The Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture

News & Events

An integral part of the Center's mission is to plan a wide range of activities to shed light on the major issues in the Middle East and their significance in the global arena. The Center will work to advance knowledge of the relationship between economic development and successful peace efforts. The Center will host guest speaker series, seminars and cultural events as well as dissemination of relevant research reports, media resources and special lectures. 

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Recent News & Events

Professor Publishes Article on Drought in the Middle East
Mathew Barlow, a Professor in the Department of Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, published an article on "A Review of Drought in the Middle East and Southwest Asia" in the Journal of Climate. The Middle East and Southwest Asia comprise a region that is water-stressed, societally vulnerable, and prone to severe droughts. The research found that large-scale climate variability, particularly La Niña, appears to play an important role in region-wide drought, including the two most severe of the last fifty years—1999-2001 and 2007-2008—with implications for drought forecasting. Important dynamical factors include orography, thermodynamic influence on vertical motion, storm track changes, and moisture transport. Read the article.

Lunch Discussions “The Changing Middle East”
The Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture hosted a series of informative discussions about current events. 

Monday, March 9: Can ISIS be defeated?  
Led by Gregory Aftandilian, Associate, Middle East Center 
Wednesday, March 25: Israel after the elections: Is there hope for peace?   
Led by Seth Izen, Assistant Director, Middle East Center
Wednesday, April 22: Iran’s nuclear program: Is a deal possible?  
Led by Gregory Aftandilian, Associate, Middle East Center

20th Anniversary, Day without Violence 
"America in Arab Eyes and Arabs in American Eyes" 
Shibley Telhami, Ph.D. 

Shibley Telhami, Ph.D., reviewed public opinion polls in the United States and the Arab World to assess changing public perceptions of issues that concern both sides. Telhami is the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at University of Maryland, College Park, and non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.  


Lalla Essaydi: Beyond the Veil 
Photographs by Lalla Essaydi 
February 25 – March 20, 2015

University Gallery 

Lalla_Essaydi_Beyond_the_Veil_Bullets_8

Lalla Essaydi is a Moroccan-born artist who received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 2003. Essaydi’s work explores the complexities of Arab female identity, both from an insider’s experience of her own Moroccan childhood, and with the outsider perspective of a Western trained artist. This dual perspective allows her to explore the physical and psychological spaces of the harem, the veil, and the odalisque with a non-essentializing gaze, disrupting Orientalist notions of what it is to be both Arabic and female. 

Essaydi’s prints are part of a collaborative performance project that takes place in her childhood home in Morocco with female friends and family members as partners. Together with the artist, these women use calligraphy, bullet casings, henna, their bodies and their gaze to subvert traditional and/or imposed notions of gender, ethnicity and identity. They speak to us of a richly layered and multi-faceted world, a world that is poorly understood here in the West.


United States Ambassador to Israel Honors Professor Rayman as Distinguished American Speaker

Paula Rayman PresentationProfessor Paula Rayman, Director of the Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture, was honored as a “Distinguished American Speaker” by the United States Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, on November 21, 2014. She presented a talk, “The Role of Women in Building Positive Peace,” which covered how women’s movements in Israel and internationally are advancing new visions for peace. She detailed the eight pillars of positive peace and ways in which women are bringing new momentum to ending violence and building sustainable peace. Read more.


Middle East Center Trains Jewish and Arab Women in Non-Violent Communication

Professor Paula Rayman, Director of Middle East Center, and Mr. Seth Izen, Assistant Director of the Middle East Center conducted a training in non-violent communication for Jewish and Arab women in Ramle, Israel in November. The workshop was held at Open House, an organization committed to bridging the divide between the two sides through fostering understanding and empathy. Dalia Landau, the co-founder of Open House, stated: "These skills are a much needed life-long practice, we realize, which we hope to implement in our daily life and hopefully to follow up with Paula and Seth whenever they are in the country."


Read more about our past events.

Middle East Center Bulletins