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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September 2018

Persian Art Center in Carolina: “A New look at Shahnameh” with Loghman Za’im

September 9, 2018 | 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The Club House, 400 Oak Tree Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27517 United States
+ Google Map

  Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for a presentation by Loghman Za’im on Shahnameh ("Book of Kings") by Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020), the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet. Ferdowsi is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature.   The program will begin with a social from 4:00-4:30pm. There will be a welcome and introduction by Dr. Amir Rezvani, 4:30-4:45pm. From…

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Research Presentation: Lebanese Fulbright Scholars

September 11, 2018 | 3:45 pm - 5:45 pm
NC State University Raleigh, NC 27695 United States + Google Map

  The Khayrallah Center invites you to join us for the 3rd annual research presentation by Lebanese Fulbright scholars in residence at NC State University. These scholars specialize in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and come from across the spectrum of Lebanese universities. They have spent the summer at NC State working on developing advanced teaching and research skills with faculty mentors, and this presentation will be the culmination of their work. So, please join us for a reception…

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Book Talk: ‘Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition’ by Omid Safi

September 21, 2018 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Raleigh Raleigh, NC United States + Google Map

At a time when the association of Islam with violence dominates headlines, this beautiful collection offers us a chance to see a radically different face of the Islamic tradition. It traces a soaring, poetic, popular history that celebrates love for both humanity and the Divine as the ultimate path leading back to God. Our author will be in conversation with essayist and author Krista Bremer. Omid Safi is an American Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University, where he…

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Wednesdays at the Center: “Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition” with Professor Omid Safi (Duke University)

September 26, 2018 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

Dr. Omid Safi will highlight his new book, Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition (Yale University Press, 2018). The collection brings together sayings from the Qur’an, Hadith and Hadith Qudsi, the poetry of Rumi, Sa’di, Hafez, and stories from ‘Attar, Abu Sa‘id-e Abi ‘l-Khayr, Kharaqani, Sulami, and others. Dr. Safi hopes Radical Love anthologizes Sufi poetry in a way that is both faithful to the original and poetic in translation. Omid Safi is the Director of the Duke Islamic Studies…

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October 2018

Presentation: “Embracing Impurity: Modern Migrancy

October 1, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Nasher Art Museum, 2001 Campus Dr
Durhamn, NC 27705 United States
+ Google Map

  Mohsin Hamid is a novelist whose first novel, "Moth Smoke" (2000), tells the story of an ex-banker and heroin addict in contemporary Lahore. It was published in 14 languages and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. His second novel, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" (2007), recounts a Pakistani man's abandonment of his high-flying life in New York. Published in over 30 languages, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Hamid's next novel, "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising…

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Persian Art Center in Carolina: “Love in Persian Literature” with Dr. Qadamali Sarami

October 7, 2018 | 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

  Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for a presentation on love in Persian literature by by Dr. Qadamali Sarami from Iran. The program will begin with a social from 4:00-4:30pm. There will be a welcome and introduction by Dr. Amir Rezvani, 4:30-4:45pm. From 4:45-6:00pm, there will be a presentation by Dr. Sarami followed by discussion. From 6:45-7:30pm, there will be live Persian music and poetry reading. Parking is available in any space that is not marked Reserved and is…

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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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Book Talk: Meet the Author Omid Safi, “Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition”

October 27, 2018 | 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Downtown Durham Durham, United States + Google Map

Please join the Durham County Library for a reading and book signing by Omid Safi, whose book Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition, was recently recognized as “New and Noteworthy” by the New York Times.  Director of Duke’s Islamic Studies Center as well as a Duke alum, more on Dr. Safi and his writing can be found at https://islamicstudies.duke.edu. Sponsored by the Durham County Library. For more information, please visit here. Stanford L. Warren Branch Library, Meeting Room 1201 Fayetteville Street, Durham,…

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November 2018

Lecture and Book Signing: “The Path of Love in Persian Sufism” with Omid Safi (Duke University)

November 3, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

  An Enchanting Evening of lecture, Book Reading, Poetry, Mystical and Sacred Dance. Professor Omid Safi will give a lecture on "the Path of Love to Persian Sufism." After Professor Safi’s book talk, we will welcome Latif Bolat and Serap Yilmaz who will perform poetry, music and dance. A book signing at the event will follow. For more information, visit here. Presented by the Graduate Student Association of Iranians (GSAID) and the Iranian Cultural Society of NC. Sponsored by: the Von…

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Persian Art Center in Carolina: “A New look at Shahnameh” with Loghman Zaiim

November 11, 2018 | 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

  Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for a presentation by Loghman Zaiim on Shahnameh ("Book of Kings") by Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020), the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet. Ferdowsi is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature.   The program will begin with a social from 4:00-4:30pm. There will be a welcome and introduction by Dr. Amir Rezvani, 4:30-4:45pm. From…

