year of the middle east
For several decades, studying Islam in Central Asia meant beginning with questions, analytical categories, and conceptual frameworks rooted in Soviet and Russian studies; this approach, combined with a lack of basic understanding of the historical experience of Central Asian Muslims prior to the Soviet era, led to host of misconceptions surrounding the character of Muslim religious life in the Soviet era, the impact of Soviet policies and realities, and trends in the renegotiation of religious identities in the post-Soviet age. Recent years have brought, in some circles, growing awareness of the need for approaches drawn from Islamic studies and from a historically-grounded understanding of the history of Muslim religiosity in Central Asia. This lecture will discuss some of the misconceptions rooted in the ‘Sovietological’ approach to Islam in the region, and the lessons to be drawn from viewing the region through the lens of Islamic studies, with a particular focus on the ways in which religiosity was manifested in Soviet times, and on the ways in which religiosity shaped or interacted with notions of ‘national’ identity.
Divahn features the Middle Eastern and Sephardic Jewish Music of Galeet Dardashti.
Iranian-descended singer Galeet Dardashti leads Divahn's edgy all-female power-house ensemble. The group has engendered an international following, performing in venues ranging from international concert halls to the most prestigious clubs in NYC. Infusing traditional and original Middle Eastern Jewish songs with sophisticated harmonies, entrancing improvisations, and funky arrangements, Divahn's thrilling live shows feature lush string arrangements, eclectic Indian, Middle Eastern, and Latin percussion, and vocals spanning Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, Persian, Arabic, and Aramaic. “Divan,” a word common to Hebrew, Persian, and Arabic, means a collection of songs or poetry. Through their music, the group creatively underscores common ground between diverse Middle Eastern cultures and religion.
4:00-4:25 Dr. Adam Milewski, Assistant Professor of Geology, University of Georgia, "The Past, Present, and Future of Water Resources in the Middle East and North Africa Region"
4:30-4:55 Dr. Neda Zawahri, Associate Professor of Political Science, Cleveland State University, "Management of Transboundary Rivers in the Middle East"
5:00-5:25 Discussion moderated by Dr. Alan Fryar