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Letter to the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law regarding Attack on Title VI-Supported Middle East Studies Centers

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 23 October 2014] Kenneth L. Marcus President and General Counsel Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law via fax: 202-756-1301 Dear Mr. Marcus: I am writing on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) to express our grave concern about the contents and apparent intent of the report released by your organization in September 2014 titled “The Morass of Middle East Studies: Title VI of the Higher Education Act and Federally Funded Area Studies.” This highly tendentious document, ...

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Assault on Academic Freedom: Neoliberalism and the Corporatization of Universities, Live Stream Event with Steven Salaita (27 October 2014 at GMU)

Sponsored by Middle East Studies Program and Cultural Studies Program at George Mason University Assault on Academic Freedom: Neoliberalism and the Corporatization of Universities Date & Time: October 27, 2014 7:15PM George Mason University  Johnson Center, Room 239A Featuring Steven Salaita  Moderated by Bassam Haddad, addressing: The New "Academic" Bullying on Campus and its Remedies Send “Academic Bullying” testimonies to mes@gmu.edu Organized Streaming gatherings/classrooms get a shout out!  Let us know if you are planning one by emailing mes@gmu.edu   This event will be ...

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LA Event: Spotlight on Egypt (23 October 2014)

On Thursday, October 23, 12-2pm at 450 Tudor Center at the University of Southern California, USC's Middle East Studies' Program (MESP) is hosting a panel discussion on "Spotlight on Egypt."  UC Santa Barbara Professor Paul Amar will examine President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's Egypt by looking at the new means of control embedded in recently emergent regional, socio-spatial, and geopolitical patterns. UC Santa Barbara Professor Sherene Seikaly will examine the continuities and ruptures of the current regime in Egypt with its predecessors by tracing al-Sisi's performance of power and presidential authority. And Laila Shereen Sakr will discuss the emergence ...

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Citizenfour: Laura Poitras’ Documentary on Edward Snowden (Video Trailer)

[Screen shot from YouTube]

The following trailer is for Laura Poitras' Citizefour, which is scheduled for release on 24 October 2014.  

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How You Can Help Steven Salaita

[Steven Salaita]

Below are links to the fundraising websites for Steven Salaita. Making a donation - either to the general fund or to the fund for the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) conference honorarium - will not only help support Steven Salaita through this time of uncertainty, but will also help to set a precedent of solidarity with others who may come under similar scrutiny and face similar hardship as a result. Steven Salaita’s firing did not occur in a vacuum; what is happening to him is a symptom of the neoliberalization of our universities and the pervasiveness of a Zionist discourse that succeeds in branding speech critical of Israel as anti-Semitic. It is against these ...

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Call for Applicants: Director of Women and Gender Studies (American University of Beirut)

The American University of Beirut invites applicants for a position in gender and sexuality studies, preferably at the associate or full professor level, to begin fall 2015. The successful applicant will serve as director of the new Women and Gender Studies Program at the American University of Beirut and work to coordinate the development of gender and sexuality studies as a specific research concentration, as well as a transdisciplinary formation distributed across multiple departments and faculties. We seek candidates with demonstrated teaching, research, and administrative experience; as well as applicants whose research engages feminist approaches to the study of ...

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Press Release: Saudi Death Sentence against Shia Leader Is Politically Motivated

[Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr. Image from www.abna.ir]

[The following press release was issued by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, an NGO in the Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, on 15 October 2014.] IHRC strongly condemns today's decision by a court in Saudi Arabia to impose the death penalty against shaykh Nimr al-Nimr. Shaykh al-Nimr is a leading Shia scholar who was arrested for his outspoken criticism of the Saudi monarchy and his calls for equality and reform on trumped up charges of apostasy and terrorism. He has been severely tortured in detention. Shaykh al-Nimr was detained in 2012 following a police pursuit in the Eastern Province of Qatif district, ...

