Middle East panel engages campus in enlightening discussion

Dear campus community:

We are extending our sincere gratitude to all those who attended the Panel Discussion on the Middle East, co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life. The event took place on Tuesday, December 5th, at Cole Memorial Chapel.

The event was successful, with a robust turnout from students, faculty, and staff. Our panel of distinguished speakers included several professors from Bridgewater State University: Dr. Jabbar Al-Obaidi, Professor of Communication Studies, Dr. Keith Lewinstein, Professor of History, and Dr. Seth J. Meyer, Assistant Professor of Public Administration. They provided invaluable insights into the complex dynamics of the Middle East, covering aspects of the region’s political, cultural, and religious landscape. Their expertise, drawn from extensive research and experience in various international settings, offered diverse perspectives that deepened our understanding of the region’s ongoing conflicts and socio-political scenarios.

We sincerely thank our speakers for their enlightening contributions and all attendees for their participation and thoughtful engagement. Your presence enriched the discourse and highlighted the strength of our campus community in coming together to learn and grow.

The thoughtful questions submitted beforehand played a significant role in enhancing the depth and breadth of the conversation. It was inspiring to see questions driven by curiosity and a wish to support fellow members of the community, which reflects our collective dedication to promoting a more informed and empathetic understanding of global issues. Let’s build on the insights and perspectives shared during this event and continue our journey.

In their closing remarks, the panelists recommended a number of books that offer a variety of Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab perspectives on the region’s troubled past and present, which are listed below.

Book recommendations from the panel:

  • A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy, by Nathan Thrall
  • My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, by Ari Shavit
  • A Tale of Love and Darkness, by Amos Oz

And two books by Rashid Khalidi:

  • The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood
  • The Hundred Years War on Palestine

Also, the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University is a valuable educational resource.

Thank you for making this event memorable. We look forward to more opportunities to learn and grow together.

— Interim Provost Karen McCormack and Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity and Belonging Luis Paredes