax Christi International Peace Award for his efforts to bring peace and reconciliation to the Middle East. He was a Nieman journalism fellow at Harvard University and recently served for four years on the international advisory board of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
2:00pm
Penn Graduate School of Education Room 200
Nov
16
Conference "Judaism in Islamic Studies, Islam in Jewish Studies: Reflections and Surface Tensions." Please see click on the flyer for details. 
10:00am
Van Pelt Library, 6th Floor, 3420 Walnut Street
Nov
6
Dr. Amel Mili, Director Lauder Arabic Language & Culture Program, Wharton School This talk discusses the role of women in shaping the Tunisian revolution and in influencing the transition to democracy.
5:15pm
Fisher-Bennett Hall 231
Nov
4
Dr. David Powers (Cornell)   David S. Powers (Ph.D., Princeton, 1979) is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and long-suffering Cleveland Indians fan. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1979 and began teaching at Cornell in the same year. His courses deal with Islamic civilization, Islamic history and law, and classical Arabic texts, and his research focuses on the emergence of Islam and Islamic legal history. He is founding editor of the journal Islamic Law and Society.
5:00pm
Class of 1955 Conference Room 241 Van Pelt Library
Nov
3
Elias Saba, PhD Candidate in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations     Saba will present a study of a short, 20th century, Mauritanian manuscript about Arabic rhetoric. The manuscript is Nouakchott, InstitutMauritanien de Recherches Scientifiques [IMRS], Nr. 2629, a microfilm of which can be found in the Oriental Manuscript Resource (OMAR) database at the University of Freiburg. This manuscript is an autograph copy of al-Risāla fī tamyiẓ bayn al-ḍād wa-l-ẓāʾ by Abū Madyana ibn Sulaymān al-Daymānī. Based on the title, one would expect this work to discuss aspects of confusion regarding the letters ḍād and ẓāʾ, either in usage or pronunciation. The manuscript, however, contains a discussion of Arabic rhetoric, focusing on styles of wordplay, double, puns, and more. My paper will position this manuscript within the tradition of classical Arabic rhetoric, the history of books and book circulation in West Africa, and the particular heritage that Abū Madyana envisioned.   MEC Graduate Colloquium 14-15
3:30pm
Towne Building 303
Oct
30
Thursday, October 30 @ 7:00pm | Israel Zaytoun | Eran Riklis, 2012 Free admission and open to all. For complete Film Festival Schedule see Cinema Studies
7:00pm
International House, 3701 Chestnut Street
Oct
29
Tuesday, October 28 @ 8:00 pm | Afghanistan The Patience Stone | Atiq Rahimi, 2012 Free admission and open to all. For complete Film Festival Schedule see Cinema Studies
8:00pm
International House, 3701 Chestnut Street
Oct
29
Dr. Hocine Fetni, Assistant Dean for Advising, College Office Dr. Mehmet Darakcioglu, Associate Director, Middle East Center College Major Dinners and More Program Please join us for a dinner at Kings Court English College House get to know fellow students in Modern Middle Eastern Studies Program and other Penn students who are interested in learning about the MMES program. Dr. Hocine Fetni (Assistant Dean for Advising, College Office) and Dr. Mehmet Darakcioglu (Associate Director, Middle East Center) will be in attendance.    This is an RSVP event and you can to register by clicking on the link below. https://www.college.upenn.edu/events/major-dinner-modern-middle-eastern-studies
6:00pm
Kings Court English College House
Oct
29
Wednesday, October 29 @ 5:30pm | Syria Return To Homs | Talal Derki, 2013 Free admission and open to all. For complete Film Festival Schedule see Cinema Studies
5:30pm
international House, 3701 Chestnut Street
Oct
28
Wednesday, October 29 @ 8:00pm | Iraq Before Snowfall | Hisham Zaman, 2013 Free admission and open to all. For complete Film Festival Schedule see Cinema Studies
8:00pm
International House, 3701 Chestnut Street
Oct
28
Tuesday, October 28 @ 5:30pm | Iran Closed Curtain | Jafar Panahi and Kambuzia Partovi, 2013 Free admission and open to all
5:30pm
International House, 3701 Chestnut Street
Oct
27
Monday, October 27 @ 7:00pm | Palestine Write Down, I Am An Arab | Ibtisam Mara’ana Menuhin, 2013 Free admission and open to all. For complete Film Festival Schedule see Cinema Studies
7:00pm
International House, 3701 Chestnut Street
Oct
24
Omar Kholeif and Judith Barry   Join Slought and the University of Pennsylvania Cinema Studies Program and Middle East Center on Friday, October 24, 2014 at 6:30pm. This illustrated conversation with Omar Kholeif and Judith Barry will explore the public’s relationship to image production and distribution in an era of global uprising, and the artist’s role as an agent for social, political and affective discourse within this increasingly contested field. This conversation at Slought has been organized in conjunction with Judith Barry’s exhibition ...Cairo stories, which is a series of short video monologues created from a collection of more than 200 interviews Barry conducted with Cairene women between the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution in 2011. The selection of stories chronicles personal experiences of women from a variety of social and economic classes in Egypt and expands the artist’s concerns with notions of representation, history, subjectivity, and translation — particularly as these ideas circulate across cultures.   For more information on Cairo stories please click here.  
