UNT Peace Conference: The Middle East, A New Era

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UNT Peace Conference: The Middle East, A New Era

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The UNT Peace Conference: The Middle East, A New Era will be held at the Gateway Conference Center, University of North Texas in Denton on March 22 and 23, 2013.  The conference will build upon the award-winning South Asia Peace Conference at UNT in 2011. 

Conference highlights include 16 scholarly sessions, three keynote speakers including a Middle East ambassador, a cultural show, an art exhibit, and poster presentations.

Each keynote session (one lunch and one dinner) requires pre-payment of $20 per meal. All other sessions throughout the conference and the Middle East Cultural Performance on March 23 at 7:30 pm are free.   


CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

High-level dignitaries from the Middle East and ambassadors will participate in the conference as keynote and distinguished speakers.

Representatives of two Middle Eastern embassies in Washington D.C., participating in the conference, will discuss capacity building and research activities in the region.

Cultural activities of the Conference will include a major cultural performance event.

Research papers presented in the Conference will be published in a book.

Scholars and researchers from the US and abroad will participate in the Conference.    

There is a large Middle Eastern diaspora in the DFW area with a potential to become a source of perennial peace and harmony in the Middle East. The conference will actively involve these communities, its sessions and cultural activities.

Students will develop class projects for extra credits in coordination with professors; they will enjoy free access to conference sessions and presentations. 

 

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

UNT PEACE CONFERENCE, MARCH 22-23, 2013
THE MIDDLE EAST: A NEW ERA?

University of North Texas, Gateway Conference Center

 

UNT SPONSORS
Office of the Provost, Office of Research and Economic Development,

Castleberry Peace Institute, Division of UNT-International

T
he Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute (CAMCSI), International Studies, Division of Student Affairs, UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts (IAA), Jewish Studies, Department of Political Science, Department of Art History, Women’s Studies

COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Texas Woman’s University, Dallas Peace Center, Syrian American Council

Fun Asia Radio, Raindrop Turkish House, Muslim Community Center for Human Services

Welcome to the 2013 UNT Peace Conference, The Middle East: A New Era?


Building upon the successful experience of the first award-winning South Asia Peace Conference in 2011, a committed group of faculty and staff is continuing the momentum in organizing this interdisciplinary and thematic conference devoted to building bridges of peace across the world.
This Conference is a collaborative effort of several UNT departments including the Office of the Provost, Castleberry Peace Institute, UNT-International, the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute (CAMCSI), Office of Research and Economic Development and several academic departments. The Middle East is one of the most strategically located regions in the world with religious, political and economic challenges and opportunities. Rich with natural resources, the region has also become a center of international politics.


This Conference demonstrates UNT’s strong commitment to establishing peace in the region with a substantial number of researchers and visiting scholars on our campus who are working on Middle East issues. UNT also has close to 500 students from 19 countries in the region including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

In addition to having strong connections in Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Turkey and Yemen, UNT faculty members are also involved in research and teaching projects in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. With a focus on economic, political, social and educational transformations as a result of youth uprisings in the region, the Conference is hosting scholars, researchers and diplomats to discuss critical issues related to peace and harmony. It offers sessions on a variety of topics from intrastate harmony to interstate conflicts and related peace efforts.

By organizing this conference, it is also our intention to promote international research and offer networking opportunities to institutions and scholars working on topics related to the Middle East, North Africa and the Muslim world at large. In addition, the conference also offers an art exhibit on March 22, two book displays, information booths both days and a colorful cultural evening  of Middle Eastern dance and music on March 23.

We would like to thank UNT sponsors and community partners for supporting and sponsoring the Conference. It would have been impossible for us to organize a conference of this level without the full support of the UNT administration. We are grateful to our Provost, Dr. Warren Burggren, and Vice Provost for International Affairs, Dr. Richard Nader, for their support and generous funding. 

Thanks for participating in the conference.

