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islamic civilization and societies

Middle East Music Ensemble Concert

December 7, 2014

7:00 p.m., Gasson 100

Food will be served.  


ICS Faculty Student Reception 

December 2, 2014

6:00-8:00 p.m., Newton Room 


Makkah and Medina

November 6, 2014

5:00 p.m., Devlin 008

Prince Turki bin Faisal, Executive Director, King Faisal Foundation for Research, former Minister of Intelligence, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, former Saudi Ambassador to the UK and US.  


Careers in Government 

October 29, 2014

5:00 p.m., Higgins 300

Derrick T. Dortch is President of The Diversa Group, a global management and strategic consulting firm providing advice, services, and solutions to organizations and individuals to assist them achieve success. He is also the Director of Career Services at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC. 


Study Abroad in the Middle East Night

October 28, 2014

6:00 p.m., Stokes S295

Refreshments will be served. 


International Iranian Economic Conference

October 24-25, 2014

5:00-9:00 p.m., Heights Room


Jesuits between War and ‘Dilaogue between Civilizations’: China, the Indian Ocean, and the Islamic World in the 16th Century

October 23, 2014

5:00 p.m., McGuinn 121

Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, Chair & Professor of Middle East & Islamic Studies, NYU   

This talk presents and discusses the first encounter between Jesuits, based in the recently created Portuguese port in Macao, and the Muslims of Southern China from a global perspective. Taking the very first description of Cantonese Muslims by Father Matteo Ricci as its point of departure, this talk discusses how Chinese authorities understood the transition from a Muslim Dominated Indian Ocean to a one in which Europeans were becoming a rising power during the 16th century. Paying special attention to the history of Muslims in the port city of Canton, this talk also discusses the relationship between China the Muslims countries of the Indian Ocean in the centuries before European arrival and their cultural and political significance. It ends with a comment on the birth of the idea of "dialogue between civilizations" attributed to Matteo Ricci by 21st century observers and role of Islam.


Taner Akcam, The Anatomy of Religious Cleansing: Non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire

October 22, 2014

7:00 p.m., 117 Lake St., Room 113


Rumi Night on the Heights

October 10, 2014

7:00 p.m., Heights Room, Corcoran Commons


Ottoman Facebook: The Private and Public Personas of the Last Ottoman Sultans

October 9, 2014

5:00 p.m., Higgins 300

Peter Constantine, literay translator. A slide show and commentary of his rare photograph collection will be featured. 


Persian Musicians, Evening of Traditional Music

October 6, 2014

7:00 p.m., Gasson 100


Film Screening of Nacer Khemir's Bab' Aziz

September 30, 2014

7:00 p.m., Fulton 511

A visual poem of incomparable beauty, this masterpiece from director Nacer Khemir (Wanderers of the Desert ) begins with the story of a blind dervish named Bab’Aziz and his spirited granddaughter, Ishtar. Together they wander the desert in search of a great reunion of dervishes that takes place just once every thirty years. With faith as their only guide, the two journey for days through the expansive, barren landscape. To keep Ishtar entertained, Bab’Aziz relays the ancient tale of a prince who relinquished his realm in order to remain next to a small pool in the desert, staring into its depths while contemplating his soul. As the tale of the prince unfolds, the two encounter other travelers with stories of their own – including Osman, who longs for the beautiful woman he met at the bottom of a well, and Zaid, who searches for the ravishing young woman who fled from him after being seduced by his songs. Filled with breathtaking images and wonderful music, Nacir Khemir has created a fairytale-like story of longing and belonging, filmed in the enchanting and ever-shifting sandscapes of Tunisia and Iran.

Followed by Q&A with the director. 


 T.V. Paul, "Pakistan: The Warrior Nation"

Wednesday, April 23

Time and venue TBA

T.V. Paul is James McGill Professor of International Relations in the department of Political Science at McGill University. He is the author or editor of 15 books, including most recently The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World, "an insightful and harsh portrait of a dysfunctional nation" (Kirkus Review). This event will include a book-signing.


Alexander Cooley, "The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia"

Thursday, April 3

5pm, Higgins 300

Alexander Cooley is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. His most recent book, Great Games, Local Rules, has been described in the New York Review of Books as "the most lucid and well-written account to date of America's ten-year involvement in Central Asia."


