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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January 2019

Discussion: Black Muslim Talkspace presents #BeingBlackandMuslim

January 17, 2019 | 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Black Muslim Talkspace presents #BeingBlackandMuslim a discussion led by Dr. Jamilah Karim. At our normal Black Muslim Talkspace time we will be having a discussion led by Dr. Jamilah Karim. Food will also be served. Sponsored by Center for Muslim Life at Duke and Duke Islamic Studies Center. For more information, please visit here. Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture 404 Chapel Dr, Durham NC 27708 Duke University

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Cultural Event: A Masterclass in Iraqi Cuisine

January 23, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Join Duke Association for the Middle East's first event of the semester, A Masterclass in Iraqi Cuisine, January 23, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Chef's Kitchen! We have partnered with the local refugee community to bring in Umm Mustafa from Iraq to have a free, interactive cooking class in the Chef's Kitchen, cooking dolma and kibbah, two traditional dishes. This will be the first in a monthly series of culinary class events, highlighting different cuisines from the Middle East and North Africa. This will be first-come, first-cook. Parking can…

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Discussion: China’s Concentration Camps: What’s at Stake?

January 28, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Perkins Library, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

Credible reports have revealed that China has detained 1-3 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in internment camps, where they are forced to denounce their religion and ethnic identity. An Uyghur survivor of the camp system, Mihrigul Tursun, will provide testimony of her experiences. This event will shed light on the situation in East Turkestan/Xinjiang - specifically on China’s ethnic cleansing of Uyghurs, mass surveillance state, crackdown on religion, internment camps, a brief history of the region, as well as…

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Discussion: “Assessing the Fight Against ISIS: A conversation with Brett McGurk”

January 29, 2019 | 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm
Sanford Building, Room 04, Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Join AGS Director Peter Feaver for an evening conversation with Brett McGurk as they discuss the United States’ fight against ISIS. Serving as the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL from 2016-2018, McGurk led a global coalition of 68 members to coordinate all aspects of U.S. policy related to the ultimate destruction of ISIL. McGurk’s long tenure of government service spans numerous administrations -  His previous assignment was Deputy Special Presidential Envoy from September 2014 until…

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February 2019

Lecture: “Find True Love and Make it Last” with Haleh Banani

February 23, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Perkins Library, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

Learn what it takes to attract the right person to marry and make the love last a lifetime. How do we build and maintain healthy relationships? What is it we should look for in a partner? What are the current crises we're facing in marriages? Come and listen to Haleh Banani, a clinical psychologist with 20 years of experience, answer these questions and discuss relationships in Islam. Haleh Banani has her Master’s in Clinical Psychology with 20 years experience. She…

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Conversation: “Breaking the Cycle of Violence” featuring Michal Hochberg and Osama Elewat (Combatants for Peace)

February 27, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

On February 27th, at 6 PM in Social Sciences 139, J Street U brings to campus Combatants for Peace, a grassroots organization of Israelis and Palestinians that takes direct action to pursue mutual non-violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Each member has played a direct role in the cycle of violence in this conflict. We will be joined by Osama Elewat and Michal Hochberg from the organization, and they will spend time talking about CFP and their thoughts on the conflict,…

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Lecture: “Islam in the Modern World” with Omar Suleiman (Southern Methodist University)

February 28, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Join us for a discussion on what it means to navigate Islam in the modern world led by Imam Omar Suleiman! The talk will discuss how to navigate and overcome challenges faced by Muslims in America. It will be followed an interactive Q&A session. Omar Suleiman is an American Muslim scholar, civil rights activist, and speaker named one of "25 Muslims changing America" by CNN. He is the Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research professor of…

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March 2019

Lecture: “The Agony of Mosul Under and After ISIS: A Researcher’s Diary” with Noor Ghazi (UNC Greensboro)

