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<< February 2017 >>

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Master Plan: ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Jihadi Strategy for Final Victory

Colloquium | February 2 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 2538 Channing (Inst. for the Study of Societal Issues), Wildavsky Conference Room


Brian Fishman, Counterterrorism Research Fellow, International Studies Program at New America

Center for Right-Wing Studies, Institute of European Studies


Given how quickly its operations have achieved global impact, it may seem that the Islamic State materialized suddenly. In fact, al-Qaeda’s operations chief, Sayf al-Adl, devised a seven-stage plan for jihadis to conquer the world by 2020 that included reestablishing the Caliphate in Syria between 2013 and 2016. Despite a massive schism between the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, al-Adl’s plan has...   More >

Friday, February 3, 2017

MENA Salon

Workshop | February 3 – May 5, 2017 every Friday with exceptions | 3-4 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 340, Sultan Conference Room


Center for Middle Eastern Studies


On Fridays at 3:00 during the semester, the CMES hosts an informal weekly coffee hour and guided discussion of current events in the Middle East and North Africa, open to all and free of charge.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Rabih Alameddine on "The Angel of History"

Workshop | February 8 | 6-7:30 p.m. | 340 Stephens Hall


Rabih Alameddine

Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Townsend Center for the Humanities, Near Eastern Studies, Department of English, Center for Race and Gender


Rabih Alameddine is the author of six novels--including the National Book Award finalist An Unnecessary Woman and the international bestseller The Hakawati--as well as a Twitter feed that The New Yorker called "a work of art." His most recent novel, The Angel of History, follows Yemeni-born poet Jacob as he reckons with his childhood in an Egyptian brothel, the AIDS crisis in San Francisco,...   More >

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Islamic Texts Circle: Imperfect Cities and the Structure of the Universe in Al-Farabi's Philosophy

Workshop | February 9 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 340 Stephens Hall


Ahmad Ighbariah, Tel Aviv University

Center for Middle Eastern Studies


Join visiting scholar Ahmad Ighbariah (Tel Aviv University) for our first Islamic Texts Circle of 2017, examining the work of 10th century philosopher Al-Farabi. To RSVP and receive texts, please contact cmes@berkeley.edu.

Text in Arabic and English translation.

Friday, February 10, 2017

MENA Salon

Workshop | February 3 – May 5, 2017 every Friday with exceptions | 3-4 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 340, Sultan Conference Room


Center for Middle Eastern Studies


On Fridays at 3:00 during the semester, the CMES hosts an informal weekly coffee hour and guided discussion of current events in the Middle East and North Africa, open to all and free of charge.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Spring Art and Film Series: "On the Banks of the Tigris"

Film - Documentary | February 13 | 6-9:30 p.m. |  Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life (2121 Allston Way)


Yair Dalal

Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Department of Music


The film follows Majid Shokor, an Iraqi-Australian, as he discovers many of the classic Iraqi songs from his youth were composed by Iraqi Jews. Shokor then travels around the world, meeting, collaborating, and unifying Iraqi musicians of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian faith.

Followed by a conversation/ performance with Yair Dalal.


RSVP by February 10 online.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Syria: Spaces of War: CMES Visiting Scholars Lecture Series

Lecture: Noontime Lecture Series | February 15 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 340 Stephens Hall | Note change in date


Sofia Shwayri, CMES Visiting Scholar

Center for Middle Eastern Studies


The uprisings that swept North Africa from late 2010 thru early 2011 reached Syria, to the surprise of many including President Bashar Al-Assaad, in March 2011. Al-Assaad, was convinced that his country would never experience such a widespread public show of dissent. Differing from those other uprisings, Syrians could not claim their own Tahrir Square in Damascus, as the long standing state of...   More >



Knowing Plants in Cuneiform Cultures: Revisiting R.C. Thompson's “Dictionary of Assyrian Botany”

Lecture | February 15 | 12-1 p.m. | 254 Barrows Hall


Eduardo Escobar, PhD Candidate, Department of Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley

Near Eastern Studies


This talk will consider what R.C Thompson's 1949 "Dictionary of Assyrian Botany" might look like in the twenty-first century. Scribal investigations of plants covered a wide range of scholarly genres in cuneiform cultures, from lexical lists, to materia medica, and glassmaking recipes. I will address the perennial challenge of identifying modern plant species in ancient texts, and suggest new...   More >

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Smart Nation: A Blueprint for Modern Armenia

Lecture | February 16 | 8-10 p.m. |  Vasbouragan Hall


51 Commmonwealth Ave., San Francisco, CA 94118

Sassoon Grigorian, Head of Public Policy, Australia and New Zealand, Salesforce

Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES), Armenian Studies Program


At a critical juncture in its history, this book explores the challenges and opportunities for Armenia, with clear public policy recommendations.

Armenia is a Smart Nation, it has one of the highest literacy rates globally, it is a recognised world leader in the strategy game of chess, Armenians have been credited with many innovations and inventions used today, and its future success will in...   More >

Friday, February 17, 2017

MENA Salon

Workshop | February 3 – May 5, 2017 every Friday with exceptions | 3-4 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 340, Sultan Conference Room


Center for Middle Eastern Studies


On Fridays at 3:00 during the semester, the CMES hosts an informal weekly coffee hour and guided discussion of current events in the Middle East and North Africa, open to all and free of charge.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Spring Art and Film Series: A Borrowed Identity

Film - Feature | February 22 | 5:30 p.m. | Boalt Hall, School of Law, Warren Room


Sayed Kashua, Clinical Professor, Jewish Culture & Society, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Chana Kronfeld, Professor of Modern Hebrew, Yiddish and Comparative Literature, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Department of Comparative Literature, and the Program for Jewish Studies, UC Berkeley

Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life


"A Borrowed Identity" examines the struggles of Arabs trying to assimilate into Israeli culture. Based on two autobiographical novels by the Arab-Israeli author and journalist Sayed Kashua, the film was directed by Eran Riklis with a script by Mr. Kashua.

Sayed Kashua will discuss his work following the screening.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

To Aleppo Gone: An Evening of Syrian Culture

Performing Arts - Other: Special Events | February 23 | 6:30-9 p.m. |  The Back Room | Tickets sold out


1984 Bonita Ave

Ahmad Diab, Assistant Professor, Department of Near Eastern Studies

Omar Offendum

Golden Thread Productions

DisOriental: Berkeley's MENA Music Ensemble

Center for Middle Eastern Studies


Poetry reading from Berkeley faculty, stage reading of Mohammad al-Attar, performance by spoken word artist Omar Offendum, and music by members of Disoriental: Berkeley's MENA Music Ensemble.


Sold out.

Friday, February 24, 2017

MENA Salon

Workshop | February 3 – May 5, 2017 every Friday with exceptions | 3-4 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 340, Sultan Conference Room


Center for Middle Eastern Studies


On Fridays at 3:00 during the semester, the CMES hosts an informal weekly coffee hour and guided discussion of current events in the Middle East and North Africa, open to all and free of charge.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Syrian Silos and Global Echo Chambers: Syrian Cultural Production Today

Lecture: Noontime Lecture Series | February 27 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 340 Stephens Hall


Ahmad Diab, Department of Near Eastern Studies

Center for Middle Eastern Studies