 Eric Bordenkircher, "Turning Lebanon into an Arab Hanoi: The Cairo Agreement of 1969"

Monday, March 24

5.30pm, McGuinn 121

Eric Bordenkircher is Associate Professor at UCLA. He is an expert on the politics of Lebanon, and recently published "Kings, Queens, Rooks and Pawns: Towards Deciphering the Lebanese Political Chessboard” in the Review of Middle East Studies.


Zilka Siljak, "Muslim Women and Politics"

Thursday, March 20

5pm, Higgins 300

Zilka Siljak is Visiting Lecturer on Women’s Studies and Islamic Studies at the Harvard Divinity School. An independent scholar from Bosnia, her research and activism focuses on the nexus of human rights, religion, politics, education, gender, and peace-building.


Michael Sells, "The Religion of Love in the Poetry of Ibn Zaydun and Ibn al-Arabi"

Tuesday, March 11

5pm, Higgins 300

Michael Sells is is the John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. His book Approaching the Qur'an is a major event in religious publishing. Professor Sells has captured the complexity, power, and poetry of the early suras of the Qur’an, the sacred scripture of Islam.


Evyenia Sidereas, “Careers, Internships and Fellowships at the US Department of State”

Evyenia Sidereas is the current Diplomat in Residence at Tufts University. She joined the Foreign Service in 1999 and has held a wide variety of positions in Washington, D.C. and at U.S. diplomatic missions overseas.

Monday, March 10

5pm, Fulton 220


 The Frontier Gandhi film screening with director Teri McLuhan

Wednesday, February 19

7pm, McGuinn Auditorium

Twenty-one years in the making, THE FRONTIER GANDHI: BADSHAH KHAN, A TORCH FOR PEACE tells the story of a remarkable Muslim peacemaker born into the Pashtun warrior society of the strategic North-West Frontier Province of the Indian subcontinent.


Sakena Yacoobi, "Women's Education in Afghanistan"

Tuesday, February 18

Time and venue TBA

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi is executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning, an Afghan women-led NGO that she founded in 1995. She was the winner of the 2013 Opus Prize, an award that "honors unsung heroes of any faith tradition with a $1 million award for efforts to solve today's most persistent and pressing global issues, including poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease, and injustice."


Ambassador William Rugh, “American Public Diplomacy in the Middle East from Bush 41 to Obama”

Wednesday, February 12

4.30pm, Gasson 305

Ambassador William Rugh is the Edward R. Murrow Visiting Professor of Public Diplomacy at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and the Deputy Chief of Mission in Syria. Dr. Rugh is the author or editor of several books on U.S. foreign relations and the Arab world, including The Practice of Public Diplomacy (2011) and Front Line Public Diplomacy (forthcoming, 2014).


Orkestra Marhaba

Thursday, February 6

7pm, Gasson 100

Orkestra Marhaba is a Turkish music ensemble. The group was formed to introduce classical and jazz audiences to the Eastern Makam (modal) tradition.


Jason Lyall, “How State Violence Affects Public Attitudes in Afghanistan” 

Tuesday, January 28

5pm, Higgins 300

Jason Lyall is Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University, and Technical Adviser for USAID’s Measuring the Impact of Stabilization Initiatives (MISTI) project in Afghanistan. His research focuses on violence and its effects in both conventional and guerrilla wars, with emphasis on Afghanistan and Russia’s Northern Caucasus (particularly Chechnya).


Alumni Reception and Networking Event

December 13
Army-Navy Club, Washington DC


Austin Long, "Counterterrorism and Containment: Security Challenges in Afghanistan after 2014"

November 6
5:00 p.m. lecture, Devlin 008

Austin Long is Assistant Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs and a member of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. His research interests include low-intensity conflict, intelligence, military operations, nuclear forces, and military power.


Dr. Khalil Shikaki

October 30
5:00 p.m. lecture, Devlin 008

Dr. Shikaki is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, Ramallah.

He has conducted more than 150 polls among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since 1993. His recent publications include Palestinian Public Opinion and the Peace Process: Long Term Trends and Policy Implications (US Institute of Peace, 2005) and Palestinian and Israeli Public Opinion (Indiana University Press, 2010). His work has appeared in Arab, American, European and Asian publications, including al Sharq al Awsat, al Quds, al Ayyam, Daily Star, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Le Stampa, and La Vanguardia.


"The Gatekeepers"

October 28
6.30 p.m., Higgins 300

Join the ICS community for a viewing and discussion of this award-winning film about Israel’s Secret Service.

