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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.

Dr. Ümit Kurt, Polonsky Fellow, Polonsky Academy, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Jerusalem Institute Much of the literature on the destruction of the Ottoman Armenians tells the story of a state captured by a radical party that enforced genocidal measures throughout the land. Scholarship about genocidal activity at the local level, however is still in its infancy. The aim of this talk is to examine such activity on the Ottoman periphery, focusing on the district of Aintab (or Anteb) – modern-day Gaziantep. Drawing upon primary sources from Ottoman, Armenian, British and French archives, as well as from memoirs and personal papers, the first part of the talk examines the efforts of some of Aintab’s most prominent citizens to get the central government to expel the district’s Armenians. The second part of the argument focuses on events after the genocide.
Community College of Philadelphia Anna Viden Since the late 1940s the United States maintains a complicated relationship with Saudi Arabia. Our country’s economic and strategic interests are intertwined with those of Saudi Arabia. Due to this Saudi Arabia often is in the news and on social media. Consequently, Americans collectively have formed certain perceptions about the country and its political and economic policies and cultural facets. However, mainstream media and to some extent, social media often only present the voices of the political elite. Rarely do we get to hear the views of ordinary Saudi citizens.  Dr. Viden will fill these gaps in her lecture and help us look at Saudi Arabia from a different angle.       
Community College of Philadelphia, Room S2-3
Kaley Keener, Lecturer in Arabic, University of Pennsylvania The Arabo-Islamic empire is known for its many contributions to diverse fields such as philosophy, medicine, literature, and the sciences, yet the role that women played in these fields, as well as their agency in the greater medieval context, remains largely underrepresented and under-researched. By drawing on three roles occupied by Arabo-Islamic women: The Warrior, the Princess, and the Mystic, Kaley Keener will highlight the ways in which women participated in society throughout the medieval period, bearing broader implications for the role of the modern Arabo-Islamic woman.
Camden County College, College Drive, Blackwood NJ,08012-0200
Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher Thea Abu El-Haj, Asma Alkadi, Dahlia El Zein, Christine Nasserghodsi, Gareth Smail The Middle East Center invites you to Education in the Arab World: Challenges Past, Present & Future. In this conversation, moderated by the Penn Graduate School of Education's Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, a panel of experts will be discussing history, contemporary challenges, and future directions of education throughout the Arab World.
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