Upcoming Events

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Teach-In on Current Events in the Arab World: Return to Business as Usual after the Uprisings? 

November 10, 2018, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. at George Mason University, Merten Hall 1204

The Arab uprisings captured our attention eight years ago, dominating the news cycle. Since then, the situation in the region has been characterized by catastrophic humanitarian crises, reconsiderations of governance structures and policies toward both liberalization and authoritarianism, and military consolidations and responses. The underlying demographic, economic, and social issues faced by citizens have persisted or even deteriorated. This teach-in brings scholars and journalists to discuss Palestine, Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia over the past decade. Teachers of world history and geography, global studies and regional studies will gain perspectives from the experts and acquire teaching resources on these challenging and crucial topics.

The event is co-sponsored by the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program at George Mason University, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, and the Arab Studies Institute, and by the Center for Global Islamic Studies, Global Affairs, Global Programs, History Department, the Schar School of Policy and Government, Film and Media Studies. Lunch will be served. Registration link here.


UNESCO world heritage sites from the Old City of Sana'a to the Island of Socotra are under critical threat as a consequence of the ongoing conflict. Monuments and museums have been damaged in aerial bombardments. Archaeological sites are being looted and Yemen's antiquities have appeared on the international black market. Also under duress is Yemen's rich heritage of handicrafts, jewelry production, and rare Arabic manuscripts. Long before the current conflict, external political influences disrupted Yemen's rich and diverse heritage of dancing, music, and storytelling commonly referred to as "intangible" heritage. Due to its location at a pivotal point along the Red Sea and Indian Ocean trade and pilgrimage routes, Yemen has long had extensive contacts with Egypt, the East African coast, the Persian Gulf, India, Indonesia, and even as far as China. In addition to exploring the richness of Yemen's heritage and the challenges facing it, the roundtable will discuss existing local and international preservation efforts. Speakers will explore the concept of "living heritage," a critical component for the sustainable development of Yemeni society after the current conflict ends. In addition to the speakers, the roundtable will draw on the collective experience of those in attendance.


Saturday, November 17, 2018 3:00pm

Title of roundtable: 

Challenges facing Yemen's Millennia-Long Cultural Heritage


Najwa Adra, from the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, "Intangible Heritage: poetry, music and
dance in Yemen".  

Nathalie Peutz from the New York University in Abu Dhabi, "Environmental heritage: Islands of Yemen, Conservation and Transformation".

Alexander Nagel from the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, "Saving Cultural Heritage" as a method of exploitation during the war".

Sabine Schmidtke from the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ, "Islam's Rationalist Heritage and the preservation of Yemeni Religious Manuscripts". 

Sama'a Al-Hamdani from the Yemen Cultural Institute for Heritage and the Arts, "The shifting of Yemen's political landscape and its effect on Yemen's heritage".