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December 2018

Cultural Event: Urdu Majlis

December 1, 2018 | 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
+ Google Map

Please join us Saturday, December 1 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 "The Poet of the East" - Allama Iqbal (1877-1938). Sir Muhammad Iqbal, widely known as Allama Iqbal, was a poet, philosopher and politician, as well as an academic, in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. Please arrive on time as a courtesy to others.…

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January 2019

Cultural Event: “Nezami’s Haft Peykar and Ferdowsi’s Bahram Goor” with Maryam Tabibzadeh

January 12, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

Join the Graduate Student Association of Iranians at Duke and the Iranian Cultural Society of North Carolina for an afternoon of Persian poetry by Nezami and Ferdowsi, accompanied by Persian songs and dance. Sponsored by the Graduate Student Association of Iranians at Duke, the Iranian Cultural Society of North Carolina, the Von der Heyden Fellows Fund established by Karl & Mary Ellen Von der Heyden, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University, and Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC). Ahmadieh…

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Persian Art Center in Carolina: “A New Look at the Book of Kings, Shahnameh, part 3” with Loghman Zaiim

January 13, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

  Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for a third presentation by Loghman Zaiim on Shahnameh ("Book of Kings") by Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020), the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet. Ferdowsi is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature.   The program will begin with a social from 4:00-4:30pm. There will be a welcome and introduction by Dr. Amir Rezvani, 4:30-4:45pm.…

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Lecture: “Being Muslim: Women of Color in/and American Islam” with Dr. Sylvia Chan Malik (Rutgers)

January 15, 2019 | 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
West Duke 101, West Duke 101, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
+ Google Map

  Sylvia Chan-Malik will give a lecture based on her recently published book, Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam. In her lecture, Professor Chan-Malik will discuss the ways U.S. Muslim women's identities are expressions of Islam as both Black protest religion and universal faith tradition. Drawing on archival images, cultural texts, popular media, and interviews, she will show how communities of American Islam became sites of safety, support, spirituality, and social activism, and how women…

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Cultural Event: Urdu Majlis

January 19, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
+ Google Map

Please join us Saturday, January 19 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 Khwaja Haider Ali ATISH (1764-1846), one of the giants of Urdu literature. 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. Parking is available under the FedEx Global Education Center. Co-sponsored by the…

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Cultural Event: Cuisine Marocaine and Cultural Exploration Community Dinner Fundraiser with Samia Touati

January 20, 2019 | 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Share a traditional Moroccan meal along with a personal story of the journey of a native Moroccan family. Our idea of la Cuisine Marocaine is to offer you a memorable experience to explore the flavors of traditional Moroccan vegetarian dishes, exclusively cooked in a Moroccan clay pot called tajine. Suggested donations between $10-$12. All proceeds will contribute to case expenses of Syrian refugee families, one Indonesian family and one Moroccan family. Please RSVP to Samia Touati, samiabenttouati@gmail.com. Arcadia Compound, 134 Circadian…

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Public Talk: “A Journalist’s First-Hand Report – What’s Wrong with US policy in Iran” with Reese Erlich

January 24, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

Reese Erlich’s history in journalism goes back over 40 years. He first worked as a staff writer and research editor for Ramparts, an investigative reporting magazine published in San Francisco. Today he works as a full-time print and broadcast, freelance reporter. He reports regularly for ABC (Australia), Radio Deutsche Welle and National Public Radio. His articles have appeared in Politico, Foreign Policy, VICE News and The Progressive. His television documentaries have aired on PBS stations nationwide. Erlich writes a syndicated…

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Cultural Event: Arabic Halaqa with Doria El Kerdany (UNC)

January 25, 2019 | 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

Ms. Doria El Kerdany will lead the first presentation of the Arabic Halaqa for this semester on Jan. 25 at 5:00 p.m. Doria Elkerdany is a Teaching Associate Professor and she is the Coordinator for the Arabic language program at UNC-Chapel Hill. She received her M.A. in Teaching Arabic for Non-Arabic Speakers from the American University in Cairo. She has published two Novels " رمال ناعمة  " Cairo Agu, 2011 and "حكايات القطط" 2015" Ostadha Doria will give a talk about her first novel رمال ناعمة  .…

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February 2019

Persian Art Center in Carolina: “A New Look at Shahnameh, Haft Khan-e Rostam” with Loghman Zaiim

February 3, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for a presentation on Haft Khan-e Rostam by Loghman Zaiim, as retold by Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020) in Shahnameh ("Book of Kings"), the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet. Ferdowsi is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature. This is event is in Persian. The program will begin with a social from 4:00-4:30pm. There will be…

