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

Study Abroad Fair

January 25, 2019 | 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Great Hall, Student Union, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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The Study Abroad Fair has representatives from all over the world, study abroad staff, and past study abroad students are available to answer your questions about studying almost anywhere in the world! Come and see what opportunities await you! The Study Abroad Office will also staff a general information table just inside the entrance to the fair. Please come prepared with questions! Note: The Study Abroad Office in the FedEx Global Education Center will be closed the day of the…

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Discussion: One Voice Coffee and Conversation – Airbnb and the West Bank

January 30, 2019 | 2:30 pm - 3:15 pm
Campus Y, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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Let One Voice at UNC-CH buy you a drink at the Meantime Coffee Co. and learn more about Airbnb's decision not to allow listings in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.  We will be discussing such questions as: what are settlements, and where are they? Why can they be controversial? What laws apply to settlements?  There will be an informational presentation led by our One Voice fellows, followed by a discussion/question-and-answer session. Even if you can't stay the whole time, drop in…

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February 2019

Seminar: Art Beyond Hostilities: Music and Film in Israel/Palestine

February 23, 2019 | 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

Often described as the “world’s most intractable conflict,” the crisis embroiling Israel and Palestine has been making headlines for more than 70 years. But behind the violence and deep political and religious divisions lie human stories, told through artistic interventions into the conflict that reflect the possibilities for, and limitations of, Israeli- Palestinian collaboration. This Dialogues seminar will focus on cinema and music as examples of Israelis and Palestinians creating art that goes beyond hostilities. We’ll look at the Oscar-nominated…

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Lecture: “Cyclical Sanctity and Ismaili Identity: A Framework for Rethinking Conversion to Shi’I Islam in the Iranian World” by Dr. Daniel Beben (Nazarbayev University)

February 25, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

How are minority religious communities able to successfully endure and proselytize under adverse conditions of persecution? Through analyzing the Ismaili Shi’i community of Central Asia, Dr. Beben will investigate the inter-related practices of patronage and the elaboration of religious conversion narratives connected with Ismaili saints, demonstrating how these practices intersect within a process of appropriation and re-appropriation to address  the paradox of why Ismailism is a literary and intellectual tradition that has its deepest roots in “peripheral” regions. Sponsored by…

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Film Screening: “Blood and Oil”

February 25, 2019 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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Join the Global Studies Students Association for the Middle East installment of this semester's documentary series! Anyone interested in learning and understanding the timeline of events that has lead us to the modern day conflict in the Middle East should watch this film created by Marty Callaghan. 'Blood and Oil' is a detailed account about the motivation behind the birth of the Middle Eastern nations and the insatiable greed for oil. It examines the devastating conflicts and Western political intrigue that laid the…

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Lecture: “How Peshawar revived Bukhara’s Sanctity: The Remarkable Story of Hazrat Jio Sahib Peshawari (d. 1816)” with Waleed Ziad (Yale University)

February 28, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

From the mid-18th century,  the political landscape of the Persianate world underwent dramatic transformations. While decentralized states gradually emerged across Central Asia, the Durrani Afghans began carving out an empire from eastern Iran to north India. This turbulent period also witnessed the proliferation of an intricate network of shrines, Sufi centers, and madrasas associated with the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi (lit., ‘revivalist’) Sufi order, which had originated in the Mughal heartlands. This talk will focus on the career of one of the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi scholars-saints…

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March 2019

16th Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Middle East and Islamic Studies Conference: “Muslims, Motherland, and Minoritization”

March 2, 2019 | 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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This conference aims to explore how categorization by governing bodies create and influence ethno-religious identities as a component of subjecthood. Questions to explore include: How do the state and other actors influence religious and/or racial minority identity? What roles do power, gender, race, and sexuality play in these identity formations? How have standards of normativity been constructed and projected onto Muslim bodies? The conference is the longest running graduate student Middle East & Islamic Studies conference in the country. Free…

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Lecture: “Interreligious Polemics, Anti-Sufism, and Shī‘ī Intellectual History in Late Safavid Iran: the Contribution of ‘Alī Qulī Jadīd al-Islām (d. early 18th C.)” with Alberto Tiburcio (Philipps University of Marburg)

March 4, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Murphey Hall, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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Interreligious polemics, especially those from the post-classical period, are often dismissed as formulaic and unoriginal, with no more than a fringe testimonial value. In this talk, Alberto Tiburcio will argue that the polemical work of the Portuguese-born convert ‘Alī Qulī Jadīd al-Islām offers us a unique window into various facets of religious, political, and intellectual life in late Safavid Iran. Jadīd al-Islām’s work responds to a polemical cycle that linked late seventeenth/early eighteenth century Iran to early seventeenth century India…

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REEL Israel Documentary Film Festival

