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Greenberg anniversary focus: Middle East transformation, Israel

October 4, 2013

Greenberg anniversary focus: Middle East transformation, Israel

Oct. 4, 2013

The Greenberg Middle East Scholar-in-Residence 10th anniversary observance continues with public events on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 8 and 9.

Feryaz Ocakli
Feryaz Ocakli

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 8, in Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall, there will be a program titled “Understanding the Middle East: Historical and Contemporary Transformations.” Skidmore Government Professor Feryaz Ocakli will moderate the discussion and pose questions to the following scholars from Ben-Gurion University: Iris Agmon, Alon Fragman, Yair Horesh, Nimrod Hurvitz, Yoram Meital, Haggai Ram, and Dror Ze’evi. A dessert reception will follow.

Says Ocakli, “The Middle East is in a process of transformation. After a long period of seemingly stable autocratic rule, the ‘Arab Spring’ sent millions to protest and demand change. The Arab revolts led to regime change in Tunisia, military takeover in Egypt, civil war in Syria and Libya, and nothing at all in Saudi Arabia. How can we make sense of these profound movements across the Middle East? In this panel, our guest scholars will address both the durable social structures in the Middle East, as well as the changing nature of social life, political institutions, and cultural developments in the region.”

As a political scientist, Ocakli will focus on questions that address political life in the Middle East, but also hopes to help the audience learn more about the political, economic, historical, and cultural forces that influence the Middle East.

He hopes to explore such topics as historical transformations in the Middle East; poverty, inequality, and the economy of the region; democracy, the Arab uprisings, and counterrevolution; media the Internet and freedom of expression; Syria; and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The final anniversary event is scheduled at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, in Murray-Aikins Dining Hall, second floor. “Israel: From Aspiration to Regional Power” will feature scholars from the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University presenting papers focused on two tracks: track one addresses the ideational aspect of the emergence of Israel as a modern state, and track two examines the relationships between Israel and the other countries in the Middle East.

The Greenberg Middle East Scholar-in-Residence Program is under the auspices of Skidmore’s Office of the Dean of Special Programs.

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