Faculty News

Roger Owen at CMES

Roger Owen, My Mentor and My Friend

August 1, 2019

It is impossible to sum up the life of Professor Roger Owen in a few paragraphs; even Roger found it difficult to edit his life in his wonderful memoir. I will focus on being his student and then his friend, and how he taught me how to pass forward his special brand of mentoring.

As a graduate student working on the history of Egypt and Sudan, I made my pilgrimage to Oxford to see Roger and Albert Hourani and receive their wisdom on my project. Albert enjoyed its potential but Roger told me in no uncertain terms that it was too big and would be very difficult (I would like to...

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Rosie Bsheer Mecca keynote

Reflecting on the Many Faces of Mecca, the Lived City

June 28, 2019

“Mecca is lived, experienced, and documented differently by different people,” began Rosie Bsheer, Assistant Professor of History at Harvard and author of the forthcoming “Archive Wars: Spectacle, Speculation, and the Politics of History in Saudi Arabia,” in her keynote address to the colloquium Mecca: The Lived City, hosted by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies in May.

Mecca is characterized by plurality. In two days of lectures, speakers drew on academic, professional, and personal experiences to explore disparate visions of Mecca. The city’s social,...

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Village of Roussillon summer 2018

Arab and European Interactions in Aix-en-Provence

January 25, 2019

In summer 2018, Gordon Gray Professor of Arabic and CMES Director William Granara, along with Khaled al-Masri, Associate Professor of Arabic at Swarthmore, led undergraduates on a Harvard Summer School program in Aix-en-Provence, France. The program, which Granara has led for several years, brings together students of Arabic and French language and culture to examine historical, literary, and cultural aspects of Arab and European interactions in the colonial and postcolonial eras. Andrew Aoyama ’21 wrote about his experience on the trip.... Read more about Arab and European Interactions in Aix-en-Provence

Roger Owen

Professor Roger Owen Has Passed Away

December 26, 2018

To the members of the CMES family:

I write to convey the very sad news that our colleague, teacher, and friend Roger Owen passed away last Saturday. Roger was a towering figure in Middle Eastern studies and a much beloved patriarch for all of us at Harvard’s CMES. At this time, his family is making arrangements, and I write to let you know we will celebrate his life, his scholarship, and his legacy in mid-February.

May he rest in Peace.

William Granara
Director, CMES

Ana Sortun, Cemal Kafadar, Bedriye Poyraz

In the Kitchen with Kafadar

September 13, 2018

“Speaking about food or looking at old menus to explain the way culinary culture changes is one thing,” says Cemal Kafadar, Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies. “Hands-on exposure is another.” And so one evening in April, Kafadar led students in his course History 1878B: Ottoman State and Society, along with guests including CMES Visiting Researchers Bedriye Poyraz and Nil Tekgül, out of the classroom and into an industrial kitchen beneath freshman dining facility Annenberg Hall. There, under the guidance of acclaimed chef Ana Sortun—whose Cambridge-area restaurants Oleana, Sofra...

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Tarek Masoud

Tarek Masoud Named New Faculty Chair of Harvard Kennedy School’s Middle East Initiative

June 18, 2018

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs today announced that CMES Steering Committee member Tarek Masoud, Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations, will serve as faculty chair of the Belfer Center’s Middle East Initiative. Masoud succeeds Nicholas Burns, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations. Read the complete...

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Said Hannouchi

Multilingual Education in Morocco: Back to the Future?

January 19, 2018

"Language education in Morocco reflects a complex interplay between ethnic diversity/identities, political interests, and language ideologies and attitudes," writes Said Hannouchi, Preceptor in Arabic in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. "Economic realities and development in Morocco’s particular context also play a significant role in shaping education policy broadly, and language policy specifically. Above all, any discussion of the status of language education policy in Morocco must be conducted against the backdrop of the country’s historical experience with...

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