March 10, 2019 - March 14, 2019
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Featuring award-winning and critically acclaimed films that explore Israel from angles rarely seen in the news: heart-wrenching stories about family and friendship, life and death, and revelations of the past. Films were selected by Duke University Professor and film scholar Shai Ginsburg. Several post-film discussions will be scheduled with Professor Ginsburg and other scholars. For more information, showtimes, and to purchase tickets please visit here or call 919-929-8428. Seating is limited. Films: The Ancestral Sin, 2017 (88 minutes). A film by Doron…

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Lecture: “The Tragedy of Syria in Four Movements” with Dr. Charles Kurzman (UNC-Chapel Hill)

March 19, 2019 | 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Sitterson Hall (Computer Science Bldg), UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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As part of Syria Solidarity Month, Students Organize for Syria at UNC presents “The Tragedy of Syria in Four Movements,” by Dr. Charles Kurzman. Dr. Kurzman is a professor of sociology and co-director of the UNC Center for Middle East & Islamic Studies. He has written extensively about the Arab Spring, the Middle East, and the Syrian Revolution. We hope you will join us on Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30pm in Sitterson Hall to learn more about how the history…

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Community Event: Interfaith Vigil for Christchurch

March 21, 2019 | 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
The Pit, UNC-Chapel Hill, The Pit, UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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Join the UNC Muslim Student Association for an interfaith vigil honoring those who lost their lives in the New Zealand mosque mass shooting. All are encouraged to attend. For more information, please visit here. Sponsored by the UNC Muslim Student Association. The Pit UNC Chapel Hill

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Conference: Conflict over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities

March 22, 2019 - March 24, 2019
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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Join the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies for the annual Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies conference: Rockets fired out of Gaza; protesters shot near the fence; Egypt mediating between Hamas and Israel–when the Gaza Strip is mentioned in U.S. news outlets, it is usually in response to that day’s sensational events with little (if any) context provided. “Conflict over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities” will shed much needed light on the current realities in the Gaza Strip,…

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Cultural Event: Festival of Spring 2019, Nowruz Concert

March 23, 2019 | 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Sonja Haynes Stone Center, 150 South Road
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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Join the Iranian Cultural Society of North Carolina for a special Nowruz celebration. Celebrating Nowruz and appreciating members of our community for their outstanding service and dedication for promoting our culture and heritage! The event will feature Persian music and dance with the Delbaan Ensemble. Free Parking available at the end of Bell Tower Dr. This is a ticketed event. $50 VIP, $25 General Admission; $10 Students. For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact Ms. Maria Thoenen (919) 280-8256,mathoenen@gmail.com,…

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Cultural Event: Norooz (Persian New Year)

March 24, 2019 | 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Great Hall, Student Union, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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Join the Persian Cultural Society for a Norooz (Persian New Year) celebration on Sunday, March 24 from 5:30-9:30 PM in the Great Hall of the Student Union. Enjoy a diverse program of performances, a delicious Iranian dinner, and dancing at the end of the night. There will be a DJ! Come support our performers and engage in our vibrant, long-lasting traditions! Tickets: $15 - Kids (Aged ≤ 18) + Students (with valid ID) | $30 - Adults – to purchase tickets, visit here.…

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Public Talk: “Palestine is Here” with Eran Efrati

March 26, 2019 | 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Bingham Hall Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

Eran Efrati, investigative researcher and director of Researching the American-Israeli Alliance (RAIA), will speak on the exchange programs between US police departments and the Israeli military. Since 2002, thousands of US law enforcement officials have trained with Israeli military forces in the context of the "War on Terror," learning about Israeli methods and technologies of surveillance, racial profiling, and suppression of protest. Why are US police departments training with the Israeli military? How do we resist the militarization of police…

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Cultural Event: Oriental Dance Workshop

March 26, 2019 | 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
219 New West NC United States + Google Map

  Join the Arabic program at UNC Chapel Hill for an evening of Arabic snacks  (Maamoul with dates, Zeit wa Zaatar & Pita & olives, Halva, tea....etc.) and an oriental dance workshop with Ana Bennet. Sponsored by the UNC Arabic Program. New West, Room 219 UNC Chapel Hill

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Lecture: “Sufism in the Delhi Sultanate as a “Social Field”: An Experimental Approach for Analyzing the Sociocultural History of Sufism” with Prof. Ayako Ninomiya (Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo)

March 27, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Murphey Hall, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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This presentation is a brief introduction of a larger project to analyze the development of Sufism as a composite of social and cultural institutions during the Delhi Sultanate period (1206-1526 CE), through applying a set of “thinking tools” of Bourdieu’s theory of practice. The presentation defines Sufism during the Delhi Sultanate period as a field, i.e., a ‘social space’ – like, for example, politics, education, arts, science – which is relatively autonomous from other fields and has its own unique…

