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Skidmore College
Greenberg Middle East Scholar-In-Residence

Fall 2006 Scholar-in-Residence: Haggai Ram, Professor of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Narratives"Narratives of Revolt" is the theme of this fall's Greenberg Middle East Scholar-in-Residence on campus. In a series of events that could be drawn from current headlines, visiting scholar Haggai Ram will be a featured participant in a number of lectures designed to shed light on current developments in the Middle East.

Ram, a senior lecturer in the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, will focus on Israeli-Iranian relations as well as the Islamic revolution in discussions scheduled in September. Later in the fall, guest lecturers will focus on Hamas and Hezbollah and their role in conflict and democracy, and an overview of Middle East conflicts.

A member of the Ben-Gurion University faculty since 1994, Ram has also taught at New York University, and at the Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University, both in Israel. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. from NYU with a dissertation titled Islamic Symbolism: The Ideology of the Islamic Revolution in Iran as Reflected in the Friday Congregational Sermon.

His teaching specialties have included the history of Islam, the history of the Middle East in the 20th century, and the Iranian revolution of 1979. Ram has lectured widely on aspects of the Iranian revolution and on contemporary developments in the Middle East to scholars throughout the U.S. and the Middle East. During the 2005–06 academic year he co-organized an international workshop called "Exile and Displacement in the Middle East" at Ben-Gurion University.

Ram was named a distinguished international visitor at the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU in 2001. His doctoral dissertation received honorable mention from the Foundation for Iranian Studies and the Middle East Studies Association.

Fall 2006 Events

The following events are scheduled as part of the Greenberg Middle East Scholar-in-Residence Series this fall. All are free and open to the public.

8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12: "Cyrus's Twins: An Unconventional Guide to the History of Israeli-Iranian Relations," by Haggai Ram. Davis Auditorium, Palamountain Hall.

8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21: "Re-reading the Islamic Revolution: From Feb. 11 (1979) to Sept. 11, (2001)," an illustrated conversation with Ram and Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Payne Room, Tang Museum.

8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10: "Hamas and Hezbollah: Risk, Conflict, and Democracy," by Robert Malley, Middle East and North Africa Program director, International Crisis Group, Washington, D.C., Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall.

8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6: "Middle East Conflicts: Rebellion, Revolution, Resistance or Civil War?" by Lisa Anderson, James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations and dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Gannett Auditorium.

Blood relativeBLOOD RELATIVE

By the Middle East Project Ensemble
April 13–15 and April 19–22
Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater

All performances at 8 p.m. except Sundays at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $7 students, seniors, Skidmore community; $10 general admission Call Box Office for reservations at 518-580-5439

A young man is born to an Israeli mother and a Palestinian father. Both peoples claim him. Torn apart by unending conflict, he embarks on a journey through the collective memory of the Middle East. The shared and competing stories of each culture push and pull at him as he searches for reconciliation.

Director: Lary Opitz
Scenic design: Garett Wilson
Lighting design: David Yergan
Costume design: Patty Pawliczak



Lora Berg, US Foreign Service Officer with Karim Chaibi, Artist and Writer
Wednesday, April 4, 8 p.m.
Davis Auditorium

An FS-1 Foreign Service Officer, Lora Berg has served as an American diplomat at the U.S. embassies in Tunis, Riyadh, Bratislava, and Bridgetown, as well as the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah. She holds a double master's degree from Johns Hopkins University in international relations and poetry and has specialized in public affairs and cultural diplomacy during her diplomatic career. She is the recipient of several meritorious honor awards as well as a sustained superior service award, including for her outreach work to audiences in Saudi Arabia. Married to writer and artist Karim Chaibi, Berg is the mother of three.

Writer and visual artist Karim Chaibi published his first collection of original art and stories, Soul of a Harpist, with Petrus Press in 2005. He is currently working on a manuscript about his journey out of political Islam. Karim holds a degree in theology from the University of Tunis and has lived and worked in the Middle East, Europe and the U.S. Most recently in Slovakia, Chaibi wrote regular columns for Slovak newspapers about Middle East politics. A self-taught visual artist, Chaibi has developed a unique style of spiritual surrealism infused with Mediterranean colors. He has held solo exhibits throughout Slovakia and in Washington, D.C., and has participated in group exhibits in Italy, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. His paintings are held in private collections around Europe, in Saudi Arabia and in the U.S. as well as in two public Slovak collections.

The Greenberg Middle East Scholar-in-Residence Series is made possible by a gift from Skidmore alumna Jane Greenberg. The series enables the college to host an Israeli scholar who, through teaching, lecturing and participating in campus life, educates the community on a range of topics concerning political life in the Middle East. The Office of the Dean of Special Programs coordinates the Greenberg series.