March 1, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

Noor Ghazi is a graduate student in the Peace and Conflict Study Program at UNC-Greensboro. Her research interest is focused on refugee, war displacement, and immigrants. She had recently co-authored an article that was published on the Journal of Transdisciplinary Peace Praxis titled “Stuck Between War and Europe: Syrian refugees in Turkey”. She visited Mosul, the city in northern Iraq which was occupied by ISIS to film a documentary and shed light on life during and after ISIS. She was chosen to…

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Public Talk: “When the Exile Brings a Key” with Professor Maurice Ebileeni (Dept. of English and Literature at the U. of Haifa, Israel)

March 4, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rubenstein Library, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

The purpose of this presentation is to configure a poetics of Palestinian imaginings of return. Drawing on linguistically diverse memoirs, Ebileeni explores the conceptual tensions between national imaginings of “al-awdah” and their disruptive impact on virtual realizations of this desire, while simultaneously, revealing the authors’ culturally distinct experiences of exile. Palestinians’ points of departure may appear identical since they share conceptions of “home” that are deeply rooted in a unified national configuration of more or less similar memories or narrations,…

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Exhibit: “40 Years After: Posters from the Soviet-Afghanistan War”

March 7, 2019
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

This exhibit runs until March 29, 2019 and is part of the Visualizing Afghanistan program that takes place at Duke University from Feb 13-15, 2019. Hours of the exhibit are from 9AM-5PM, Monday thru Friday. Closed on weekends. Visualizing Afghanistan marks the fortieth anniversary of the Soviet invasion as well as the eighteenth year of the longest war ever waged by the United States. An exhibit of political posters from the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-89) reveals regional contestations among socialism, nationalism and Islamic…

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Workshop: Chinese Arabic Calligraphy with Haji Noor Deen

March 8, 2019 | 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Hajji Noor Deen Mi Guangjiang is an expert in Islamic calligraphy, specializing in the Sini style which originated from the Chinese Muslim tradition. Come learn the basics of calligraphy for FREE! You can also buy one of his art pieces and take it home as a gift for Spring Break. He will even write your name or the name of a loved one in this beautiful artistic style. Co-Sponsored by The Center for Muslim Life, Deen Arts Foundation, AMES Present, DISC,…

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Cultural Event: “Celebration of the Persian New Year, Nowruz”

March 9, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina & Persian Students Association at Duke University for a celebration of Nowruz. This event to celebrate the Persian New Year will feature original music by Siavash Pourfazli, Shahram Mazhari, and Hamed Tabkhi; Persian dance; choir; and readings from the Shahnameh. Free and open to the public. Space is limited; please be on time. The Duke Divinity School is located next to the main Duke Chapel; parking is available in the nearby garage next…

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Lecture: “The Challenge of Being an Afro-Italian Writer” with Igiaba Scego

March 18, 2019 | 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Smith Warehouse, Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Award-winning Italian author, academic, activist, and journalist, Igiaba Scego has produced wide-ranging work that plays a vital role in current debates on Italy's colonial past, its sexist and racist legacy, and the identity of Italians of African origins. It also raises the question of fiction's place in these discussions. Her parents came to Italy from Somalia and many of her works concentrate on the identities of a Muslim black woman in Italy. Her recent novel Adua reveals the connections between…

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Wednesdays at the Center: “Visualizing the Muslim Gandhi” with Professor Tim Dobe (Grinnell College) and Professor Sumathi Ramaswamy (Duke University)

March 20, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

Timothy Dobe and Sumathi Ramaswamy will present, compare and discuss several visual images of M.K. Gandhi, each of which embodies important dimensions of Islamic traditions.  They will consider, for example, images of Gandhi by the Indian Sufi writer, Khwaja Hasan Nizami from the 1920s, drawn during Gandhi's rise to fame, and by three iconic Muslim artists of modern India, who to are drawn to painting the Mahatma.  This interdisciplinary conversation will draw on material religious studies and the historiography of…

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Film Screening: A Camera, No Veil: Iranian Women and Demonstrations 1979

March 20, 2019 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Pink Parlor, East Duke Bldg, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