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April 2019

Discussion: “Israeli Politics 101 & Upcoming Elections” with Amir Tibon

April 1, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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On April 9, 2019, Israelis will go to the polls. But now that the Israeli Attorney General recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust, how will it impact the upcoming elections? Who are the other parties and personalities running for election? What will happen to the Israeli political landscape if Netanyahu is replaced? And how will this impact U.S.-Israel relations? Join Amir Tibon for a conversation about these issues and…

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A Conversation: “Refugee Access to Education Through Digital Solutions” with Heba Ledwon (Kiron Open Higher Education)

April 2, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, 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 labour markets. Particularly, her previous position as a policy officer and credential evaluator at the Standing…

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Film Screening and Discussion: Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World

April 3, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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This feature documentary follows an international team of open-source investigative journalists trained in social media mining, reconstruction techniques, and visual analysis to shed light on news stories that are shrouded in secrecy, conspiracies, and state-sponsored political spin. These range from the downing of the MH17 passenger airplane over Ukraine in the summer of 2014, the atrocities of the Syrian Civil War, and most recently, the poisoning of a former Russian secret agent in the United Kingdom. The screening will be…

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Panel Workshops: Global Brexit and the Lost Futures of European Empires

April 4, 2019 - April 6, 2019
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

Join us in discussing global responses to the United Kingdom’s anticipated exit from the European Union, and in exploring the historical context of these events. The keynote panel will take place April 4, and workshop panels from April 4-6. For the full schedule and more information, please visit here. Middle East-related panels include: Panel Four | Friday, April 5 | 3:45-6:15pm: Promised Lands: the longue durée in the Middle East | FedEx Global Education Center, 4003 Panelists: Jon Parry (Prof. of Modern…

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Lecture: “Whither Sephardic Music” with Edwin Seroussi (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

April 4, 2019 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Hill Hall, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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As Sephardic studies develop with great impetus as a new field within American Jewish Studies the question of how musicology participates in them remains open. Surveying the present state of Sephardic music research, this lecture will explore some future prospects in this area of musical inquiry not only in its Jewish contexts but beyond them, in Hispanic and world music perspectives. This event is free and open to the public, no tickets or reservations required. For more information, please visit here.…

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Lecture: “Alexander in Jerusalem: A Brief Survey” with Ory Amitay (University of Haifa)

April 8, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Murphey Hall, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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The extensive body of research on the story of Alexander's visit to Jerusalem, made up in antiquity and persistently popular ever since, has been focused so far mainly on the version of Josephus. The Alexander in Jerusalem project takes a different approach, giving an equal share of attention also to the epsilon recension of the Alexander Romance and to two distinctly different rabbinic versions. The talk will offer a brief survey of conclusions concerning the chronology and tendencies of the…

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Lecture: “A Fair Start for Children, ACEV’s Experiences in Program Replication in Turkey and Internationally” with Suna Hanöz-Penney

April 11, 2019 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

FPG is pleased to welcome Suna Hanöz-Penney with the Mother Child Education Foundation (ACEV) in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work involves building and maintaining collaborative partnerships, while she manages the transfer and implementation of ACEV’s educational programs through partnerships with local organizations in numerous countries including Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Lao PDR, and Brazil. Her work focuses on both designing and supervising the early intervention programs for children and families implemented at both the national and international fields. Suna, has co-authored ACEV’s Preschool…

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A Conversation with Gen. H.R. McMaster

April 11, 2019 | 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Genome Science Building, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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Join Gen. H.R. McMaster in a conversation with Wayne Lee, chair of the UNC curriculum in peace, war and defense. They will discuss "Strategic Narcissism and the Need for Historical Perspective in Foreign Policy and National Security" as the opening talk for the TISS conference. McMaster (Ph.D. history '96) is a retired U.S. Army general. In 2017, he became the 26th national security advisor, serving under President Donald Trump. One of our nation's most famous warrior scholars, McMaster served as…

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Public Talk: “Anti-Israelism, Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism” with Dr. Marc Dollinger

April 11, 2019 | 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

Join UNC Hillel on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 pm at the North Carolina Hillel building in Chapel Hill as we hear from Dr. Marc Dollinger, professor at San Francisco State University and author of "Black, Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960’s." One of the thorniest questions in contemporary American Jewish life, the boundaries between anti-Israelism, anti-Zionism, and anti-Semitism are now the subject of university policy debates as well as proposed state and federal action. Dr. Dollinger’s…

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Cultural Event: Dabka Dance رقص الدبكة

April 17, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
219 New West NC United States + Google Map

Join the UNC Arabic program for a dabke dance event with the UNC Debka dance team & Rawad Nasralla (Lebanese Debka), a Levantine folk dance performed by many people across the Middle East. Tea and Arabic Snacks will be served. Sponsored by the UNC Arabic Program. For more information, please contact Doria El Kerdany,elkerdan@email.unc.edu.   New West 219 UNC Chapel Hill