Organizing Committee:
Dr. Qaisar Abbas, Assistant Dean and Conference Chair
Dr. Richard Golden, Director, Jewish Studies
Professor Tania Khalaf, Assistant Professor, Department of Radio, TV and Film
Dr. David Mason, Director, Castleberry Peace Institute
Dr. Emile Sahliyeh, Director, International Studies
Dr. Nada Shabout, Director, Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute (CAMCSI)
Dr. Sandra Spencer, Director of Women’s Studies
Dr. Nancy Stockdale, Associate Professor, Department of History
Dr. Saleha Suleman, Assistant Vice Provost for International Affair

 


 

March 22, Gateway Center Ballroom B
Joe W. “Chip” Pitts III, Professor of Law, Human Rights Attorney, Former Chairman of Amnesty International

Human Rights in the Middle East in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring
Meir Shlomo, Consul General of Israel, Houston

The Middle East Road Map

  • KEYNOTE LUNCH WITH DISTINGUISHED  SPEAKER

March 23, Gateway Center Ballroom B
Dr. Jonathan Brown, Georgetown University

The Middle East in Transition: What’s Next?

TIMELINE
Thursday, March 21

  • Arrival of conference participants.

Friday, March 22

  • Opening reception of the Middle East Art Exhibit at noon.

  • Eight sessions will be offered throughout the day as panel discussions, individual research presentations and research panels by scholars, political activists and diplomats on the themes of nuclear politics, the youth uprising and its aftermath, North Africa, human rights, and documentaries in the region.

  • Books display and information booths on the Middle East at the Gateway Center.

  • Ongoing Craft and Book Show in Willis Library.

  • Distinguished speakers Joe W. “Chip” Pitts III and Ambassador Meir Shlomo will speak on contemporary peace issues of the region at the dinner.

Saturday, March 23

  • Eminent scholar, Dr. Jonathan Brown of Georgetown University will be the keynote speaker at lunch.

  • Eight scholarly sessions will be offered on peace, conflicts, women’s rights, youth movements and creative arts, social justice, education, poverty and other themes.

  • The conference will end in a colorful cultural night to be presented by UNT-International and student associations.

CONFERENCE PROGRAM
Friday, March 22

 

TIME

EVENT

LOCATION

7:30-9 a.m.

REGISTRATION

Gateway Lobby

Throughout Conference

Display of Books on the Middle East
In collaboration with UNT Bookstore

Gateway Room 48

Throughout
Conference

Middle Eastern Craft and Book Exhibit
In Collaboration with Willis Library and UNT-International

Willis Library

 

 

 

9-10:30 a.m.

SESSION 1: Research Panel
REGIME TRANSITIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Chair: Dr. David Mason, University of North Texas

Papers: 
Dr. Idean Salehyan, University of North Texas
Political Contestation and Violence in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya after the Revolutions

Dr. Manochehr Dorraj, Texas Christian University
Arab Spring and Its Aftermath: Where Do We Go From Here?

Gateway
Room 42

9:00 am - 10:30 am

Session 2: Research Panel
Women's Rights and Social Wrongs: Creating Egalitarian Societies

Chair: Dr. Sandra Spencer, University of North Texas

Papers: Dr. Rima Abunasser, Texas Christian University
Women of the Arab Spring: Social and Religious Redefinition

Ms. Hagar Abdo Hassan, University of North Texas
Women's Equality Issues in The Mahgreb and Egypt

Ms. Kristin Alder, University of North Texas
We Went to the Square, But Now, Where Do We Go? Examining Women, Peace and Security in the MENA Region

Gateway
Room 51

10:45 a.m.-12 p.m.

SESSION 3:  Research Panel
ISRAEL IN THE CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EAST

Chair: Dr. Richard Golden, University of North Texas

Papers:
Dr. Ami Pedahzur, University of Texas at Austin
Israeli Exceptionalism-The Unique Challenge

Dr. David Patterson, University of Texas at Dallas
The Wall of Hatred: Hamas, Fatah, and the Muslim Brotherhood

Gateway
Room 42

10:45 a.m..-12 p.m.

SESSION 4: Panel Discussion
COLLABORATIVE ARTS IN COUNTRIES OF CONFLICT

Chair: Dr. Nada Shabout, University of North Texas

Participants:
Prof. Morehshin Allahyari, Curator and Artist
Your Night, My Day Project

Prof. Eden Ünlüata, Curator and Artist
Your Night, My Day Project

Gateway
Room 51

12-1:30 p.m.

