Spring 2017


 The narratives of a coexisting Levant offer competing chronicles to the modern Middle East, a region more recently characterized by conflict and sectarianism. For some, the pluralism and diversity in the Ottoman Empire gave rise to a rich cosmopolitan culture, largely concentrated in Smyrna, Alexandria, and Beirut. The collapse of the Ottoman Empire changed the regional order in the Middle East as the rise of nationalism forced people of the Levant to embody new national identities. Throughout the 20th century, nationalist movements, such as the Turkish, Arab, and Greek, sought to homogenize the lively mixture of Eastern Mediterranean identities to narrow ethnic or religious definitions. Today, major political crises in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings are occurring in the very same nation states that fall of Ottoman empire gave rise to. Examining the relationship between cosmopolitanism, nationalism, and forced migration in the Eastern Mediterranean over the last century provides a unique portal to understanding the modern Middle East and global migration patterns. The Spring 2017 event series at the Fares Centers will offer a niche historical lens to Middle East by conveying the Levantine cosmopolitan culture through food, music, and literature and exploring the historical migration of East Mediterranean peoples. Attend our events  and join the conversation!






Among the Righteous: Jews in Arab Lands During the Holocaust

A discussion with Dr. Robert Satloff

January 25, 2017 from 12:30 to 2:00 PM 


EgyptThe Conceptual Debate on Jihadism and Terrorism

A discussion with Dr. Olivier Roy

February 02, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:00 PM



EgyptPakistan: Knowns & Unknowns: A South Asian Security Perspective

 A discussion with Mr. Rizwan Saeed Sheikh

 February 06, 2017 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM



The Tripoli Project Presentation

with Claire Wilson and Nathan Cohen-Fournier

February 07, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:00 PM

 EgyptVisions of Peace: Visuals for Awareness and Hope

with Saskia Keeley

February 8, 2017 at 6:00 PM




EgyptThe Changing Order in the Middle East

 with Nadim Shehadi & Ibrahim Warde

 February 13, 2017 from 12:30 to 2:00 PM


EgyptSyria's Civil War and the Post-American Middle East

 A discussion with Dr. Christopher Phillips

 February 28, 2017 from 12:30 to 2:00 PM




The Fletcher Food Symposium

Cuisine and Identity in the Eastern Mediterranean

March 31, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM



A Cosmopolitan Medley: Music and Identity in the Eastern Mediterranean

Talk and Performances by Beth Bahia Cohen et al

April 13, 2017 from 7:30 to 9:00 PM


Refugees and Migrants: Boston's Levantine Communities in Historical Perspective

A workshop with experts and historians

April 22, 2017 from 10:00 to 4:00 PM

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