CMES awarded a first prize and three honorable mentions in the 2016–17 Harvard College International Photo Contest for photos taken in the Middle East region. All photos were from students’ internships, language study, and travel in the summer of 2016. This year’s first prize went to Kami Choi (’17), a senior at the college pursuing a joint concentration in Government and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Choi interned at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency headquarters
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
This semester, CMES students Anna Boots, Chloe Bordewich, Blaire Byg, Alice Duesdieker, Eleanor Ellis, Ethan Mefford, Kim Quarantello, Hannah Riggs, and Becca Wadness participated in events to welcome Syrian refugees who have recently resettled in Lowell, Massachusetts. Read more about CMES Students Help Welcome Young Refugees
Joseph Ataman, AM candidate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, was awarded an Overseas Press Club Foundation Scholar Award at the Foundation’s 2017 Annual Scholar Awards Luncheon, held February 24 at the Yale Club in New York City. Rebecca Blumenstein, deputy managing editor of the New York Times, was the keynote speaker. Ataman was among 15 aspiring foreign
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.
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.
CMES AM candidate Amir H. Mahdavi, who is also a researcher at Brandeis University's Crown Center for Middle East Studies, writes in the Washington Post that, with the recent death of Iran's former president and leading moderate Hashemi Rafsanjani, many are concerned that current President Hassan Rouhani will be overpowered by the conservative religious establishment and a controlling Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. But Mahdavi says that Rouhani may in fact emerge stronger from Rafsanjani's death.
Kirkland House resident Nancy Ko, a joint concentrator in history and Near Eastern languages and civilizations, was one of four Harvard students named as 2016 Rhodes Scholars. Ko participated in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies' inaugural Winter Session study excursion to Turkey in January 2016.
Each summer, a number of CMES PhD, AM, and undergraduate students whose interests lie in the Middle East have the opportunity to travel to the MENA region for summer research and language study. A group of these students shared stories from their summer travels at the “CMES Summer in Review” event on Friday, September 16, 2016. In a fast-paced format, over a dozen students shared images and stories, and fielded questions from the audience. With the support of funding including CMES grants and fellowships, students strengthened their language skills, participated in internships