Please join us for a special screening of the feminist documentary "Mouvement de liberation des femmes iraniennes annee zero" about the Iranian Women's protests in March 1979 & conversation with the French feminist and correspondent for Le Monde, Claudine Mulard who documented the demonstrations which started on International Women's Day March 8, 1979. Co-Sponsored by The Trent foundation; the Literature Department; Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies; and FHI.  For more information, please visit here. Pink Parlor, East Duke Building Duke University…

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Conversation: “The Iranian Revolution and Women’s Demand for Freedom and Equal Rights” with Kateh Vafadari

March 27, 2019 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Pink Parlor, East Duke Bldg, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

Please join us for an hour-long conversation with Kateh Vafadari, one of the central organizers of the March 1979 women’s demonstrations which took place immediately after the Iranian Revolution. Kateh Vafadari is a veteran civil and political rights advocate, a defender of women’s rights, and a protagonist of independent socialist politics since the early 1970s.   The six day women's demonstrations she organized were the largest women’s action in the history of the Middle East. For more information, please visit here. Sponsored by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial…

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A Conversation with Hicham Alaoui

March 27, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Rubenstein Library, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

You are cordially invited to join Hicham Alaoui for a tea/coffee conversation with students and faculty on Wednesday, March 27 starting at 4 p.m. This conversation will occur the day prior to his public talk on the Arab Spring. Please feel free to come at any time between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Hicham Alaoui is a Research Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, specializing in issues of comparative democratization. He is currently working on two new research projects on the…

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Lecture: “The Arab World between Revolution and Counterrevolution” with Hicham Alaoui

March 28, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Pink Parlor, East Duke Bldg, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

The Pendulum in Motion: Seven years since the Arab Spring, the prospects for Middle East democracy have diminished markedly. Popular forces mounted uprisings but most didn't follow through. Authoritarians regrouped and reorganized themselves under the mantle of “enlightened despotism”, whose projects to deliver order and modernity masked a deeper effort to destroy opposition and atomize societies. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi exposes how this counterrevolutionary campaign has lost its footing. But the prospects for democracy remain precarious, particularly as democracy…

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Lecture: “At a Crossroads, A New Perspective on US Involvement in the Middle East” with Robert Satloff (Washington Institute)

March 28, 2019 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Sanford Building, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

AGS welcomes Robert Satloff, Executive Director of the Washington Institute for a conversation surrounding U.S. public diplomacy in the Middle East, U.S. policy toward democratization and reform in the Middle East and U.S. policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict. Sponsored by the Duke University Program in American Grand Strategy. For more information, please visit here.   Thursday, March 28 | 5:30 p.m. Sanford 05 Duke University

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April 2019

Lunch Talk: “Refugee Access to Higher Education through Digital Innovation” with Heba Ledwon

April 1, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Old Chem, Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Heba Ledwon is Head of Academic Partnerships at Kiron Open Higher Education, where she works on the connections between EdTech and policy-makers in the higher education sector. Topics that spark her enthusiasm include strategic partnerships for a digital transformation and open access to education and knowledge resources through digital solutions. She is also an expert in the field of integration of refugees into educational and labor markets. Heba Ledwon holds a Master degree from Freie Universität Berlin in the fields…

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In Conversation: Rahill Jamalifard and Lenaya Lynch of Habibi

April 3, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Downtown Durham Durham, United States + Google Map

Brooklyn-based rock band Habibi has made a name for itself through an infectious juxtaposition of surf pop and riff-heavy punk. In this free lunchtime conversation at The Pinhook in downtown Durham, Habibi frontwoman Rahil Jamilifard and guitarist Lenaya "Lenny" Lynch sit down with Negar Mottahedeh (Duke Program in Literature) for a wide-ranging discussion exploring the band's influences and embrace of Persian culture. Habibi's residency, part of Duke Performances' ongoing 'Building Bridges: Muslims in America initiative', will culminate in a full-band…

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Film Screening: Docunight #55 [Durham]: “October 13, 1937”

