2015 The Modern Middle East Seminar

 

Flyer  |  Schedule  | Emailed Readings, Articles, and Study Guide | Concurrent Session Descriptions

March 25-26, 2015

Registration is $175 for one seminar and $325 for both.
A team of 4+ attending the SAME seminar is $150 per person.  

Co-sponsored by the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations and the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies

Additional support provided by Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS).

Featured Speakers

 speakers

Krista BremerKrista Bremer is an American author whose award-winning essays have appeared in national and international magazines and news outlets including The New York Times Magazine,  O: The Oprah Magazine, CNN, MSN, MORE, The Sun, and The Sunday Times (London).Her work has been featured on National Public Radio, and she has appeared in the PBS series Arab American Stories. She has also participated in a debate at the Cambridge Union, and her work has been translated and reprinted all over the world. In 2009 she was one of six American writers to receive a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a $25,000 prize to support emerging women writers in the United States. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a North Carolina Arts Fellowship, and a scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference.  She lives in North Carolina with her husband Ismail and their two children and works as associate publisher of The Sun.

jessica350-250Jessica Devaney. Jessica Devaney is a communications strategist with a decade of experience in technology and social change advocacy. She is the director of communications at Just Vision, an organization that creates multimedia tools profiling Palestinian and Israeli civilians working nonviolently to end the occupation and resolve the conflict. Devaney is the associate producer of the documentary Budrus (2009), which follows a Palestinian community organizer who unites local political factions in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction. She is also the co-producer of the 25-minute documentary My Neighbourhood (2012), which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on Al Jazeera. Her work is featured regularly in media outlets from The BBCNPR and The Economist to Al Jazeera and Israel’s Channel 2. Devaney graduated from Wake Forest University in 2006 with an M.A. in religion and society. She also studied at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh Graduate School of Foreign Service in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.

ryan_Curt_GovCurtis Ryan. Curtis Ryan is a professor of political science at Appalachian State University . Ryan specializes in international and Middle East politics, with particular interests in inter-Arab relations, Islam and politics, alliances, democratization, security, and international terrorism. He has previously taught for Mary Washington College, Old Dominion University, and the United States Naval War College. He holds a B.A. from Drew University and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1992 and 1993 Ryan served as a Fulbright Scholar and guest researcher at the Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan, in the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan. He was also twice named a Peace Scholar by the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Jordan in Transition: From Hussein to Abdullah and Inter-Arab Alliances. Ryan’s articles have been published in the Middle East JournalMiddle East Insight,  Arab Studies Quarterly, and Israel Affairsamong others.

safiOmid Safi. Omid Safi is a professor of Asian and Middle Eastern studies at Duke University, where he is the director of Duke Islamic Studies Center.  Safi specializes in Islamic mysticism (Sufism), contemporary Islamic thought, and medieval Islamic history. He is the co-chair of the steering committee for Islamic Mysticism at the American Academy of Religion. Before joining Duke University, Safi was a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He blogs at On Being, and leads an annual summer program in Turkey, open to everyone.    

 

 

Schedule At-A-Glance*

Wednesday, March 25 Thursday, March 26
12:30 CHECK IN AND REGISTRATION 8:00 COFFEE, JUICE AND PASTRIES
1:30 WELCOME
Charlé LaMonica and Katharine Robinson
World View
UNC at Chapel Hill
Carl Ernst
Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations
UNC at Chapel Hill
8:30 UNDERSTANDING MIDDLE EAST POLITICS
Curtis Ryan

Political Science
Appalachian State University
1:45 FILM SCREENING OF MY NEIGHBOURHOOD AND DISCUSSION ON TOOLS FOR TALKING ABOUT PALESTINIAN AND ISRAELI NONVIOLENCE EFFORTS WITH YOUR STUDENTS
Full Film and Discussion Guide
Home Front website
Interviews
Media Resources
Visiting the Region?
Jessica Devaney
JUST VISION 
9:45 BREAK
3:30 BREAK 10:00 CONCURRENT SESSIONS I:
UNDERSTANDING HISTORICAL ROOTS AND PRESENT EXPERIENCE
3:45 AMERICA AS EMPIRE, ISLAM AND MIDDLE EAST
Omid Safi
Duke Islamic Studies Center
Duke University