6:30pm
Slought @ 4017 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA
Oct
24
Conference will feature esteemed scholars including Nancy Khalek of Brown University,  Gregory Starrett of University of Noreth Carolina, Aaron Hughes of the University of Rochester and Robert Morrison of Bowdoin College. The afternoon programming will bring together Jamal J. Elias and Terenjit Sevea of the University of Pennsylvania, and Laurie Margot Ross of Cornell University and Shahzad Bashir of Stanford University. It promises to be a very strong program examining Islamic Authenticity.
9:30am
Meyerson Conference Room, Van Pelt Library, 2nd Floor
Oct
22
Dr. Beth Baron Speaking about her latest book, The Orphan Scandal, Dr. Baron will discuss her research about Christian missionaries who came to Egypt to convert and provide social services for children. Learn how their actions ultimately inspired the development of the Muslim Brotherhood and similar Islamist groups. Beth Baron specializes in Middle Eastern history. She has written on women's movements, gender and nationalism, and social politics in Egypt. Grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Woodrow Wilson Foundation have supported her research. She co-founded and now co-directs the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center at the CUNY Graduate Center. MEMEAC sponsors lectures, workshops, and research on the Middle East, and has been awarded Ford Foundation and Department of Education Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages grants.
5:15pm
Stitler Hall B-26
Oct
18
Mohsen Namjoo A musical concert featuring Persian musician, Mohsen Namjoo, accompanied by the Al Bustan Takht Ensemble. Mohsen Namjoo is an Iranian artist, songwriter, singer, music scholar and setar (traditional Persian lute) player based in California. Born in 1976 in Torbat-e Jam, Iran, Namjoo began his musical training at the age of twelve, studying under Nasrollah Nasehpoor until the age of eighteen. In 1994 Namjoo began to study Theater and Music at the University of Tehran, where he was trained under Alireza Mashayekhi, Azin Movahed and other masters. Namjoo also studied Iranian folk music under Haj Ghorbane Soleimani. His unique music style resembles a patchwork of Persian classical poetry of Hafez, Rumi or Saadi with western music, namely rock, blues, and jazz. Hailed as “the Bob Dylan of Iran” by the New York Times, Mohsen Namjoo is a visionary artist who speaks for and touches the souls of today’s youth. Seamlessly blending the Classical with the Modern, the ancient with the current, Mohsen Namjoo is a true musical maverick.  See flier for tickets and more information.
8:00pm
Trinity Center for Urban Life, 22nd & Spruce St.,Philadelphia
Oct
16
Mohsen Namjoo Join acclaimed Persian musician Mohsen Namjoo for a discussion of music and the Middle East. Mohsen Namjoo is an Iranian artist, songwriter, singer, music scholar and setar (traditional Persian lute) player based in California. Born in 1976 in Torbat-e Jam, Iran, Namjoo began his musical training at the age of twelve, studying under Nasrollah Nasehpoor until the age of eighteen. In 1994 Namjoo began to study Theater and Music at the University of Tehran, where he was trained under Alireza Mashayekhi, Azin Movahed and other masters. Namjoo also studied Iranian folk music under Haj Ghorbane Soleimani. His unique music style resembles a patchwork of Persian classical poetry of Hafez, Rumi or Saadi with western music, namely rock, blues, and jazz. Hailed as “the Bob Dylan of Iran” by the New York Times, Mohsen Namjoo is a visionary artist who speaks for and touches the souls of today’s youth. Seamlessly blending the Classical with the Modern, the ancient with the current, Mohsen Namjoo is a true musical maverick.  Free.
6:30pm
The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
Oct
15
Christian Sahner Dr. Ronald Granieri, Lauder Institute and Dr. Heather Sharkey, NELC, University of Pennsylvania Please join us for book talk of note. Christian Sahner is the author of a new book, Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present, published by Oxford University Press.   To RSVP - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-happened-to-syria-tickets-13291656703
5:30pm
Irvine Auditorium 110 (Amado Room)
Oct
8
Omar Foda, PhD Candidate, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations MEC Graduate Student Colloquium 2014-15   Omar Foda will discuss the social, economic, and technological history of beer production in the period between the Free Officers Movement and the nationalization of the beer industry in 1963. Specifically, the talk will examine how two closely linked companies, Crown and Pyramid Breweries, pushed forward by the complex interactions of foreign and native entrepreneurs, managers, and workers, drove the beer industry’s growth in both the economic and cultural sphere. These interactions, which were characterized by both conflict and cooperation, were framed by the participants’ perception of technology’s relationship with modernity and its role in advancing Egypt.  
3:30am
Fisher-Bennett Hall 401