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Lecture: “Youssou Ndour: A Griot Sufi Poet” with Prof. Mamarame Seck (IFAN, Dakar, Senegal)

April 18, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Graham Memorial 39, 2204 Erwin Rd
Durham, 27705
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Dr. Seck is a researcher in the Department of Languages and Civilizations at IFAN (Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire) at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal. Among his research interests are the Wolof language, culture, French linguistics, Islamic discourses in West Africa and the functions of Sufi oral discourse in the practice of Islam in Senegal, in particular in the socialization of Sufi disciples and their relationship with the Shaykh. Free.   Please contact Ayana Brown ayanab@email.unc.edu for more information. Sponsored by the…

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Cultural Event: Urdu Majlis

April 20, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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Please join us on Saturday April 20, 2019 for the next monthly meeting of Urdu Majlis, the Triangle's Urdu Literary Forum. This Urdu Majlis will concentrate on the life and works of Khumar Barabankvi (1919-1999), Urdu poet and lyricist. Please arrive on time as a courtesy to others. Participants are invited to bring refreshments to share. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Carolina Asia Center and the South Asia Section of the UNC Department of Asian…

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Lecture: “Going West to Find the “East”: Japanese Architect Itō Chūta’s Travels Throughout the Ottoman Empire and His Thought on “Oriental / Tōyō” Architecture” with Miyuki Aoki Girardelli (University of Toronto)

April 23, 2019 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

Itō Chūta (1867-1954), the architect who created the Japanese word “Kenchiku” as a translation of the English word “Architecture” in Meiji Japan, is also the first historian of Japanese architecture. On 29 March 1904 he embarked on a world trip lasting 3 years and 3 months to prove his own theory. During his trip passing through China, Burma, Malay, India, the Ottoman Empire, Europe, and the United States, Itō Chūta gradually changed his thoughts and started to think about what…

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Lecture: “When power symmetry doesn’t advance negotiations: Discussing the failure of the peace process between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), 2009-2015” with Arin Y. Savran (University of Notre Dame)

April 24, 2019 | 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Hamilton Hall, CB# 3195
Chapel Hill, 27599-3195 United States
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= In 2006 secret talks began between Turkey and the Kurdish PKK rebels with the aim of negotiating a political solution to the armed struggle. The negotiations lead to significant progress that concluded in a ceasefire and PKK withdrawal from Turkey. In 2014 the process arrived at a turning point as the consequences of the war in Syria reconfigured the power dynamics between the two sides, ultimately leading to the collapse of the ceasefire in the summer of 2015. The Turkey-PKK case challenges conventional wisdom on…

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Cultural Event: Eritrean Fashion Show

April 24, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Genome Science Building, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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  This dinner and fashion show will support women’s empowerment projects in Eritrea. The event will raise funds to support women empowerment through the development of a Women's Training Center in Eritrea, seeking to improve adult literacy, computer skills, and leadership for Eritrean women. Admission price includes traditional Eritrean food. Advanced tickets: $15 for 2 people, $10 for 1. Door tickets: $20 for 2 people, $12 for 1. Purchase advanced tickets by emailing htesfas1@live.unc.edu. Dinner will be served 6:00-7:00pm, with…

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May 2019

Performance: Zara

May 1, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Zara is a one person show about race, religion, and identity in the American South. Andrew Aghapour was raised by immigrant parents in a multi-racial and multi-religious household. Zara is a comedic account of an anxious, asthmatic Muslim kid’s search for meaning and the chance encounters that impacted him. Drawing on personal stories, philosophy, and the history of monotheism, Zara is a story about how identity is inherited and remade in 21st-century America. The project won the Durham Arts Council’s Catalyst Grant, a program supported by…

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July 2019

Weekend Seminar: Pillars of Antiquity: Space and Time in Egypt, Greece, and Rome

July 13, 2019 | 9:15 am - 4:00 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

    People in the ancient world developed complex ideas about time and place to help them understand their place in the geographic and cosmological order. This seminar will provide new perspectives on how ancient cultures in Egypt, Greece, and Rome described the meaning of the cosmos, the importance of prophecies, and the significance of time in human lives. Join us for a discussion of how the ancient world created social practices and cultural legacies that endured for centuries in…

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August 2019

Cultural Event: Urdu Majlis

August 17, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
219 New West NC United States + Google Map

Please join us on Saturday August 17, 2019 for the next monthly meeting of Urdu Majlis, the Triangle's Urdu Literary Forum. This Urdu Majlis will concentrate on the life and works of Jigar Moradabadi (1890-1960), Urdu poet and ghazal writer. Participants are invited to bring refreshments to share. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Carolina Asia Center and the South Asia Section of the UNC Department of Asian Studies. Urdu Majlis is an intellectual…

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