The Middle East Center hosts a wide range of public events, including lectures, cultural events, film festivals, panel discussions, and interactive workshops. All of our events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise specified. 

Please note: in accordance with the University of Pennsylvania's current COVID-19 guidelines, the Middle East Center is planning to begin holding events again in person. It is MANDATORY for all attendees to wear masks. Physical distancing will be observed. All attendees must sign a special event sign-in sheet, attesting that they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or are a Penn community member enrolled in the Penn Cares testing program. We will continue to monitor CDC, city, and university guidelines and will move our events online if it is deemed necessary for the protection and safety of our community. 

Egyptian Film Poster Exhibit - Closing Panel

Mohannad Ghawanmeh, Ali Mohsen, Eve Troutt Powell, and moderator Heather Jaber
Feb 3, 2022 at

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: CLICK HERE The Middle East Center and Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture are proud to have presented a season of programming dedicated to the art and pageantry of 20th century Egyptian cinema. Join us we…

Rerooted Archive: 100 Years of Syrian-Armenian History

Anoush Baghdassarian, Rebekah Mills, and Ani Schug
Feb 8, 2022 at -

Armenians have formed a part of Syrian society for centuries as their own ethnic, linguistic and religious community. Then, in the aftermath of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, hundreds of thousands of survivors and orphans…

Regional and External Politics: Fawaz Gerges and Tim Mitchell

"Social Change and the Global Middle East" Series with the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy
Fawaz Gerges, Tim Mitchell, and moderators Nada Matta and Eileen Ryan
Feb 17, 2022 at -

The history of the Middle East and North Africa has long been shaped by regional and global politics. Sitting at the crossroads of trade and migration, it has been a site of imperial conflict, a cradle of world…

The Middle East Archive Project

Romaisa Baddar and Daleen Saah
Feb 18, 2022 at -

The Arab World has been framed in many diverging ways, often lacking the truth in identity. Over time, photographers have shared their own perspective, sometimes influenced by their own understanding of the culture.…

Militarized Borders and the Politics of Immigration in the 21st Century

Osman Balkan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College
Feb 23, 2022 at

In recent decades, countries around the world have instituted increasingly harsh measures, including militarized borders, offshore detention facilities, and pushback operations, to deter people from accessing their…

Should I Stay or Should I Go: The Arc of American Power in the Middle East

Sean Yom, Associate Professor of Political Science, Temple University
Mar 2, 2022 at

Is the United States pulling out of the Middle East after more than a half-century of domination -- and if so, what will be the ultimate implications?  This lecture critically assesses the popular assumption that the US…

Horizons of Israeli-Palestinian Relations After the Peace Process

Nathaniel Shils, PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania
Mar 23, 2022 at

Over the past two decades, the Oslo peace process and Two-State Solution have been pushed aside as the dominant frames for thinking about the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations. How are Israelis and Palestinians…

Governance: Noura Erakat and Lisa Anderson

"Social Change and the Global Middle East" Series with the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy
Noura Erakat, Lisa Anderson, and moderator Hocine Fetni
Mar 31, 2022 at -

As the Middle East becomes increasingly destabilized with armed conflict, civil wars, refugee crises and more – it may seem curious to focus on the issue of governance. But these factors are indicative of a larger trend…

The Limits of US Influence: Evolution of American Intervention in Syria

Sara Plana, Postdoctoral Fellow at Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania
Apr 13, 2022 at

Sara Plana will present findings from her book project on how the US attempted to control armed groups in Syria. Leveraging new evidence, including interviews with American special operators who deployed in Syria, she…

Revolutionary Religion: Youth and Islam in Post-2011 Egypt

Nareman Amin, Postdoctoral Fellow, Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy, University of Pennsylvania
Apr 20, 2022 at

This talk explores what became of young Muslim Egyptians' faith and practice in the wake of the defeated 2011 uprising. What was once a moment of national unity and euphoria quickly turned into a dire political…