Roger Owen, A.J. Meyer Professor of Middle Eastern History Emeritus and a former CMES director, first encountered the Middle East as a young soldier during his national military service in Cyprus from 1955 to 1956, during which time he visited Cairo, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Beirut. He has lived and traveled throughout the region, and spent his academic and professional life at Oxford and Harvard, where he taught, studied, made friends, and tried to understand the Middle East through its politics, economic life, history, and popular culture. He kept an almost daily journal recording his thoughts and feelings, and since 1986 wrote a regular op-ed column for the Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat.… Read more about The Book of Roger
In summer 2016, Margaux Fitoussi, an MTS candidate at Harvard Divinity School, curated a multimedia exhibition in Tunis about the Hara, the city’s historic Jewish neighborhood, centered around a collection of photographs from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In November at CMES, she assembled a smaller version of the exhibition, premiered EL HARA, a short documentary film about the Hara co-directed with her friend Mo Scarpelli and featuring an interview with the celebrated writer Albert Memmi, and gave a talk about the original exhibition in Tunis and viewers’ reactions to it.… Read more about Nostalgia, Memory, Place: Margaux Fitoussi on the Hara of Tunis
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.
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."
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.