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Turkish Circle Event: “A Visual Journey from Turkey to the Triangle” with Dilara Maya and Irem Altan

February 5, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

The Turkish Circle at Duke & UNC & NC State presents Dilara Maya (Fullbright TA at Duke) and Irem Altan (Ph.D. Student, Chemistry, Duke University). They will share their stories as young scholars moving from Turkey to the Triangle through their paintings and photographs. There will be a potluck dinner. The Turkish Circle is a community group which meets every first Tuesday of the month and brings students and scholars interested in Turkey or the Ottoman Empire. Sponsored by the…

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Humanities in Action Talk: “Bordering Chinese Eco-Literatures: Threats to Bio and Ethnic Diversity” with Robin Visser (UNC-Chapel Hill)

February 12, 2019 | 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

Dr. Visser’s current book project, Bordering Chinese Eco-Literatures (1980-2020), analyzes the growing prominence within Chinese-language literature of ecological perspectives from China’s border cultures. It includes works by Mongolian, Tibetan, Taiwanese Indigenous, Kazakh, Uyghur, and Han Chinese writers. Set in Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Southwest China, and Taiwan, they feature diverse ecologies rapidly transforming due to unprecedented rates of development and domestic migration. The talk analyzes literary depictions of rapidly changing regional ecosystems and compares distinct ways of imagining relational dynamics between…

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Book Talk: “The Snow Leopard Project and Other Adventures in Warzone Conservation” with Alex Dehgan

February 21, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

A story about creating Afghanistan’s first national park and the startup to make it happen. Featuring Alex Dehgan, T’91, followed by a reception in Fuqua’s Kirby Reading Room. Please, RSVP here. Postwar Afghanistan is fragile, volatile, and perilous. It is also a place of extraordinary beauty.  Evolutionary Biologist Dr. Alex Dehgan arrived in the country in 2006 to build the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Afghanistan Program, and preserve and protect Afghanistan’s unique and extraordinary environment, which had been decimated after decades of…

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Humanities in Action Talk: “Why are There So Few Muslim Terrorists?” with Charles Kurzman (UNC-Chapel Hill)

February 26, 2019 | 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

featuring Charles Kurzman, Philip Stadter Distinguished Professor of Sociology All programs are held from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. Advance registrants can take advantage of our special FLYLEAF SEASON PASS and receive a discount on the purchase of all ten lectures. Program Tuition: Advance registrants pay $18 per lecture ($13 for GAA members) or can take advantage of our special FLYLEAF SEASON PASS—register for all 10 events for $135.00 ($100.00 for GAA members). To check your membership status…

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March 2019

Turkish Circle: “Like the Father’s Home: The Intimate State of the Turkish-Sunni Diaspora in Germany” with Devran Koray Ocal (UNC Chapel Hill)

March 5, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
219 New West NC United States + Google Map

Devran Ocal's research( PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, UNC) focuses on a faith-based civil society organization, the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), and engages with the Turkish-Sunni diaspora’s complex construction of intimate state in Germany. DITIB is a Sunni-Islam based umbrella civil society organization. However, the Turkish-Sunni diaspora does not consider DITIB as simply a civil society organization, but instead attribute a highly complex role of statehood to it. For them, DITIB reflects a ‘paternalist’ and ‘familial’ version of the Turkish…

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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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May 2019

Reading Group Discussion: Touch by Adania Shibli featuring Nadia Yaqub (UNC)

May 14, 2019 | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States + Google Map

  Carolina Public Humanities is hosting a Great Books Reading Group discussion on Touch, a beautiful novella by Palestinian author and playwright Adania Shibli, on Tuesday, May 14. This two-hour discussion is led by Nadia Yaqub, Professor and Chair of Asian Studies, and will take place from 10am-12pm at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. Advance registration is required as seats are limited. The registration fee of $25 includes a copy of the book and refreshments.   “Celebrated young Palestinian writer Shibli – a playwright,…

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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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September 2019

Public Book Talk: Elisha Waldman

September 12, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Downtown Durham Durham, United States + Google Map

  Join author Elisha Waldman for a discussion of his book "This Narrow Space: A Pediatric Oncologist, His Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Patients, and a Hospital in Jerusalem."   Dr. Waldman is currently the Chief of the Division of Palliative Care at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. He will talk about what it means to care for seriously ill children in the exceedingly complex context of Jerusalem and the Middle East, what lessons he's learned from that work, and how it carries over…

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Cultural Event: Urdu Majlis

September 14, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
+ Google Map

Please join us on Saturday, September 14, 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 Nasir Kazmi (1925-1972), Urdu poet from Pakistan and one of the renowned poets of his era. 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…

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