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Call for Papers--Asfari Institute First Annual Conference: Exploring an Agenda for Active Citizenship (Beirut, 20-22 February 2015)

The American University of Beirut’s Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship In collaboration with the Arab Studies Institute and George Mason University First Annual Conference:  Exploring an Agenda for Active Citizenship 20-22 February 2015 Beirut, Lebanon Call for Papers The February 2015 conference commemorates the fourth anniversary of the revolts that began in Tunisia in the final days of 2010 and rapidly spread to nearly half the countries of the Arab region. The revolts provided a stellar example of the power of citizen engagement as millions of people took to the streets and toppled long-time authoritarian regimes or leaders, changing ...

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Civil Society Call for the Protection of Libya's Democratic Transition

[Image from the

[The following statement was issued by members of Libya's civil society.]  Libya’s transition since 2011 has been a difficult path to follow; riddled with instability and violence. Libyans and the international community alike did not anticipate much of what has come to pass, rendering the country in constant flux and continual deterioration putting democracy, freedom, human rights at stake.  Nearly four years since the uprising, Libya’s trajectory may still be rectified. If not motivated by the potential that Libya and Libyans have to produce peaceful conditions in which they can exist and prosper, then let us be motivated by the need to put an end to the ...

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Panel Event: All You Wanted To Know About ISIS and Did Not Know You Should Ask (GMU, 16 October 2014)

Co-sponsored by Global Programs, Middle East Studies, Center for Global Islamic Studies, Political Science and Center for Global Policy (SPGIA) at George Mason University All You Wanted to Know  About ISIS  & Did Not Know You Should Ask Town Hall Event at George Mason University 16 October 2014, 6:00 PM Merten Hall 1201 George Mason University Fairfax, VA  Featured Speakers Bassam Haddad Maria Dakake Peter Mandaville Jack Goldstone “Everyone has something to say about the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). But only now. When ISIS or its predecessor was taking over towns in Syria last year, and when it grew out ...

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Jadaliyya Featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education

[This image was used in the Chronicle's article. Jadaliyya Co-Founder Bassam Haddad]

[The following profile of Jadaliyya was written by Ursula Lindsey and published in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The story can be accessed by clicking here. For additional details about Jadaliyya in the context of the interview that much of this article was based on, click here] The week after President Obama announced a stepped-up military campaign against jihadists in Iraq and Syria, the online magazine Jadaliyya responded. An essay by the Lebanese historian Fawwaz Traboulsi argued that the so-called Islamic State was born of the 2003 U.S. war on Iraq, local despotism, and the thwarted hopes of the 2011 Arab uprisings. Jadaliy­ya’s editors were also ...

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MESA Pre-Program Discussion: The Salaita Case and the New Assaults on Academic Freedom (22 November 2014)

[Steven Salaita]

MESA Panel: The Salaita Case and the New Assaults on Academic Freedom Panel Logistics 3:30pm Saturday, 22 November 2014 Marriot Wardman Park Hotel Washington DC Panel Description After a brief introduction by Laurie Brand (Chair of the Committee on Academic Freedom) and Paul Sedra, the discussion will begin with four 15-minute presentations. We will hear: Steven Salaita will speak about the implications of the attack on his constitutionally-protected speech and academic freedom. Lisa Hajjar will speak on the chilling effects of the new discourse of ‘civility’ adopted by university administrators on various campuses. General counsel ...

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Letter to Amcha Initiative Regarding Its Report on UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 23 October 2014] Amcha Initiative via email administrator@amchainitiative.org To whom it may concern: I am writing on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) to express our grave concern about the content and apparent intent of the report released by the Amcha Initiative in September 2014 titled “Antisemitic Activity ...

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UC Irvine Event: Bassam Haddad on 'The Syrian Tragedy: Causes, Dynamics, and Consequences' (23 October 2014)

The Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies at UC Irvine present: The Syrian Tragedy: Causes, Dynamics, and Consequences With Bassam Haddad, Director of Middle East Studies at George Mason University Date: Thursday 23 October 2014 Time: 3:30pm Location: Social and Behvaioral Science Gateway, Room 1517, UC Irvine  

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Operation Protective Edge and Legal Remedies

[The following report was authored by Noura Erakat [1], Bianca Isais [2], and Salmah Rizvi [3]. It was published by the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at American University of Beirut on 9 October 2014.] Operation Protective Edge and Legal Remedies Introduction On 26 August 2014, Israel and Palestinian resistance groups entered into a long-term ceasefire agreement. The terms of the agreement look almost identical to those established in November ...