Opening Reception, Middle East Art Exhibit

Your Night My Day

Curated by Prof. Morehshin Allahyari and Prof. Eden Ünlüata
The exhibit is an ongoing digital project based on intercultural and collaborative artwork by artists in Iran and the U.S that began in fall 2010.

Heavy Hors d'oeuvres will be  provided

Sponsored by CAMSCI, The Institute for the Advancement of the Arts, and the UNT Peace Conference.

UNT on the Square,  Downtown Denton
(see map at back of program)

2-3:30 p.m.

SESSION 5: Panel Discussion and Film Screening
FILM AS INSTIGATOR OR MEDIATOR OF PEACE

Chair, Prof. Tania Khalaf, University of North Texas

Participants:
Prof. Melinda Levin, University of North Texas
Muslim Women’s Roles in Northern Israel


Prof. Tania Khalaf,
University of North Texas
Gaza Shield: Promoting Peace through Video Games

Dr. Nancy Stockdale, University of North Texas 
Orientalist Fantasies: Hollywood and the Generic Middle Easterner

Gateway
Room 42

2-3:30 p.m.

SESSION 6: Research Panel
COMBATING TERRORISM: TURKISH RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES

Chair: Dr. Samih Teymur, Turkish National Police

Papers:
Dr. Serdar Yildiz and  Dr. Ferhat Göktepe, Turkish National Police
The Role of Social Projects in Preventing Radicalization and Terrorism

Mr. Selahattin Akçay, Turkish National Police
Discussant

Gateway
Room 51

4-5:30 p.m.

SESSION 7: Panel Discussion
Youth Uprising and Political Transformation in Egypt

Chair: Ms. Sawsan Gharib, Dallas community leader

Participants:
Mr. Ahmed Maher, leader of youth movement in Egypt
Egypt In the Aftermath of Revolution

Mr. Wael Kandil,  journalist associated with the youth uprising in Egypt
Altahrir in the Eyes of World Media

Gateway
Room 42

4-5:30 p.m.

SESSION 8: Research Presentation
Human Rights  and Social Justice for Palestinians

Chair: Dr. H. Ibrahim Salih, Texas Wesleyan University

Paper:
Dr. Barbara Harlow, University of Texas at Austin
Ghassan Kanafani and the Questions of Palestine: From the Right of Return to Universal Jurisdiction

Gateway
Room 51

6-9:30 p.m.

Keynote Dinner with Distinguished Speakers
PROSPECTS FOR PEACE AND HARMONY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

 
Distinguished Speakers

JOE W. “CHIP” PITTS III, PROFESSOR OF LAW, HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Human Rights in the Middle East in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprising

AMBASSADOR MEIR SHLOMO, CONSUL GENERAL OF ISRAEL, HOUSTON
The Middle East Road Map

Gateway Ballroom B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, March 23

 

TIME

EVENT

LOCATION

Throughout Conference

Display of Books on the Middle East
In collaboration with UNT Bookstore

Gateway Room 48

Throughout
Conference

Middle Eastern Craft and Book Exhibit
In Collaboration with Willis Library and UNT-International

Willis Library

9-10:30 AM

SESSION 9: Research Panel
PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI PEACE PROSPECTS

Chair: Dr. Emile Sahliyeh, University of North Texas

Papers:
Ambassador Raymond Smith, , University of North Texas
U.S. Interests in the Middle East:  The Enduring and the Transitory

Dr. Charles Dr. Smith, University of Arizona
Palestinians and Israelis: Obstacles to Peace

Gateway
Room 42

9-10:30 a.m.

SESSION 10: Research Panel
Creative Resistance as Part of the Arab Uprising

Chair: Dr. Masood Raja, University of North Texas

Papers:
Dr. Miriam Cooke, Duke University
Cultural Dissidence and the Arab Uprisings

Ms. Basima Shaheen, University of North Texas
The Arab Spring and the Flowering of Palestinian Revolutionary Lyrics

Mr. Walid Keilani, Arabic Poet
Songs of Freedom: Poetic Resistance to Status Quo

Gateway
Room 51

10:45 a.m.-12 p.m.

