Center News

On November 2, the Middle East Center had the pleasure to host senior Brookings Institution scholar Shadi Hamid and Professor Ian Lustick from University of Pennsylvania for a spirited conversation around Shadi Hamid's and William McCant's edited volume Rethinking Political Islam.   

On Saturday October 7, 2017, Laura Zier-Ehrlich, the Associate Director of the Middle East Center participated in the MARAAS conference and the panel "A University Collaboration to Support Area Studies Programs: An Interdisciplinary World Perspective" organized by Drexel University.  

On Thursday Oct.26 Yalla, Penn's premiere Middle Eastern dance and drum troupe, gave a performance and belly dancing lessons at Platt Student Performing Art House.   

On Sunday Oct. 22 the Middle East Center was happy to co-sponsor the concert "Music and Tales of Home" which was hosted by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture in the Trinity Center of Urban Life in central Philadelphia. The concert featured the work of contemporary Syrian composers and comprised music and narrative that interveawed the sounds of home, both far and near. The photographer's name is Chip Colson. 

On October 12, the Middle East Center and the Kelly Writers' House hosted Orhan Pamuk, the 2006 Nobel Prize laureate in literature for a conversation with Ambassador Robert Finn at the Harold Prince Theatre at the Annenberg Center. The conversation was followed by a book signing. The same evening Orhan Pamuk made a well received book reading and presentation at the Kelly Writers' House. This was also followed by a book signing. 

Teacher Professional Development: Middle East Crossroads of Culture

On August 24, sixteen K-12 teachers participated in a professional development workshop on cultural heritage preservation in conflicts areas co-organized by the Penn Museum and the Middle East Center. The workshop featured a presentation by Dr. Laren Ristvet, one of the curators of the Crossroads of Culture exhibit, a visit of the exhibit and a hands-on workshop where the teachers experienced the meaning and the art of adornment in Mesopotamia.      


Penn PhD candidate and Pulitzer Student Fellow Gareth Smail is featured in Penn News for his Pulitzer Center article on multilingualism in Morocco. 

In "Morocco Embraces Multilingualism" Penn PhD- candidate and Student Pulitzer Fellow Gareth Smail reports from rural Morocco on the challenges and prospects of Morocco's new focus on language education.

See this link for the full article http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/morocco-embraces-multilingualism

Twenty K-12 teachers from the Greater Philadelphia Area participates in the Global Summer Institute

During the week of July 17-21, 2017, the Middle East Center, the South Asia Center, the Department of Africana Studies, the Center for East Asian Studies and Penn Museum, organized a workshop titled "Legendary Empires: Power, People & Politics: A Workshop for Teachers" on empires in the past and the present. Dr. Brian Spooner, Dr. Tuna Artun, Mr. Brahim El Guabli, Mr. David Dettman and Dr. Lee Cassanelli among others gave presentations from different regional perspectives on various aspects of of the ntion of empire. Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture gave a performance where they displayed Arabic and African music. Throughout the week, the teachers had the opportunity to engage with the speakers in Q&A. At the end of the week, the teachers were given time  to reflect on various questions related to the content of the workshop. They also gave presentations which adressed how they plan to incorporate the content of the workshop into their teaching. Participating teachers will receive Act-48 credit.     

Middle East Center Teacher Training Workshop on Migration 

On July 10, 2017 the Middle East Center organized a successful teacher training workshop on Migration in partnership with Center for Civic Responsibility and Leadership at Camden County College and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. Twenty-two teachers from various school districts in New Jersey participated in this daylong workshop. Mr. Nimrod Ben-Zeev (Department of History) and Dr. Salam al-Kuntar (Penn Museum Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Archeology) from the University of Pennsylvania and Robin Shulman (Freelance Journalist based in NYC) and Fareed Mostoufi (Senior Education Manager at the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting) gave presentations about various aspects of migration and discussed how they can be addressed in the classroom. The teachers had a chance to engage with the presenters during Q&A sessions after each presentation. Participating teachers will be receiving NJ Professional Development credit. 

Middle East Center Teacher Training Workshop on Islamophobia 

The Middle East Center continues to enhance knowledge about the region and support K-12 educators on important classroom issues. On June 27, 2017, the Middle East Center organized a successful teacher training workshop on Islamophobia in partnership with Center for Civic Responsibility and Leadership at Camden County College. Twenty-four teachers from various school districts in New Jersey participated in this daylong workshop. Dr. Jamal Elias (Department of Religious Studies), Dr. Cheikh Babou (Department of History), and Mr. Juan Castrillon (Department of Music) from the University of Pennsylvania gave presentations about various aspects of Islamic culture, history, society, and music. The teachers had a chance to engage with area studies experts during Q&A sessions after each presentation. Participating teachers will be receiving NJ Professional Development credit.