Teach-In Session 25

February 5 of this year marked the ninth anniversary of Dr. Sami Al-Arian leaving the US for Turkey after living in America for 4 decades. It was the culmination of a 12 year saga that started in 2003 when he was targeted and arrested by the US government because of his activism on Palestine. After a 6 months trial in 2005, he was not convicted on a single charge. Yet he was kept in prison and house arrest until the charges were dismissed in 2014. 

We sit down across an ocean and a sea to discuss a view from the region regarding recent developments in the War On Gaza. Our guest will delve into the current situation ahead of an impending total Israeli invasion of Rafah by the IDF, the ICJ ruling and its (lack of) concrete consequences on the ground, and scenarios for the future of Palestine.


Sami Al-Arian is the Director of the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Istanbul Zaim University. Originally from Palestine, he lived in the US for four decades (1975-2015) where he was a tenured academic, prominent speaker and human rights activist before relocating to Turkey. He is the author of several studies and books.


Bassam Haddad is Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience (Stanford University Press, 2011) and co-editor of A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East (Stanford University Press, 2021). Bassam is Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine and Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute. He serves as Founding Editor of the Arab Studies Journal and the Knowledge Production Project. He is co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, About Baghdad, and director of the acclaimed series Arabs and Terrorism. Bassam is Executive Producer of Status Podcast Channel and Director of the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI). He received MESA's Jere L. Bacharach Service Award in 2017 for his service to the profession. Currently, Bassam is working on his second Syria book titled Understanding The Syrian Tragedy: Regime, Opposition, Outsiders (forthcoming, Stanford University Press).