The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies supports events that increase awareness of the history and cultures of the Middle East and Muslim civilizations, and values diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding. Events listed here originate from a variety of campus units and community organizations. The listing of an event does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein.

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August 2018

Exhibition: ‘Reminders of Home: Persian Art Connecting Homeland and Diaspora’

August 22, 2018 - December 8, 2018
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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  Reminders of Home: Persian Art Connecting Homeland and Diaspora features select Persian artwork and artifacts that provide a glimpse into a culture that has cultivated an extensive legacy of art over the past 5,000 years. Many art forms have flourished through the millennia, including architecture, calligraphy, miniature painting, weaving, pottery, metalworking and sculpture. This exhibition explores Persian art through objects of everyday use borrowed from Iranian community members in North Carolina, as well as select reproductions from the Ackland Art…

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October 2018

World View K-12 Global Education Symposium

October 17, 2018 - October 18, 2018
Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599 United States
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  World View’s K-12 global education symposium is held each October at the William and Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill, NC. This day-and-a-half program explores significant global issues, offers best practices and resources in global education and provides educators an opportunity to develop a global action plan for their classroom, school or system. This program is designed to meet the global education needs of K-12 classroom teachers of all disciplines, administrators, media coordinators, other school professionals, central office and…

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Lecture: “Understanding the Arab Revolutions,” with Professor Asef Bayat (University of Illinois)

October 18, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

  The outbreak of the Arab uprisings created an unprecedented optimism about the future of democracy in the Arab world. But today, a strong sense of pessimism and despair surround the trajectory of these uprisings. Why did the Arab revolutions experience such trajectories? How do we understand the nature of the Arab Spring? Dr. Bayat’s presentation attempts to historicize the Arab revolutions comparing them with those of the 1970s notably the Iranian revolution of 1979. He suggests that what transpired…

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Performance: Oddisee – Building Bridges: Muslims in America

October 18, 2018 | 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Motorco Music Hall, 723 Rigsbee Ave
Durham, NC United States
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  Amir Mohamed el Khalifa, or the incisive rapper and elegant producer Oddisee, grew up in two worlds. The son of an African-American mother and a Sudanese father, he spent his weeks in affluent Maryland suburbs, and his weekends in tougher D.C. neighborhoods. To his Sudanese family, he was the exotic western cousin, raised on rap and big-city trappings; to his Washington family, he was the suburban Muslim nerd who watched too much news. That tension has made Oddisee a modern…

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Seminar: “Urbanity and Insurrection: Cities of the Arab Spring,” with Professor Asef Bayat (University of Illinois)

October 19, 2018 | 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

  The Arab uprisings took place primarily in the urban centers. What does the urban locus of the revolts tell us about their origins and dynamics? What aspects of urbanity render cities the spaces of contention? And why certain urban sites, streets or squares become, more than others, insurgent space? Focusing on some key cities in the region, Prof. Bayat will discuss the logic of contention in the urban Middle East and examine the dynamics of revolutionary mobilization in the…

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Seminar: Syria in Transition – A Dialogues Seminar

October 20, 2018 | 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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  The Civil War in Syria is one of the most complex conflicts in the Middle East, and few outsiders understand its origins or its wide-ranging effects on the people who live there. This special Dialogues seminar will examine the historical causes of the devastating Syrian violence and give particular attention to the plight of refugees who have fled the country or struggled with the massive internal displacements that have shattered Syrian communities and families. A distinguished historian of the…

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Book Reading with Visiting Writers Ruth Awad and Shadab Zeest Hasmi

October 20, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Carrboro Carrboro, NC United States + Google Map

Visiting Writers Ruth Awad (Lebanese-American) and Shadab Zeest Hasmi (Pakistani-American) will be reading from their works on Saturday, October 20 at 6:00 pm at the Century Center in downtown Carrboro.  They will be joined by Fatima Abdullah, the daughter of Palestinian and Chilean immigrants. Ruth Awad is an award-winning Lebanese-American poet whose debut poetry collection Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press 2017) won the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize and the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is the…

