The purpose of the Center is to promote constructive dialogue about the Middle East that will explore ways to establish lasting peace in the region, encourage economic collaboration, and stimulate cultural and educational exchange. The Center provides a forum for students, faculty, community members, scholars, and diplomats of various points of view to exchange ideas in a respectful way that will promote greater understanding of this complex and volatile region of the world. We believe that the Center will demonstrate the possibility and value of meaningful dialogue between people of goodwill, even between those who disagree on fundamental issues.
The Center for Middle Eastern Dialogue is pleased to announce an event scheduled for Monday, April 9, 2012, from 7-9 p.m. in Parker Theatre: "Voices from Iran: Contemporary Literature and Music."
This year's program focuses on the many ways in which recent scholarship, works of fiction and memoirs from or about Iran, whether written originally in English or translated from Persian, is enhancing cultural dialogue between the peoples of the United States and Iran.
The program will consist of readings by Manijeh Nasrabadi from her memoir, "A Far Corner of the Revolution," followed by a lecture by Professor Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak titled "In Search of Responsive Understanding: Iranians Bring their Story to the World." Celebrated pianist Ariana Barkeshli will perform a number of piano pieces from Iranian composers.
Manijeh Nasrabadi is a doctoral student at New York University and Co-Director of the Association of Iranian-American Writers. She holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hunter College. Dr. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak is Professor and Director of the Roshan Center for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Ariana Barkeshli is a pianist, music educator, and scholar. She has performed at American universities and at numerous international conferences and cultural events.
Students and faculty in a variety of disciplines will benefit from this program on contemporary Iranian Literature and music. In light of much negative political coverage of Iran, this program will help our students, faculty, and community members learn about Iranian people, their experiences, culture, and aspirations. This event is free of charge and open to the public.
* On April 21, 2011, the Center for Middle Eastern Dialogue will host a conference on "Diversity in the Middle East: Commonalities and Polarities." The conference, which will run from 1:00pm to 9:00pm, will take place in the Student Union Building (SUB) on the New Paltz campus. The event is free and open to the public.
* On April 19, 2010, the Center for Middle Eastern Dialogue presented a talk by Professor Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University on "Islam and a Just World Order". The event included musical entertainment by Yemeni singer, percussionist (dumbek and frame drum) and oud player Ahamed Alrodini n and Israeli percussionist Isaac Gutwilik.
View the full-size event poster (PDF)* | View event press release (PDF)*
Here are some suggested readings for Professor Dabashi's talk on April 19, 2010-
- CNN: U.S. Muslims are Americans too
- BNET: The End of Islamic Ideology - Iran
- Al Jazeera: Islam is not the answer...
- The Nation: Islam Through Western Eyes
* In Spring 2011, the Center plans to sponsor a day-long conference on various topics related to the region.
* The inaugural event in April 2009 was a discussion between Professor Fawaz A. Gerges of Sarah Lawrence College and Professor Lewis Brownstein of SUNY New Paltz on the topic of "Recent and Future U.S. Policy in the Middle East"
Past Related Events
The Muslim Student Association's Second Annual Islamic Awareness Week took place from Monday, 4/26/10 through Thursday, 4/29/10.
Monday - "What a Billion Muslims Really Think" Documentary Presentation @ 6:30pm in LC100 This documentary shows Muslims from all over the worlde reflecting on Islam and revealing true facts instead of stereotypes. Guests from outside of the campus coming from different mosques are invited to see this movie. Tuesday - Sound of Reason band is coming as speakers @7:00pm in SUB 100 This band has come to SUNY New Paltz for a few years and they are really educated on Islam, and also interesting speakers. Pizza is served. Wednesday - "Muslim for a Day" and discussion from 9:00am-5:00pm @ SUB100 This is our second year hosting this event and it was extremely successful last year. Everyone gets an opportunity to experience the Islamic culture. Girls are encouraged to try wearing a scarf as a veil throughout the day. Indian food is served for a charge of $3- during the day. At the end of the day, all participants are encouraged to participate in the discussion to share their experiences. Pizza is served at night @7:00pm in SUB418 Thursday - Interfaith Dinner @7:00pm in College Terrace. Sound of Reason will have a small performance at the dinner. Food will be from CAS. The dinner will summarize the events throughout the week as well as offer a chance to share experiences.
Links of Interest
- Academic Islamic Studies and Middle East Studies Web Sites
- Al Jazeera
- Arab Sites
- Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa
- Jerusalem Post
- Maps—Perry-Casteneda Library, University of Texas
- The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
- Middle East Media and Sites
- Middle East History Web Sites
- Middle East Newspapers and News Sites
- Middle East Studies Association
- United States Institute of Peace
- University of Texas Middle East Program
- US Department of State
- Al Jazeera English
Current Committee Members
- Mona Ali, Department of Economics
- Hamid Azari, Department of Economics
- Clinton Bennett, Department of Philosophy
- Lewis Brownstein, Department of Political Science and International Relations
- Jacqueline Kerner, Department of Art History
- Simin Mozayeni, Department of Economics
- Ilgu Ozler, Department of Political Science and International Relations
- James Schiffer, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Rabbi William Strongin, Department of History and Jewish Studies Program
- Jane Toby, Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
- Sidra Iqbal
Contact Information: James Schiffer, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Phone: 845-257-3520; Fax: 845-257-3517; email: email@example.com