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American University Of Sharjah Partners With London School Of Economics To Host ’Transition In The Arab World’ Conference
(17 February 2013)


‘New Middle East: Transition in the Arab World’ conference to feature Middle East scholars from the two leading European and Arab educational institutions

Panel discussions on political transitions in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen and on US Policy and the Arab Revolutions of 2011

Attendance is free upon registration

American University of Sharjah (AUS), ranked one of the top 450 universities worldwide by QS World University Ranking, announced today that it will partner with London School of Economics (LSE), one of the foremost social science universities in the world, to host ‘The New Middle East: Transition in the Arab World’ conference on Sunday, 24th February 2013.

Middle East specialists from the AUS College of Arts and Sciences and LSE’s Middle Eastern Studies Program will feature in panel discussions about the causes of the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Political and social conditions before and after the uprisings, the US Policy on the Arab world and the meanings and effects of the Arab uprisings on local, regional and international politics will be analyzed. Discussions about the comparative causes and drivers of the uprisings and the challenges and prospects of political transition are expected to provide insights into social upheavals in modern times. Panelists will present papers that provide a contextual analysis and examine specific countries including Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, while outlining the implications of international policies on the region.

AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath, who will deliver the opening speech at the conference, said: “I congratulate the specialists in Middle East studies from the LSE and AUS who have decided to collaborate to build this forum and come together to analyze these sensitive topics. They have taken the lead in building a scholarly narrative of these unprecedented events that have shaken up societies, caused turmoil on a large scale, influenced political decisions around the world and are still not close to satisfactory resolution. We expect the discussion and debate to be healthy and constructive as the experts are not only well-known thinkers and spokespeople on Middle Eastern affairs but also have the best interests of the people at heart.”

After the opening address by AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath at 9 a.m., the first panel discussion will set the context as Professor Fawaz Gerges, Director, Middle East Centre, LSE, provides an introduction to ‘The Meanings of this Revolutionary Moment.’ He will be joined in discussion on ‘Framing the Arab Uprisings: A Historical Perspective of Egypt’s Modern Revolutions’ by Professor Juan Cole, Professor of History, University of Michigan; and Dr. Karen Young, Assistant Professor of Political Science, AUS.

The second panel will discuss Egypt, Tunisia and Libya with Professor Roger Owen, Professor of Middle East History, Harvard University; Professor Karim Mezran, Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council of the United States; and Dr. Thomas DeGeorges, Assistant Professor of International Studies, AUS.

The third discussion will be about Bahrain and Yemen and will feature Dr. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Co-Director, Kuwait Programme, LSE; Dr. Gabriele Vom Bruck, Senior Lecturer in the Social Anthropology of the Middle East, SOAS; and Dr. Isa Blumi, Associate Professor of History, Georgia State University.

The final panel discussion will be on ‘US Policy and the Arab Revolutions of 2011’ with Professor William Quandt, Professor of Politics, University of Virginia; Professor Fawaz Gerges, LSE; and Dr. Mark Rush, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, AUS.

The conference will be free to attend upon registration and will be held at the Lecture Hall B, AUS Main Building from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Middle Eastern Studies Program at AUS offers students an opportunity to explore the region’s history and to consider contemporary issues that will affect the region’s future. The program reflects the university’s desire to promote an appreciation for Arabic language and culture. To this end, all courses of study in the minor require students to take a course in Arabic language and an additional course that satisfies the university’s Arabic Heritage requirement. Beyond these two required courses, students are free to design their own course of study, drawing upon course offerings. In consultation with Dr. Imed Nsiri, the faculty adviser, students select courses in a particular thematic or interdisciplinary area, from Arabic Literature, Middle Eastern Politics and History, Islamic Finance, and Islamic Art and Architecture.

AUS, recently ranked among the top 450 universities worldwide by QS World University Ranking, is also accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the United Arab Emirates and by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States.

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