The Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture

Working Papers

The UMass Lowell Middle East Center brings speakers to campus to present their research on key issues in the region relating to peace, development, and culture. Below are working papers from some of our guest speakers.
Note: Many of these documents are in pdf format and can be viewed using the Adobe Reader.

Gregory Aftandilian

Gregory is an independent consultant and university lecturer on Middle East politics and is currently an Associate at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture. He worked for 21 years for the U.S. Government in such capacities as Middle East analyst at the State Department, professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and foreign policy fellow to Senator Edward Kennedy. He received the State Department's Superior Honor Award for his analytical work on Egypt, and is the author of Egypt's Bid for Arab Leadership: Implications for U.S. Policy and Looking Forward: An Integrated Strategy for Supporting Democracy and Human Rights in Egypt. 

Seth Izen

Seth Izen is Assistant Director of the Middle East Center. A graduate of the Master's in Peace and Conflict Studies program at UMass Lowell, Seth has a background in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. During his time at the Peres Center for Peace in Israel, Seth wrote the following article using the framework of interest-theory to explore the actions of the President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.

Irit Keynan

Irit Keynan is a senior lecturer at the College for Academic Studies in Or-Yehuda, where she chairs a graduate program for Education, Society and Culture; and a senior researcher at the University of Haifa. During the 2009 academic year, she was a visiting scholar at the Taub Center in New York University. Irit holds a PhD in History from Tel Aviv University, and her research interests include reconciliation and coexistence, the impact of the Holocaust on Israeli society, and the impact of collective memory, trauma and ongoing wars on society's present and future. She has extensively published in academic journals, professional journals and in the public media in these areas. She is the author of an award-winning book on Holocaust survivors and their life in the aftermath of Second World War. A new book she has finished writing recently on War-Trauma in Israeli Society is now in print. At UMass Lowell, she presented material relating to her following article:

Yoram Meital

Professor Yoram Meital is the Chair-person of the Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy, and the past Chair of the Department of Middle East Studies, at Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). Professor Meital is an expert on subjects related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the politics of Arab states, and nationalism in the Middle East (with special emphasize on Egypt). He has been quoted regularly about the current crisis in the media.

Gavriel Salomon

Gavriel Salomon is the founder and director of the Center for Research on Peace Education in Haifa. Professor Salomon was the Dean of the Faculty of Education and an educational psychology professor at the University of Haifa. He is co-chair of the board of directors of Sikkuy, the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel, and chair of the Academic Council of the Arab Academic College El-Kassami. Professor Salomon received the Israel Award in 2001 for his work in the field of peace education. In 2006, Salomon was elected as fellow of the International Academy of Education.

Sammy Smooha

Professor Sammy Smooha is Professor of Sociology at the University of Haifa (since 1974) and a Visiting Professor in the Sociology Department and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University (2010-11). He was a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC (2009-10), Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences (2006-09), President of Israeli Sociological Society (2008-10), and a laureate of Israel Prize for Sociology (2008).

Beyond Coexistence Index

The Beyond Coexistence Index is a result of a UMass Lowell-sponsored program which sought to build upon Dr. Paula Rayman's Fulbright work. The research was gathered by graduate student Allegra Williams, who looked for programs that brought together Israelis and Palestinians in meaningful ways to deal with the conflict. Groups in the index approach conflict resolution in a variety of ways, from creating economic and employment opportunities, to creating arts and theatre programming for youth.

During the Summer of 2009, Allegra Williams met face to face with many of the leaders of the beyond coexistence organizations in the Index as part of the University's delegation trip to Israel, and began to forge relationships with those groups. As the Center for Peace, Development and Culture grows, UMass Lowell may have the opportunity to partner with many of these NGOs on a variety of projects or coursework. The Index and these relationships are therefore a work-in-progress, and both continue to grow as more and more NGOs within Israel establish themselves in an effort to promote peace in the region. We hope that this Index can serve as a resource for anyone interested in peace work in the Middle East.