April 3, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

October 13, 1937 Directed by: Baktash Abtin | 2018 / 67 mins | Persian with English Subtitles “October 13, 1937” is a documentary about Iranian-Armenian maestro Loris Tjeknavorian, an Iranian Armenian composer and conductor. He is one of the most celebrated cultural figures in Armenia and Iran. Tjeknavorian himself said the film is about a mad person, and "I have always said that the mad people make the world and the wise ruin it". "When I was told they were…

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Symposium: “The Postcolonial Middle East”

April 4, 2019 - April 5, 2019
Rubenstein Library, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

The field of postcolonial studies remains a primary site of radical political and cultural critique within the global anglophone academy.  In response to the geopolitical conflicts and crises of our post-9/11 world, critics and scholars variously located within the field have in recent years begun to turn their attention towards ‘the Middle East’ as a crucial new area for postcolonial inquiry.  Prominent themes to have emerged in the scholarship on this area include the politics of neo-imperialism, terror, and warfare;…

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Short Films: MADVO Collection (Jacques Madvo)

April 8, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

In 2014, the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) received a donation of a 200-reel collection of the films and outtakes of local documentary filmmaker Jacques Madvo. Madvo travelled the world from the 1960s to the 1980s, shooting 16mm footage that made its way into the People and Places documentaries he produced for TVO. The footage is a treasure trove of documentation of international culture and life from almost a half-century ago. With the assistance of an Initiatives Grant…

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Wednesdays at the Center: “Political Islam, Justice and Governance”with Mbaye Lo (Duke)

April 10, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

“Political Islam, Justice and Governance” (Palgrave, 2019) argues that political Islam (represented by its moderate and militant forms) has failed to govern effectively or successfully due to its inability to reconcile its discursive understanding of Islam, centered on literal justice, with the dominant neo-liberal value of freedom. Consequently, Islamists’ polities have largely been abject, often tragic failures in providing a viable collective life and sound governance. This argument is developed theoretically and supported through a set of case studies represented…

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Public Talk: “Black Muslim Talk Space: Sacred Activism and Black Poetics” with Rashida James-Saadiya

April 11, 2019 | 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

This workshop is an introduction to spiritual activism within the works of contemporary Black poets with a focus on Muslim women. It highlights writers who use language as a form of not only activism, but also of spiritual realignment. This poetry draws on both written and oral traditions to reflect on issues confronting this generation. James-Saadiya explores this writing as an act of resistance within the U.S. and beyond. Dinner will be served.  For more information, visit here. Sponsored by the…

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Discussion: “Islam and Intersectionality” with Linda Sarsour

April 15, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano, 101 Science Drive, Duke University
Durham, NC 27708 United States
+ Google Map

  Linda Sarsour is an American political activist. She was co-chair of the 2017 Women's March, the 2017 Day Without a Woman, and the 2019 Women's March, and is a former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.   For more information, please visit here. Sponsored by Duke MSA and Duke Students for Justice in Palestine.   Monday, April 15 |  6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Schiciano Auditorium, Fitzpatrick Building Duke University

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Wednesdays at the Center: “Shakespeare in the Arab World” with Abdul Sattar Jawad (Duke)

April 17, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Shakespeare is regarded in the Arab world as the greatest world poet and playwright. His plays and poems were used and taught on all levels of education. The speaker will through a new light on the reception, teaching, translating, and performing Old Will even in the Arab vernaculars to popularize him and his works. Some of Jawad’s essays and works are included in Shakespeare Library Collection in Stratford-upon- Avon. Abdul Sattar Jawad, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and…

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Student Talk: “I am here, waiting – Narratives of Iraqi, Palestinian and Syrian Refugees”

April 20, 2019 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Nasher Art Museum, 2001 Campus Dr
Durhamn, NC 27705 United States
+ Google Map

  Join the Kenan Institute for Ethics this Saturday, April 20 as eight DukeImmerse students recite the experiences of Iraqi, Palestinian, and Syrian refugees. The program begins at 5:30 PM in the Nasher Museum and will be followed by a reception. Free and open to the public! Sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics. For more information, please visit dukeethics.org.   Nasher Museum of Art Duke University