GRADES K-12 AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE
5:00 RECEPTION
Friday Center Atrium
UNC at Chapel Hill
1. Imaginary Borders: How European Colonialism Shaped the Middle East and the World
Michael Cotter

American Diplomacy Publishers
 2. Muslim Women, Feminism and Veiling in Modern Islam
Miriam Cooke
Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Duke University
3. Contemporary Iran, A Realistic Perspective
Mohsen Kadivar

Religious Studies
Duke University
GRADES 6-12 AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE
4. Religious Diversity in the Middle East
Carl Ernst
Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations
UNC at Chapel Hill
  11:00 TRANSITION
    11:15
CONCURRENT SESSIONS II:
INFORMATION AND STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING THE MIDDLE EAST
GRADES K-12 AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE
1. Strengthening Medical Education in Iraq: A Collaboration between Peers
Essraa Bayoumi, Julie Byerley, and Cam Enarson
School of Medicine
UNC at Chapel Hill
2. Lessons Learned from Military Service in the Middle East
Amy Alger

United States Army Reserve
Lacy Jo Evans
United States Marine Corps
Shane Hale
United States Army
3. Rethinking the Middle East Through Creative Culture Ideas
Doria El Kerdany
Asian Studies
UNC at Chapel Hill
GRADES 6-12 AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE
4. Teaching Students about 9/11, Terrorism & Islam
David Schanzer
Sanford School of Public Policy
Duke University
    12:15 LUNCH
    1:15 CONCURRENT SESSIONS III:
INFORMATION AND STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING THE MIDDLE EAST
GRADES K-12 AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE
1. Learning and Teaching about Islam
Fiaz Fareed
Islamic Association of Raleigh
2. Classroom Resources for Middle Eastern Studies
Mohamed Hamed
Research and Instructional Services/University Library
UNC at Chapel Hill
3. Hands-On Resources for “ReOrienting” the Middle East
Common Misconceptions about the Middle East
Map Handout
Emma Harver
Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations 
UNC at Chapel Hill
4. Calligraphy Workshop Experience
HANDOUTS
Mohammad Ali Bat-Haee
Retired Professor
    2:15 BREAK AND EARLY BIRD BOOK SIGNING WITH KRISTA BREMER
    2:30

MY ACCIDENTAL JIHAD
BOOK TALK AND REFLECTIONS ON A CROSS-CULTURAL LOVE STORY
Krista Bremer

Author

    3:30 CLOSING REMARKS AND ADJOURN
Charlé LaMonica
World View
UNC at Chapel Hill
    3:45 BOOK SIGNING WITH KRISTA BREMER

*Program subject to change.