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Literature Workshop with Visiting Writers Ruth Awad and Shadab Zeest Hasmi

October 21, 2018 | 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Writing About Violence by Ruth Awad: When we look out at the world today, it is natural that we will inevitably write about violence and trauma. How do we handle these subjects without being a misery tourist, without adding to the violence by glamorizing or beautifying it? How can we write about violence without inadvertently contributing to it? Ruth Awad is an award-winning Lebanese-American poet whose debut poetry collection Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press 2017) won the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize…

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Presentation: “Afghanistan to Gaza: 21st Century Warfare” by Colonel Richard Kemp

October 23, 2018 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Christians United for Israel accompanied by other political groups on campus are hosting internationally known speaker and analyst, Colonel Richard Kemp. Col. Kemp was the commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and now testifies before the UN concerning Middle Eastern issues including the Gaza Conflict. Free admission for any students or faculty with valid ID from any university. No backpacks allowed. Not open to the public. Sponsored by Christians United for Israel. Union Auditorium UNC Chapel Hill

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Lecture: “Women of Daesh: Quests for Paradise, Empowerment and Adventure” with Professor Katherine Brown (University of Birmingham, UK)

October 24, 2018 | 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
West Duke 101, West Duke 101, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
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  Discussions about western women’s involvement with the violent terrorist group Daesh (also known as ‘Islamic State’) tend to focus on their exceptionality. We are reminded of how unusual it is to have such high numbers of women joining a group such as this; to have women publicly advocate for positions of authority and violence; and to have women ‘give up’ the trappings of a liberal western feminist lifestyle. The women are consequently doubly deviant and exceptional for their actions.…

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Performance: ATWA

October 24, 2018 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
White Lecture Hall, East Campus, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
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Known as ATWA, Ahmad Moustafa Kamel was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. He started rapping in 2006, and since has established himself as one of the foremost rappers in the Arab world. He won first place in the Tele Performance Egypt Talent Show 2 years in a row, appeared repeatedly on Egyptian National TV, and collaborated with the best-known rappers in the Middle East. His songs on Soundcloud were played more than 1 million time worldwide. Featured in numerous…

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Lecture: “Islam and the Musical Expression of Faith in Contemporary Senegal” with Prof. Samba Camara (UNC)

October 25, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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  Samba Camara is a Teaching Assistant Professor at the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies and serves as the Coordinator of the African Language Program at UNC’s African Studies Center. He holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts, with concentration in African literature and performance. Professor Camara’s teaching and research interests follow an interdisciplinary path, cutting across literature, film, and performance studies. He is currently working on two book projects. One is a monograph entitled, Beyond the Praise…

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Film Screening and Discussion: “Documenting the War in Afghanistan” with Meg Mackenzie Prior

October 25, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

Meg Mackenzie Prior is a combat photographer and filmmaker who has embedded with US Army Infantry, Combat Aviation, and Special Forces Units to record the missions and operations conducted by International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan beginning in 2010 with the Surge. Over the past 10 years, Meg has filmed and photographed US Military and the Afghan population with uncompromising clarity and attention to detail as to the nature of the conflict in Afghanistan. She has deployed with units for…

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Lecture: “Great Power Competition in Eurasia: the View from Azerbaijan” with Counselor Vugar Gurbanov (Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Azerbaijan, Washington, DC)

October 25, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:15 pm
Wilson Library, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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Vugar Gurbanov of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC, will talk about "Great Power Competition in Eurasia: the View from Azerbaijan." Mr. Gurbanov is a Political Counselor and Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Azerbaijan in the United States. He is a career diplomat who joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2005. Prior to his current position, V.Gurbanov worked at the Political-Military, Security Affairs and International Security departments of the Foreign…

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Public Talk: “Women, Prayer, Feminism & Modern Israel” with Lesley Sachs (Executive Director of Women of the Wall)