SESSION 11: : Research Presentation
FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY 

Chair: Dr. James Meernik, University of North Texas

Papers:
Dr. H. Ibrahim Salih and Dr. Sara Towe Horsfall, Texas Wesleyan University
Democracy: An Islamic Reawakening

Mohammed Alaa Ghanem, Syrian American Council
Syria Ground Up: Rebuilding Syria from the Grassroots

Gateway
Room 42

10:45 a.m.-12 p.m.

SESSION 12: Research Panel
SOVEREIGNTY VS. HEGEMONY: MUSLIM STATES AS TARGET OF DRONES

Chair: Mr. Aftab Siddiqui, Dallas Peace Center

Participants:
Col. Ann Wright, Global Exchange
Drone Attacks and Growing Public Opinion in Muslim Countries

Dr. Sarah Waheed, Georgetown University
Saviors and Victims: Drones, the Other, Women, and the Propaganda War

Dr. Sahar Aziz, Texas Wesleyan University
Legalizing an Illegal War: Drones or No Drones? 

Gateway
Room 51

 

 

 

12-2:30p.m.

LUNCH & KEYNOTE SPEAKER
THE MIDDLE EAST IN TRANSITION: WHAT’S NEXT?

DR. JONATHAN A.C. BROWN

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY

Gateway Ballroom B

 

 

 

3-4:30 p.m.

SESSION 13: Research Panel
INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN MIDDLE EASTERN AND AMERICAN EDUCATION SYSTEMS

Chair: Dr. Miriam Ezzani, University of North Texas

Papers:
Dr. Melanie Brooks, Iowa State University
A Muslim Teacher’s Experience in Public and Islamic Schools: A Search for Acceptance and Understanding

Dr. Marc Cutright, University of North Texas
Trends in Higher Education in the Middle East: Mixed Signals

Dr. Faegheh Shirazi, University of Texas at Austin
Educating Iranian Women

Gateway
Room 42

3-4:30 p.m.

SESSION 14: Research Panel
Turkey in the Thick and Thin of the Middle East

Chair: Dr. Doğan Koç, Gülen Institute at the University of Houston

Papers:
Dr. Martha Ann Kirk,  University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio
Turkish NGOs and Peace Building in Northern Iraq


Dr. Doğan Koç,
Gülen Institute at the University of Houston
Strategies of Turkish Government in Dealing with PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) Insurgency


Dr. Bilal Haciogullari

Turkey and Redesigning the Fertile Crescent

Gateway
Room 51

4:45-6:30 p.m.

SESSION 15: Research Panel
In the Eye of the Storm: Iran and the Arab Uprising

Chair: Dr. Mahmoud Sadri, Texas Woman’s University

Papers:
Dr. Nader Hashemi and Dr. Mahmoud Sadri
How Green is Spring? Comparing the Iranian and the Arab Pro-Democracy Movements

Dr. Mohsen Mobasher, University of Houston-Downtown
Globalization and Socio-Cultural Change in Qatar: A Visual and Narrative Analysis

Mr. Mahdi Ahmadi, University of North Texas
U.S. Led Sanctions on Iran and its Negative Impact on the Middle East Peace

Mr. Ali Madanipour, Texas Woman’s University
Discussant

Gateway
Room 42

4:45-6:30 p.m.

SESSION 16: Panel Discussion
Urbanization, Town Planning and the Struggling Poor

Chair, Dr. Nancy Stockdale, University of North Texas

Participants:
Dr. Nuha Khoury, University of California, Santa Barbara
Art, Children and Poverty in the Arab World

Dr. Nada Shabout, University of North Texas
A New Baghdad: Arab Capital Culture 2013

Gateway
Room 51

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Middle Eastern Crafts and Books Exhibit
In Collaboration with Willis Library and UNT-International
Light Dinner for Conference Presenters & Chairs Provided

Willis Library

7:30-9:30 p.m.

Celebrating Peace: Middle Eastern Music and Dance
In collaboration with UNT student associations, UNT-International
and community organizations in Dallas and Fort Worth, the UNT Peace Conference presents Celebrating Peace: Middle Eastern Music and Dance. 

The cultural program will include various performances including the Turkish whirling dervish, Iranian setar and santour, peace songs, Persian music, Byzantine music, Saudi Arabian dance, the UNT international band, Palestinian debkeh folklore dance, Iraqi chobi dance, a traditional attire show, images of Israel and the Middle East and other performances. 

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