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Intervention and the Limits of US Power? A Panel Featuring Vijay Prashad and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Lisa Hajjar (Video)

A panel titled "Intervention: Limits of US Power?" was organized by the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) and the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut on 13 Ocotber 2014. The panel featured Vijay Prashad (IFI Senior Research Fellow), whose talk was titled "Obama's ISIS Policy," and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Lisa Hajjar (Edward Said Chair of American Studies at CASAR), whose talk was titled ...

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Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (George Mason University, 20 October 2014)

Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (George Mason University, 20 October 2014) Johnson Center, C October 20, 2014, 4:00 PM   George Mason University’s Middle East Studies Program, Global Programs, New Century College (NCC) and the Trans-Arab Research Institute welcome four international law experts to discuss the political and legal implications of an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation of recent conflict in the Gaza Strip. This discussion ...

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London Palestine Film Festival (28 November - 11 December, 2014)

From November 28th to December 11th 2014, the London Palestine Film Festival (LPFF) returns with the finest new docs, dramas, and shorts on and from the region. Festival programme: palestinefilm.org  The two week programme, at the Barbican Cinema and University of London venues, showcases over 40 international titles accompanied by director Q&As, panel discussions, and research presentations. Along with hard-hitting docs and political thrillers, audiences can expect comedies, family-friendly ...

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Panel Event: After Gezi, After the Elections, After ISIS: Politics in Turkey Now (CUNY Graduate Center, 20 October 2014)

The Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center at the CUNY Graduate Center presents: After Gezi, After the Elections, After ISIS: Politics in Turkey Now A conversation with Burcu Baykurt, Ayça Çubukçu, Aslı Iğsız, Duygu Parmaksizoglu, and Emrah Yildiz, moderated by Cihan Tekay Monday, October 20, 6:30-8:30pm The Graduate Center of The City University of New York 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016 Room C198 This panel will present a conversation about the current political context in Turkey, ...

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Panel Event -- Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (GMU, 20 October 2014)

Co-sponsored by Middle East Studies Program, the Trans-Arab Research Institute, Arab Studies Institute, New Century College, and Global Programs Operation Protective Edge:  Legal and Political Implications  of ICC Prosecution October 20, 2014 4:00-6:30PM  George Mason University Johnson Center, Room C Featuring David J. Luban, Georgetown University Margaret deGuzman, Temple University George Bisharat, UC Berkeley Noura Erakat, George Mason University ...

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Gezi Platform NYC Call for Solidarity with Kobane

[The following statement was issued by Gezi Platform NYC on 10 October 2014]  Call for Solidarity with Kobanê On Monday, October 6th, ISIS forces entered the autonomous Kurdish canton of Kobanê in Western Kurdistan (North Syria) following a siege which began on September 15th. Defending Kobanê are the skilled but ill-equipped People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), who are up against The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a religious extremist organization bent on ...

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Letter to Hosts of the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association] Hosts of the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza Børge Brende Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway via utenriksminister@mfa.no via fax +47 23 95 00 99 Sameh Shoukry Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt via fax + 20 2576 7967 Your Excellencies,  I write on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF) of the Middle East Studies Association of North ...

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Call for Papers--Radical Increments: Toward New Platforms of Engaging Iraqi Studies (New York, 27-28 February 2015)

 Radical Increments: Toward New Platforms of Engaging Iraqi Studies Columbia University New York 27-28 February, 2015 The rift between theory and application in Iraqi studies has grown over the past three decades, with Iraqi scholarship curtailed at home due to geographic isolation during the Iraq-Iran war, dearth of funding and faltering of infrastructure during the embargo years, sectarian violence in the post-2003 phase, and funding sources in the west channeling knowledge to achieve ...

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Call for Applicants: Director, The Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for American Studies and Research (American University of Beirut)

Director, The Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for American Studies and Research The American University of Beirut  The Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut is searching for a new director to begin September 1, 2015. CASAR is an interdisciplinary research and academic center that offers an undergraduate minor and a new MA in Transnational American Studies. CASAR hosts visiting lecturers and organizes an international, bi-annual ...

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