October 25, 2018 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

Lesley Sachs will speak about the struggle of "Women of the Wall": a group of Israeli women seeks the right for Jewish women to conduct prayer services, read from a Torah scroll while wearing prayer shawls, and sing out loud at the Western Wall- Judaism’s most sacred holy site. She will also discuss feminism in Israel, the tenuous situation at the Kotel and WOW's challenges and successes. This event is an important space to explore the intersection of faith and the state, the…

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Presentation: “Pay No Heed to the Rockets” by Marcello Di Cinto

October 31, 2018 | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Please join us Wednesday, October 31 for a talk by award-winning author Marcello Di Cinto. Di Cinto will speak about his exploration of the Palestinian experience through first-hand reporting about what art and literature mean to modern Palestinians. Di Cinto’s books will be available for purchase.  Light refreshments to follow.   This event is presented by Duke Human Rights Center @ the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Duke University Middle East Studies Center, the FOCUS program, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, the…

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November 2018

New Date – Film Screening: A Festival of Student Films from Palestine

November 3, 2018 | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

  Join Duke’s AMES 204FS in celebrating new student films from the West Bank and Gaza! 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 3 at the Center for Documentary Studies, 1317 West Pettigrew Street, Durham. The seven short films in our program include fiction and documentary, covering a variety of themes and settings. All are invited and the screening is free!   Sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies. For more information, please contact Nancy Kalow, nancy.kalow@gmail.com.   Center for Documentary Studies…

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Performance: Bassem Youssef: “The Joke is Mightier Than the Sword”

November 7, 2018 | 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Memorial Hall, 114 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill , 27599 United States
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  Dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab world, cardiothoracic surgeon Bassem Youssef created the first political satire show in the Middle East, earning millions of viewers every week. Now residing in California, he shares his wry observations on his own story, the current state of American politics, and how propaganda lays the foundation for dictatorial regimes. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit here.   Sponsored by Carolina Performing Arts.   Wednesday, November 7 | 7:30 p.m.…

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Public Conversation: Arabic Language Town Hall with Bassem Youssef

November 8, 2018
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

  CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio   Bassem Youssef invites members of the local Arabic-speaking community to join him in a town hall-style setting for a candid discussion of their experiences. Free and open to the public. For more information, please visit here.   Sponsored by Carolina Performing Arts.   123 W. Franklin Street, Building C UNC Chapel Hill

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World View Community College Symposium: “The Global Economy: The Future of Work” 

November 14, 2018 - November 15, 2018
Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599 United States
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  Organizations today are thinking differently about what it means to work. The global economy has greatly influenced this change in thought because exchanges by air, by sea and through technology serve to eliminate barriers that once existed. Physical location, language, culture and currency are all starting to become less difficult to navigate, yet their unique qualities remain important to acknowledge. As such, it is essential that educators explore the future of work so they can better prepare students to…

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March 2019

Performance: Brother Ali – Building Bridges: Muslims in America

March 7, 2019 | 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Motorco Music Hall, 723 Rigsbee Ave
Durham, NC United States
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  From his complicated backstory to his compelling rhymes, Brother Ali is a rapper without a rival. Albino and legally blind, he struggled to find peers in the midwestern states where he spent his youth. But in a pivotal moment at age eight, he found rap, which gave him an outlet and, through the references his favorite rappers made, led him to Islam. For twenty years, he has funneled these elements of his distinctive identity into increasingly profound verses, pairing…

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April 2019

Performance: Habibi – Building Bridges: Muslims in America

April 4, 2019 | 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Downtown Durham Durham, United States + Google Map

  Garage rock delivered in Farsi? That’s what Brooklyn band Habibi plays on Cardamom Garden, its delightful 2018 album. At the start of its finale, singer Rahill Jamalifard launches into a pepped-up rendition of “Green Fuz,” a garage-rock classic, with a bold proclamation rendered in Farsi: “Here we come, and we’re coming fast.” It’s a fitting declaration for a group committed to such surprising unions of cultures and styles. An unlikely juxtaposition of infectious surf pop and riff-heavy punk, imbued…

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