Refreshments will be served.


ICS Information Session with Evyenia Sidereas

October 24
5:00 p.m., Stokes S195

Evyenia Sidereas is a Department of State Representative and Diplomat in Residence for New England.


Middle East Night

October 23

“Middle East Night” is an opportunity for students to hear from their peers about their time studying in the Middle East, North Africa, or Islamic states.  Students’ presentations offer unique insights into how to pursue researching and studying in the MENA region and what types of projects to pursue while abroad.


Rumi Night on the Heights

Friday, October 18
7:00 p.m., Heights Room

“Rumi Night” is an inspiring evening of the poetry of Jalaladdin Rumi read by acclaimed Rumi interpreter Peter Rogen, accompanied by Amir Vehab, internationally known Sufi musician on traditional instruments, and the whirling dance of Sufi dervishes.


Ambassador Ford Fraker

Thursday, October 17
6:00 p.m. lecture, Cadigan Atrium

Ambassador Fraker, former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of private investment banking firm Trinity Group Limited, was appointed Senior Advisor to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. in May 2009 and Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa division in December 2009.  He has more than 30 years’ experience as an investment banker and consultant in the Middle East and we are excited to welcome him to BC to speak on his experiences.


Vali Nasr, "The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat"

Wednesday, October 9
5.30 p.m. lecture

Vali Nasr is Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Dr. Nasr is a Middle East scholar, foreign policy adviser and commentator on international relations whose most recent book, The Dispensable Nation, deals with the implications of the Obama administration's foreign policy on American strategic interests. This event will include a book signing by the author. It is co-sponsored by the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College.


Tunisian Musical Performance

Tuesday, October 1
7:00 p.m., Gasson 100

Tunisian singer Sonia M’barek, and 'Ud player Kinan Idnawi will enlighten the BC community on the history and culture of musical trends in Northern Africa in their hybrid lecture/performance.


Thomas Barfield, "Afghanistan Approaches 2014: Transition or Drop Dead Date?"

Monday, September 30
5:00 p.m. lecture, Higgins 300

Thomas J. Barfield is Professor of Anthropology at Boston University, where he is also the Director of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations. A leading expert and scholar of Afghanistan, he has served as the Director of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies (AIAS) since 2005 and a past president of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS). Professor Barfield is the author of several books and numerous scholarly articles on Afghanistan. His most recent work, Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History (Princeton University Press, 2010), was designated as the Outstanding Academic Title on Middle East & North Africa by the American Library Association.


Introduction to the World's Music course

Friday, September 27: Persian Music Demo
First at 1:00 p.m., second at 3:00 p.m.
Lyons Hall, Room 423

Nima Janmuhammadi (NEC); Kemanche, Setar

The Introduction to the World's Music course, taught by our newest faculty member, Professor Ann Lucas, will be hosting a couple of demonstrations of music from the Middle East. Students and faculty from the BC community are welcome to join the class to hear these interesting music traditions, and ask musicians questions about them.


"Music of the Middle East" series with Professor Ann Lucas

Wednesday, September 18: Arab Music Demo
First at 1:00 p.m., second at 3:00 p.m.
Lyons Hall, Room 423

Jamal Sinno, Qanun; Ann Lucas, Nay; Malcolm Barsamian, 'Ud; Tareq Rantisi, Drums


Unlocking Islam in Africa

Wednesday, October 24, 6:00 p.m.
Fulton 425


The Boston Palestine Film Festival

October 5th-13th


Muslim Superheroes: The Creator of "The 99"

Wednesday, October 24, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Devlin 008


Rumi Night on the Heights

Thursday, Octobor 25, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
Lannon Chapel - St. Ignatius Lower Church, BC


"Revolution, Electoral Politics, and the Future of Democracy in Tunisia"

Monday, October 15, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Higgins 300


"Middle East Night: Funding Research Abroad"

Thursday, October 11, 6:00 p.m.
Gasson 305


"America, the Middle East, and Online Debate"

Thursday, October 11, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Gasson 209


"Syria: The Struggle for Justice and Freedom"

October 3, 6:30 p.m., AIC Center on Newbury Street
A brave presentation by actual Syrian rebels concerning the state of the revolution.


"My Prison, My Home: One Woman's Story of Captivity in Iran"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
3:00-4:15 p.m.
Gasson 100


 "Afghanistan on the Brink: Elections and Legitimacy"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
4:30–6:30 p.m.
Higgins 300