Born into Middle East conflict, new graduate goes back to make change

Feras Fahed Abushaar grew up in Kuwait knowing precisely the damage that conflict could cause. Both his Syrian father and Palestinian mother had lost their homelands to war. The family television blared dire news daily, until one day he grabbed the remote and changed the station. That moment becomes a powerful symbol for his life going forward … Continued

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Iranian American comic Maz Jobrani to keynote Berkeley commencement

Maz Jobrani, an Iranian American standup comic, actor and UC Berkeley alumnus, will deliver the 2017 commencement address on campus on Saturday, May 13. Jobrani, who came to the U.S. from Iran at the age of 6, uses comedy to combat stereotypes of immigrants from the Middle East, often drawing from his own experiences. “I try … Continued

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CMES Faculty Affiliate Named American Council of Learned Societies Fellow

Samera Esmeir, Associate Professor in the Department of Rhetoric, has been chosen as a 2017 fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, a private, nonprofit federation of 74 national scholarly organizations and the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. Esmeir’s work focuses on law and politics, Middle Eastern history and colonial … Continued

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A Message from the CMES

Dear Friends of the CMES,  This Thursday November 17, the CMES will participate in the campus-wide fundraising effort known as the “Big Give.” We hope you will take a moment to reflect on what the CMES is able to offer our community, and how far we have come. As those of you who visit us … Continued

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Contemporary Saudi Art on Display at CMES This Fall

GENERA#ION: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia presents UC Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies’ first exhibition of contemporary art from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Originally part of a larger exhibition held at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco this August 2016, this show offers a glimpse into the work of three Saudi artists. GENERA#ION marks … Continued

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Undergraduate Opportunity at CMES

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) sees seeks qualified and enthusiastic apprentices to assist in running several simultaneous events and initiatives. The Undergraduate Apprentice will assist in setup and staffing of CMES events; serve as a student ambassador to the Berkeley undergraduate community; solicit and curate ideas for future programming; research student organizations and … Continued

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Study Kurmanji Kurdish at Berkeley This Fall

Hûn bi xêr hatin Pola Kurdî ya Destpêker – Welcome to the Beginner Kurdish Course. For the first time, Near Eastern Studies will offer a course designed to introduce complete beginners to Kurmanji Kurdish, the dominant Kurdish variety spoken in Greater Kurdistan and among the Kurdish diaspora, and a language seldom taught in the United States. The course provides complete beginners of Kurmanji Kurdish with a solid foundation in all … Continued

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Brinner Graduate Fellowship

The CMES is pleased to announce the William Ze’ev Brinner Graduate Student Fellowship winner for 2016 is Ayelet Even-Nur.  Ayelet began her graduate studies at Berkeley in 2011, working in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. Details about the fellowship, which is administered by the Center for Jewish Studies, are found here.

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Iranian Films Available for Streaming to UC Berkeley Community

The CMES has partnered with IMVBox to offer free streaming of Iranian movies to the UC Berkeley community.  IMVBox—the only legal platform of its kind for Persian-language films—is an online trove of award-winning Iranian movies, including features, documentaries, and shorts. This is a great opportunity for students studying Persian at UC Berkeley. Peruse the titles at the website, … Continued

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