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Upcoming Events

Thursday, February 26, 2015 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Negotiating in Civil Conflict: Constitutional Construction and Imperfect Bargaining in Iraq


A lecture and discussion with Professor Haider Ala Hamoudi (University of Pittsburgh School of Law) about his book: "Negotiating in Civil Conflict: Constitutional Construction and Imperfect Bargaining in Iraq"


When: Thursday, February 26 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm


Where: Maurer School of Law, Room 124


What: Haider Ala Hamoudi, who served in 2009 as an adviser to Iraq’s Constitutional Review Committee, argues that the terms of the Iraqi Constitution are sufficiently capacious to be interpreted in a variety of ways, allowing it to appeal to the country’s three main sects despite their deep disagreements. While some say that this ambiguity avoids the challenging compromises that ultimately must be made if the state is to survive, Hamoudi maintains that to force these compromises on issues of central importance to ethnic and sectarian identity would almost certainly result in the imposition of one group’s views on the others. Drawing on the original negotiating documents, he shows that this feature of the Constitution was not an act of evasion, as is sometimes thought, but a mark of its drafters’ awareness in recognizing the need to permit the groups the time necessary to develop their own methods of working with one another over time.


 *Lunch Provided


*Co-sponsored with Center for Constitutional Democracy and Middle Easter Law Students Association (MELSA)


Monday, March 2, 2015 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Lunch and a Lecture


"Gender Ideology in North Africa and the Middle East"

Graduate Student Tamara van der Does, Department of Sociology and Department of Statistics, IUB


When: Monday, March 2 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

*Lunch Provided


Where: CSME

1105 E Atwater, Bloomington, IN 47401


What: Tamara examines Muslim men living in predominantly Muslim Middle Eastern and North African countries and their overcompensation of support for more traditional gender attitudes, as a result of living under different conditions of insecurity. Using two waves of the Arab Barometer data, she investigates if Islamic religiosity mediates this relationship and how women differ in their results. What interesting patterns emerge? Is there change in the influence of religiosity on gender with the rise of the Arab Spring unrest?

Thursday, March 12, 2015 | 6:00 - 8:30 pm

"Jumping Over Fire: Writers on Iran and Identity"


IU welcomes Iranian American writers Nahid Rachlin and Said Sayrafiezadeh to campus for a reading, Q&A, and book signing.

*Sponsored by IU Creative Writing Program, Department of English


When: Thursday, March 12 | 6:00 - 8:30 pm


Where: Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center,
Bridgwaters Lounge
275 North Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1363


About the Speakers:

Nahid Rachlin attended Columbia University Writing Program on a Doubleday-Columbia Fellowship and then went on to the Stanford University MFA program on a Stegner Fellowship. Her publications include a memoir, PERSIAN GIRLS (Penguin), four novels, JUMPING OVER FIRE (City Lights), FOREIGNER (W.W. Norton), MARRIED TO A STRANGER (E.P.Dutton-City Lights), THE HEART'S DESIRE (City Lights), and a collection of short stories, VEILS (City Lights). Her individual short stories have appeared in more than fifty magazines, including The Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Redbook, and Shenandoah. One of her stories was adopted by Symphony Space, “Selected Shorts,” and was aired on NPR’s around the country. Her work has been translated into Portuguese, Polish, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, and Persian. She has been interviewed by NPR’s All Things Considered (Terry Gross), P&W magazine, Writers Chronicle. She has written reviews and essays for New York Times, Newsday, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. Other grants and awards include the Bennet Cerf Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant.



Saïd Sayrafiezadeh was born in Brooklyn and raised in Pittsburgh. He is the author, most recently, of the story collection, Brief Encounters With the Enemy, shortlisted for the 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fiction Prize, and the critically acclaimed memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free, selected as one of the ten best books of the year by Dwight Garner of The New York Times. His short stories and personal essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney’s, The New York Times and The Best American Nonrequired Reading, among other publications. He is the recipient of a 2010 Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and a 2012 fiction fellowship from the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. Saïd lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Hunter College and New York University, where he received a 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award.

For more information, visit here.

Friday, March 27 | 7:00am - 2:00 pm - Saturday, March 28 | 9:30 - 2:30 pm


"Lotus Blossoms Bazaar"

Activity Table and Calligraphy Table hosted by Center for the Study of the Middle East


When: Friday, March 27 | 7:00am - 2:00 pm - Saturday, March 28 | 9:30 - 2:30 pm


Where: Binford Elementary SChool

2300 East 2nd Street, Blooington, IN 47401


What: Lotus Blossoms Bazaar, it is a two-day World Music and Arts Festival held the last weekend of each March. The Friday event hosts local 4th graders, while Saturday is open to the public. The intent of the Bazaar is to teach children and their families about different cultures around the world through activities and performances.

This year, Center for the Study of the Middle East will be hosting an Area Studies Activity Table and Middle Eastern Languages Calligraphy Table at the Bazaar! CSME needs volunteers passionate about sharing with others the Middle Eastern culture!


Volunteer Information: Volunteers are needed to help with the Activity table, assisting children in completion of numerous Middle Eastern-related crafts and answering questions related to the area and culture; and 2) the Calligraphy table, writing childrens' names and common words in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, or Kurdish. Volunteer shifts are approximately 1.5 hours in duration, and one can choose to work 1, a few, or the entire day! Volunteers that work the entire day receive a free Lotus Blossoms t-shirt.


Please email, if interested in volunteering, or for more information.