News & Multimedia

At the El-Zitouna Mosque in the Medina of Tunis

In the Shadow of History: A Summer in Tunisia

August 15, 2022

In the summer of 2022, after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies’ five-week Arabic language program in Tunis made its long-awaited return. Led for a fifth time by the Gordon Gray Research Professor of Arabic and outgoing CMES Director William Granara, the program synthesized modern Tunisian history, literature, and culture through various texts dating from the early-twentieth-century pre-Independence period to the contemporary, post-Revolution setting. Nicolas Pantelick ’24, a joint NELC and government concentrator pursuing a concurrent AM degree...

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New Horizons in Kurdish History Lecture Series

July 18, 2022

In the last decade, Kurdish history has become an exciting arena of scholarly inquiry in Ottoman and Middle Eastern studies. Showcasing this emerging literature was the main goal of the New Horizons in Kurdish History lecture series that Cemal Kafadar, Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies, and I organized for spring 2022. Professor Kafadar and I initially formed the idea in his basement office at Robinson Hall during one of our regular meetings in fall 2021, when I worked as a Teaching Fellow for his Ottoman history survey course. Over the course of the semester, we brainstormed about...

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Ahmad Mahdavi Damghani, William Graham, William Granara 2012

Roy Mottahedeh Remembers Ahmad Mahdavi Damghani

July 7, 2022

Professor Ahmad Mahdavi Damghani, who taught part-time as an associate at Harvard University from 1987 to 2014, died on June 17, 2022 (13th of Shahrivar, 1305). He was born on September 5, 1926, in the shrine city of Mashhad, where his father, Ayatollah Shaykh Muhammad Kazim Damghani, was a distinguished cleric. He pursued both a secular and a Shi‘ite clerical education in the schools of Mashhad. Afterwards he studied at the University of Tehran, where he received a PhD in Islamic theology and in Persian literature. Subsequently, he was appointed Professor in that university, both in the...

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Cooperson Gibb 2022 group

The Gibb Lecture Series 2022: Two Talks by Michael Cooperson

May 27, 2022

Hacı Osman Gündüz, PhD Candidate, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

After two years of dormancy due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hamilton A. R. Gibb Lecture Series was back in action in March 2022. The series is the tāj (crown) of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, as CMES Director William Granara, Gordon Gray Professor of the Practice of Arabic, described it. The series was established in 1964 with funds provided by John Goelet, who was a student of Sir Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb (d. 1976), the former James Richard Jewett Professor of Arabic and University Professor at Harvard University. This year’s guest speaker was Michael Cooperson, Professor of Arabic and the University of California, Los Angeles, who is the first speaker of the series to have completed all his higher education – AB ('87), AM ('91), and PhD ('94) – at Harvard.... Read more about The Gibb Lecture Series 2022: Two Talks by Michael Cooperson

Sihem Lamine with Yo-Yo Ma

Q&A with CMES Tunisia’s Sihem Lamine

May 9, 2022

Sihem Lamine is the Administrative and Program Manager of the Tunisia Office of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Prior to officially joining CMES, Sihem worked as a consultant for CMES and Harvard Global Research and Support Services and played a major role in the transformation of the office space in Tunis from an empty shell to a functional and beautiful multi-purpose facility. For over six years she has been welcoming students, faculty, and visitors to the office, the city of Tunis, and the country of Tunisia, facilitating research projects, organizing public events, and generally helping visitors navigate and enjoy the resources and opportunities that Tunisia has to offer.... Read more about Q&A with CMES Tunisia’s Sihem Lamine

JMEPP Spring 2022 cover

Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy, Spring 2022 Edition

April 8, 2022

The Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy (JMEPP) is an online student-run policy journal, published at the Harvard Kennedy School. Founded in 2011, JMEPP presents cutting-edge analysis on the contemporary Middle East and North Africa. JMEPP presents new perspectives on pressing problems, addressing complex issues with insightful analysis, and exploring emerging trends shaping the region. JMEPP's audience, composed of policymakers, academics, and more casual readers, is interested in policy writing that is forward-thinking, empirically grounded, and accessible....

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