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Lecture: “History of Persian Civilization from Avicenna to Hatef Esfahan and it’s Impact on the Western World” with Professor Masood Khatamee

April 20, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

GSAID and co-sponsors have invited Dr. Masood Khatamee, M.D., FACOG, for a lecture at Duke University. Dr. Khatamee is a Clinical Professor at New York University Medical Center (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology) and Executive Director of Fertility Research Foundation in NY, NY. He will be talking about History of Medicine in Ancient Persia. Dr. Khatamee was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for his extensive work in educating under developed nations against the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Joining Dr.…

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Lecture: “The Media Matters : Muslim American Portrayals and the Effects on Mass Attitudes” with Professor Nazita Lajevardi, J.D./ Ph.D. (Michigan State University)

April 23, 2019 | 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Muslim Americans are increasingly racialized and may be experiencing a backlash in the American news media and by the public. No study to date, however, empirically assesses the sentiment of the news coverage of Muslim Americans over anextended period of time and evaluates its effects on mass attitudes. I address the following questions: How does the U.S. news media portray Muslim Americans in its coverage? And to what extent, do media portrayals impact American public opinion? I demonstrate that the media…

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Lecture: “Words and Other Materials: Fascist-Era Italian Architecture and Its Historiography,” with Mia Fuller (UC Berkeley and National Humanities Center) 

April 23, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Smith Warehouse, Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Mia Fuller is the author of Moderns Abroad: Architecture, Cities, and Italian Imperialism (International Planning History Society Book Prize Winner), which marked a turning point in discussions of architecture and city planning in the Italian colonies, as well as of Italian colonialism. As suggested by her article titles, including "Preservation and Self-Absorption: Italian Colonisation and the Walled City of Tripoli, Libya," "The Medina and the Islamic City: Colonial Terms and Postcolonial Legacies," and "Mediterraneanism: French and Italian Architects' Designs in…

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May 2019

Film Screening: Docunight #56 [Durham]: Puzzleys

May 8, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

Puzzleys Directed by: Mehdi Ganji 2017 / 70 mins Persian with English Subtitles "Puzzley" is the name of a four-member group of IT students who, in spite of suitable job opportunities and the opposition expressed by their families, want to start up their own business. Other than their education and determination, all they have is an idea. They need backing, experience and business knowledge, so they leave their small town to go to the capital city of Tehran to realize…

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June 2019

Docunight #57 [Durham]: Flax to Fire

June 5, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

  "Flax to Fire” Directed by: Bahram Azimpour, 2017 / 52 mins Persian with English Subtitles   Flax to Fire depicts the life and work of Aliasghar Hajibaba, an elite Iranian industrialist and entrepreneur. Originally trained as a quiltmaker in his youth, he manages to start an independent business in the midst of a tumultuous life. With the help of his family, he successfully pursues his endeavors to the point that he eventually becomes known as a founder of Iran’s…

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September 2019

Film Screening: Docunight #60 [Durham]: Finding Farideh

September 4, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

#60: Finding Farideh Directed by: Kourosh Ataee, Azadeh Moussavi 2018 / 88 mins, Persian with English Subtitles Iran’s entry for the international feature film category in the 92nd Academy Awards (the Oscars) in 2020. “Finding Farideh” is a feature-length documentary about an Iranian girl named Farideh, who had been abandoned in a holy shrine in Iran when she was 6 months old in 1976, and then she got adopted by a Dutch couple and left Iran to the Netherlands to…

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Discussion: Ashura

September 8, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

Ashura commemorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and his family at the Battle of Karbala on the 10th day of Muharram in the year 61 AH. This Sunday program will consist of a video, a short talk and a Q&A session with a local speaker. Come learn why many Muslims will be mourning on the Day of Ashura. Sponsored by the Center for Muslim Life.  For more information, contact Maryam Arain at maryam.arain@duke.edu. Center for…

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