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Skidmore College
Greenberg Middle East Scholar-In-Residence

Fall 2004 Scholar-in-Residence: Dror Ze'evi, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Dr. Ze'evi earned his degrees in Middle Eastern history from Tel Aviv University, conducted postdoctoral studies at Princeton University and has been a visiting scholar and instructor at Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University, Bosphorus University and on the faculty at Ben Gurion University since 1992. Dr. Ze'evi is the one of the founders of the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben Gurion University, which he headed from its foundation in 1995 to 1998 and again from 2002 to 2004. His An Ottoman Century: the District of Jerusalem in the 1600s (SUNY Press, 1996, also available in Hebrew and Turkish translations), based on primary sources in Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew and European languages, studies a long-neglected period in the history of Palestine and the Middle East. Producing Desire: Changing Sexual Discourse in the Ottoman Middle East, (Forthcoming from the University of California Press) studies major transformations in sexuality and gender conceptions in the Middle East from the 16th century to the 20th. He has lectured and published widely on issues ranging from sex and gender in 16th-century research; teaching interests include Middle Eastern society and culture in the modern and early modern period. He also founded the Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy and was its first chairperson, from 1997 to 2002. In the last three years he heads an Israeli contingent in second-track talks with Palestinian politicians and intellectuals.

Fall 2004 Events

"Israelis and Palestinians: The Burdens of the Past, the Shape of the Future," a lecture by Professor Dror Ze'evi, September 21, 2004

Or, premier of 2004 Cannes Film Festival Golden Camera award–winning film for Best First Film, followed by a conversation with Israeli filmmaker Keren Yedaya, October 4, 2004

"The Two Faces of Wahhabism: the Struggle Between Radical and Conservative Visions of Islam," a lecture by Nimrod Hurwitz, professor of Middle Eastern studies at Ben Gurion University and research fellow at Harvard Law School's Islamic Legal Studies Program, October 20, 2004

"Histories of Sexuality in the Middle East," a lecture by Professor Dror Ze'evi, December 7, 2004

Special Event: a visit with Sari Nusseibeh

Panel discussion: Palestinian and Israeli Grassroots Peace Initiatives, with Sari Nusseibeh, Dror Ze'evi and Steve Hoffmann, November 10, 2004

"Israeli-Palestinian Deadlocks: Persons or Issues?" a lecture by Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, November 10, 2004

"On Current Palestinian Political Culture," a discussion with Sari Nusseibeh, November 11, 2004

Sari Nusseibeh is professor of Islamic philosophy and president of al Quds University in East Jerusalem; former Palestinian Liberation Organization representative in Jerusalem; founder of the Palestinian peace movement the People's Campaign for Peace and Democracy; co-founder, with former Israeli security Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon, of The People's Voice; recent recipient, along with Israeli author Amos Oz, of the Premi Internacional Catalunya Award for his peace work; and currently a Radcliffe Institute fellow working on nonviolence as a means of disarming violence.

Nusseibeh has gained considerable attention with his public criticisms of the direction of the current intifada and his call for both sides to make difficult compromises in the pursuit of peace. He has played a high-profile role as a leading Palestinian moderate, participating in countless meetings with Israeli peace activists. In openly calling for an end to the attacks on Israeli civilians, he has been showered with condemnations by Fatah leaders and the Palestinain Authority, even as he has been described as "the pretty face of terrorism" by the (now former) Israeli Public Security Minister Uzi Landau, who ordered Nusseibeh's offices closed at the university, alleging they served as Palestinian Authority offices. Shimon Peres has called him a "courageous and trustworthy interlocutor," and he has increasingly been viewed as among the most important Palestinian voices speaking out in support of peace. He is a Palestinian member of the group now engaged with Dror Ze'evi, (Jacob Perlow Middle East Scholar-in-Residence) and others in "second-tier" talks. We are truly privileged to have Nusseibeh on our campus.

Nusseibeh will be offering a lecture open to the public on Wednesday, November 10 at 8 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium on the subject of the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. A number of other events have been planned for Skidmore students and faculty.