In this episode of the Fares Center Podcast at the Fletcher School, Roger Owen, A.J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History Emeritus at Harvard and former director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, discusses his recently published volume of memoirs outlining his study of and perspectives on the Middle East, beginning with his first visits to Cairo, Beirut, and Jerusalem in 1955-1956.
Andreina Seijas, an incoming doctoral student at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, attended the April 7-8 symposium After Dark: Nocturnal Landscapes and Public Spaces in the Arabian Peninsula, jointly sponsored by the Aka Khan Program at the GSD and by Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies. In her Ciudades Sostenibles blog, Seijas writes about the challenges of urban design in the Arabian Peninsula, regarding especially the night-time urban landscape, that participants explored, and she speculates how some of the lessons learned and in progress in the Arabian Peninsula might apply to Latin American cities facing similar challenges.
On February 19, Sheida Dayani, Persian preceptor at Harvard University, participated in a panel discussion about Asghar Farhadi's Academy Award-winning film The Salesman, after a special showing at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Dayani has worked as an interpreter for Farhadi since 2011. The discussion was moderated by Vahdat Yeganeh, founder and artistic director of Boston Experimental Theatre, and also included Somy Kim, associate teaching professor in the Department of English Writing Program at Northeastern University. Read more about Video: "The Salesman" Discussion Panel
Brittany Landorf, an MTS candidate at Harvard Divinity School, participated in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies' 2017 winter session study excursion to Tunisia. "The trip reminded me why I love what I study so much, and I returned to campus this semester with renewed energy and new curiosity," Landorf writes. "Sometimes our classrooms can feel so far away from what we are studying (literally and figuratively); I think that immersive learning experiences like this are invaluable." Read more about her experience at the Harvard Divinity School Admissions Blog.
The future of America is as bright or as dark as the future of our immigrants. The battle over the travel ban echoes our history from the founding, slicing deep into the heart of American sympathies: Are refugees and migrants coming ashore to be seen as humble "guests of the nation" or as American as anyone, just for getting through the gate? In the February 9 edition of Open Source, host Christopher Lydon talks with Persian preceptor Sheida Dayani and others about the "who we are" question, between Immigration Nation and Fortress America, traversing all sorts of social, political, and historical terrains. Dayani also reads her poem "The Ordinary Man of this Neighborhood."
Lebanese-American artist Helen Zughaib's work is on display this month at CGIS, under the auspices of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Her paintings have been displayed widely in public collections, at the White House, the Library of Congress, and elsewhere; they often lend themselves to diplomatic optimism, even as they depict people in desperate situations: fleeing catastrophe in Syria, leaving home to emigrate to America, selling tiny items in the street to feed their families. Read more about The Everyday Dignity of Helen Zughaib’s Refugees
A crowd of Harvard affiliates filled Ticknor lounge Monday to hear performances celebrating Middle Eastern people and cultures following President Donald Trump’s executive order that suspended immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Read the story in the Harvard Crimson.
The Trump administration’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven majority Muslim nations from entering the United States for at least several months has stirred a hornet’s nest of concern internationally, including at Harvard. Among other actions, Harvard President Drew Faust unveiled a plan for Harvard to appoint a full-time Muslim chaplain, with a search committee to be chaired by Harvard Divinity School Professor and Committee on Middle East Studies faculty member Ousmane Kane. Read more in the Harvard Gazette.