Concurrent Session Descriptions

CONCURRENT SESSIONS I:
UNDERSTANDING HISTORICAL ROOTS AND PRESENT EXPERIENCE
Imaginary Borders: How European Colonialism Shaped the Middle East and the World
Michael Cotter, American Diplomacy Publishers
This session will explore how the current borders of countries in the Middle East and around the world were formed and the problems they present currently and for the future.
Muslim Women, Feminism, and Veiling in Modern Islam
Miriam Cooke, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Duke UniversityThis session will address the ways Muslim women are using Islam to empower themselves to speak out about their rights. It will also theorize the conditions that have made the appearance of these new voices possible.
Contemporary Iran, A Realistic Perspective
Mohsen Kadivar, Religious Studies, Duke University
The Islamic Republic of Iran is complex. It is a theocratic semi-republic regime that is the most powerful state in the Middle East. On one hand, Iran is opposed to terrorist organizations such as the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIS, but on the other hand, it is anti-Zionist and anti-Imperialist. What is the reality of Iran?
Religious Diversity in the Middle East
UNC Middle East Studies
Carl Ernst, Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, UNC at Chapel Hill
This presentation will address the history and contemporary situation of religion in the Middle East. Crucial emphasis will be placed on the different ways in which religion has been understood in pre-modern empires as opposed to the colonial era and the modern nation-state. Attention will be paid to the survival of ancient religious minorities into the present day, as well as the effect of Western military invasions on creating sectarian conflict.
CONCURRENT SESSIONS II:
INFORMATION AND STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING THE MIDDLE EAST
Strengthening Medical Education in Iraq: A Collaboration between Peers
Essraa Bayoumi, Julie Byerley, and Cam Enarson, School of Medicine, UNC at Chapel Hill
In this session, we will provide an overview of the developing relationship between UNC School of Medicine and the University of Baghdad College as senior administrators, faculty, and students work together to enhance the curricula in the 23 medical schools throughout Iraq and at UNC. Learn about the recent visits between countries and gain a greater understanding of the student perspective. Examine lessons learned from sharing between cultures.
Lessons Learned from Military Service in the Middle East
Amy Alger, United States Army Reserve
Lacy Jo Evans, United States Marine Corps
Shane Hale, United States Army
This session will feature three veterans who completed military service in the Middle East. Each panelist will talk about reasons for joining the military, preconceptions before going to the Middle East, and lessons learned during service. Panelists will share their perspectives as a female in the military, a combat surgeon, and a student transitioning from civilian life. Learn about the modern Middle East through this unique perspective.
Rethinking the Middle East through Creative Culture Ideas
Doria El Kerdany, Asian Studies, UNC at Chapel Hill
This session will offer general information about Arabic culture. It will also provide interesting, creative, and developable ideas on ways to introduce the Arabic culture to students from different levels.
Teaching Students about 9/11, Terrorism & Islam
David Schanzer, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
This session will explore the genesis of the al Qaeda ideology, what led to 9/11, and how to discuss the connection between 9/11 and Islam with students in your classroom.
CONCURRENT SESSIONS III:
INFORMATION AND STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING THE MIDDLE EAST
Learning and Teaching about Islam
Fiaz Fareed, Islamic Association of Raleigh
This session will offer a basic introduction to the beliefs and practices that mold the character and behavior of Muslims. The session will also offer insight on the culture and daily lives of Muslims around the world. See a demonstration of prayer that has been practiced for over fourteen centuries in every part of the world and leave the session with reference resources.
Classroom Resources for Middle Eastern Studies
Mohamed Hamed, Research and Instructional Services/University Library, UNC at Chapel Hill
In this session, participants will learn about resources and materials for use in classes related to Middle Eastern studies. Resources include a culture kit from Cairo (Egypt), children’s books, as well as research materials available through the University Library. Participants will also explore an online Middle East guide at http://guides.lib.unc.edu/middleeasthome.
Hands-On Resources for “ReOrienting” the Middle East
Common Misconceptions about the Middle East
Map Handout
Emma Harver, Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, UNC at Chapel Hill
This session will approach common misconceptions about the Middle East and work to provide a more complete understanding of the region for educators. Participants will learn about hands-on resources to introduce the Middle East in K-14 classrooms, and will have the chance to try some of these resources out themselves.
Calligraphy Workshop Experience
Mohammad Ali Bat-Haee, Retired Professor
In this session, participants will learn about the Arabic and Farsi alphabets, how to write characters from right to left, and the proper ways to hold and write with a calligraphy pen. Participants will also compare and contrast Naskh and Nast’liq calligraphy and learn how to write several names and words using calligraphy pens and sample templates.

Emailed Articles, Readings, and Study Guides

Week One: Emailed Podcast  – Rao, Anita and Frank Stasio. (Hosts). Yusor Abu-Salha In Her Own Words. [Audio Podcast]. The State of Things. 

Week Two: Emailed Articles – Wood, Graeme. “What ISIS Really Wants.” The Atlantic. March 2015.

Haqiqatjou, Daniel and Yasir Qadhi. “What is ‘Islamic’? A Muslim Response to ISIS and the Atlantic.” MuslimMatters.Org. 23 February 2015.

Week Three: Emailed Articles and Study Guide – Botelho, G. (2015, January 24). What’s Happening in the Middle East and Why It Matters. CNN.

Taylor, A. (2015, January 27). Michelle Obama Forgoes a Headscarf and Sparks a Backlash in Saudi Arabia. The Washington Post.

STUDY GUIDE

Week Four: Emailed Article – Cohen, Richard. (9 February 2015). “The Universality of Evil.” The Washington Post.

Week Five: Rodenbeck, Max. (20 November 2014). “It’s not all bad.” The Economist. 

Post-Program Materials:

We hope you feel inspired to find ways to incorporate new resources and content into your classrooms. Wonderful educator resources are available online specifically focused on the Middle East. We recommend checking out the Choices program and Aramco World as further reading.