MENA-related Events Calendar


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Siyah Zibast, Black is beautiful

Organiser: SOAS Decolonising Working Group (DWG)

With Siyah Zibast, Black is beautiful, the Collective for Black Iranians invites you for a conversation about the importance of language in identity formation and in seeing ourselves. Black is beautiful, Siyah Zibast is the first call in the Iranian community to see and say that Blackness lives in Iranian identity and vice-versa, a call to say that “Black is beautiful”. Co-founders, Priscillia Kounkou-Hoveyda, Alex Eskandarkhah, Norman Soltan Salahshour and resident historian Beeta Baghoolizadeh, as well as residents from Iran, will join us for an evening of conversations on the myriad ways in which the Collective creatively says the Persian words, “Black is Beautiful”, through its work.

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Oxford Political Thought Seminar Series - Seminar 2 - Religion

Organiser: St Antony's College, University of Oxford


Madawi al-Rasheed (LSE): 'Islamic Reform in Saudi Arabia between "the Violence of the Minority and the Apathy of the Majority"' 

Pascal Menoret (Brandeis University): 'Graveyard of Clerics'

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Weapons of Mass Hilarity

Weapons Of Mass Hilarity is a comedy night featuring comedians of different Middle Eastern backgrounds.


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Countless Palestinian Futures

Organiser: SOAS Middle East Institute and the Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS

Speakers: Danah Abdulla and Sarona Abuaker

Conversations around Palestine are often framed either in historical or present terms. But what and where are the tools that help us think through what a return to Palestine could be? This talk will discuss the process of developing Countless Palestinian Futures, a discussion based game developed jointly between Danah Abdulla and Sarona Abuaker. The talk will discuss the role of imagination as a tool to build ideas of liberation, to cultivate alliances and material developments between the very people who are systematically denied their return.

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Oxford Political Thought Seminar Series - Seminar 3 - Sovereignty

Organiser: St Antony's College, University of Oxford


Neguin Yavari (University of Leipzig): 'Islamic imperatives and Islamic rulers' 

Samy Ayoub (University of Texas-Austin): 'Law and the Exercise of Power: Debates on Political Legitimacy and Authority in the 19th - 20th centuries Egypt'

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Rethinking Statehood in Palestine: Self-Determination and Decolonization Beyond Partition

Organiser: SOAS Middle East Institute and the Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS

Speaker: Leila H. Farsakh (University of Massachusetts Boston)

Giving prominence to a young set of diverse Palestinian scholars, this groundbreaking book shows how notions of citizenship, sovereignty, and nationhood are being rethought within the broader context of decolonization. Bringing forth critical and multifaceted engagements with what modern Palestinian self-determination entails, Rethinking Statehood sets the terms of debate for the future of Palestine beyond partition.

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Oxford Political Thought Seminar Series - Seminar 4 - Violence

Organiser: St Antony's College, University of Oxford


Nesrine Badawi (American University in Cairo): ‘Debating Militancy in the Modern World’

Murad Idris (University of Michigan): ‘Theorizing Colonialism, Capitalism, and Violence in an Islamist Key’

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Sketching/Scripting Women – Women and Comics in the Arab World

Organiser: Institute of Modern Languages Research

The Spring 2022 seminar in the ‘Sketching/Scripting Women’ series of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing will explore the work of Francophone female graphic novelists from the Arab World, with contributions from academic speakers focusing on different historical and socio-political contexts spanning from the Maghreb to the Middle-East, and a talk by prize-winning Beirut-born bande dessinée author Michèle Standjofski.

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The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars, and Caliphs

Organiser: SOAS Middle East Institute

Speaker: Marc David Baer (LSE)

Recounting the Ottomans’ remarkable rise from a frontier principality to a world empire, historian Marc David Baer traces their debts to their Turkish, Mongolian, Islamic, and Byzantine heritage. The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars, and Caliphs (Basic Books, 2021) vividly reveals the dynasty’s full history and its enduring impact on Europe and the world.

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Oxford Political Thought Seminar Series - Seminar 5 - Law

Organiser: St Antony's College, University of Oxford


Mohammad Fadel (University of Toronto): ‘The Protean Sovereign of Sunni Law’

Lena Salaymeh (University of Oxford): ‘Reconsidering the Political in Premodern Islam'

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