American University of Beirut



​​Spring 2024​​​

Restaging "An Enemy of the People"

A Lebanese adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People" directed by Lucien Bourjeily and produced by Robert Myers of Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR), will be restaged in the spring of 2024, partially funded by CASAR. The play, which has been adapted and translated to Lebanese Arabic, was sold out for all its shows during the Fall of 2024. It follows mayor of a 1920s Lebanese town, Peter (Abdelrahim al Awji) and his brother, Thomas (Ziad Najjar). Tension rises between the brothers as Thomas, a doctor, attempts to inform the town about a water contamination, but finds his efforts opposed by Peter, who runs the town’s spa. Using this premise, the play tackles complex issues of societal change and opposition, with its themes reflecting the modern Lebanese reality and offering valuable insight into its unique traits and challenges.​

Are the Streets Still for Dreaming? Exhibition

“Are The Streets Still For Dreaming?” is a new art exhibition curated by Octavian Esanu and funded by the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR). The exhibition was launched on the 28th of February 2024 and is currently open at the AUB Byblos Bank Art Gallery (Ada Dodge Hall). It showcases Esanu’s experience with contemporary Lebanese art practices, imbuing them with aspects of the intimate and personal. The Beirut underground scene of 2005-2019 is displayed through this exploration, with its skating groups, metal and punk music bands, and the various practices that emerged from them.​

The Speed of Moth

“The Speed of Moth" is a drawing workshop and exhibition offered by painter Shawki Youssef and funded by the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR). Participants were guided by Youssef through intensive workshops that took place on the 15th and 19th of February 2024. They were coached to find the pieces of art hidden within decaying blank canvases, complemented and embraced by Youssef's distorted art style. The exhibition opened on the 2nd of February 2024 at AUB Rose and Shaheen Saleeby Museum of Art.​​

Talk Series on Palestine

​​In collaboration with The Critical Humanities for the Liberal Arts Program (CHLA), Palestine Land Studies, Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH), Department of Sociology, Anthropology and media Studies (SOAM), CASAR is co-sponsoring a series of online events entitled “For Palestine: Analyzing Settler Colonialism and the Return of Fascism." This series was started last semester, and it aims to offer students and the AUB community a platform to learn more about Palestine and settler colonialism from prominent thinkers and reliable voices. 

The first event titled “The Political Economy of Palestinewas hosted on February 28 at 5pm Beirut time. One of the discussants was Andy Clarno, author of Neoliberal Apartheid, ​whose work is pertinent to the current discourse on the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

Fall 2023-24​

​Screening of the films by Gian Spina

This September CASAR hosted a two day film screening event to showcase 3 interesting films by filmmaker Gian Spina, Calabouco and the Razing When I Die, Jordao, and That's Where the Money Is

Gian Spina, born in São Paulo, Brazil is a writer, researcher and artist. Has worked and taught in educational projects as International Art Academy Palestine, Escola da Cidade (São Paulo), the Ionion Center for Arts and Culture (Greece) as well as CILAS (Cairo). Today he learns Arabic, speaks five other languages and is constructing an interdisciplinary body of work on the materialization of power in history, narrative and the public sphere. He was part of the residency programs as Capacete and Documenta 14 in Athens (2017), MMAG Foundation in Amman (2018) as well as GEGENWARTE/PRESENCES in Chemnitz, Germany (2020). Lately he participated on the Sheffield Film Festival, Les Rencontre d'Arles and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. He has written articles for Mada Masr, Folha de São Paulo, Arts Everywhere, World Policy Institute, and several other independent publications.

He lives in Cairo and his work can be seen at​

Show Boat, the Birth of the American Musical with Kirsten Sanderson

This talk by Kirsten Sanderson tackled on the history of Musical Theatre with a focus on "Show Boat," and the birth of a new kind of Musical, one that put comedy, song, and dance together with a dramatic socially impactful story. Sanderson demonstrated how some of the most talented artists of the early 20th century, including Florenze  Ziegfeld, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein and Edna Ferber came together and reinvented the American Musical; creating a classic work that continues to thrill audiences 100 years later.

Speaker bio: Kirsten Sanderson has directed new plays by, Michael John LaChiusa, Craig Lucas, Shel Silverstein, Steven Schwartz and Blake Edwards, among others. Her work has been seen at Playwright's Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, HBO Comedy Arts Festival, The Director's Company, Sundance Theatre Lab, The Women's Project, New York Fringe Festival, Carnegie Hall, and Town Hall, to name a few.​

​​​Arab Nude Exhibition​

CASAR contributed $5,000 toward an exhibition which took place in New York, titled "Partisans of the Nude," a comprehensive survey showcasing genre art of the nude created by artists in regions previously under Ottoman influence but not yet Arab. The collection includes over 50 paintings, 20 drawings, sculptures, reliefs, photographs, film, and ephemera, shedding light on both the popular and critical reception of these works. Featured artists range from internationally recognized figures like Saloua Raouda Choucair, Jewad Selim, Kahlil Gibran, and Kamel Telmisany, to lesser-known individuals such as Fêla Kefi Leroux, Onnig Avedissian, Sophia Halaby, and Salah Taher. The exhibition also incorporates short videos of contemporary testimonials exploring the role of nudes in aesthetic, political, literary, and musical contexts. A collaborative effort by scholars from Algeria, Armenia, Lebanon, Palestine, and the USA contributed to locating, researching, and providing insights for the artworks. The team includes Alessandra Amin, Lyn Dabbous, Jessica Gerschultz, May Makki, Sato Moughalian, Alae El-Ouazzini, Iona Stewart, Laura Tibi, and Nadia Von Maltzahm.​

Production of Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People"​

CASAR hosted an immersive presentation of Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People," directed by acclaimed director Lucien Bourjeily and produced by Robert Myers of Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR). Running from November 10 to November 26, the play, performed in Lebanese Arabic, involved nearly two dozen AUB students from various disciplines in Theater 259, a theater production course, collaborating with seasoned Lebanese theater artists.

The production, set in a 1920s Lebanese town, depicted the conflict between science and business, focusing on a heated dispute between two brothers. Abdelrahim al Awji played Peter, the mayor and head of the town's spa, while Ziad Najjar portrayed Thomas, a doctor who uncovers water contamination and intends to expose it in the local newspaper. Peter strategically undermines Thomas's findings, turning the townspeople, portrayed by AUB students, against him.

Held in unique locations on the AUB campus like the Lee Observatory and a converted basement of Jessup Hall, the play explored themes of corruption, pollution, free press, and the consequences of voicing an unpopular truth. The production received much acclaim, with reviews praising its captivating form and themes, drawing parallels to contemporary issues in Lebanon and the broader region.​

​​​Book talk by Prof. Salah D. Hassan Sept. 20


Spring 2023​

​"Arts, Humanities and American Studies: East and West" Conference in New York

CASAR hosted a two-day conference in New York on “Arts, Humanities and American Studies: East and West." The event, which took place on May 16 and 17 at AUB's Debs Center, 305 E. 47th Street, New York, ​featured writers and scholars such as Moustafa Bayoumi, Juan Cole, Marcia Inhorn and David Shumway​ and presentations about arts, humanities, and American Studies in the Middle East and globally.

After the multiple crises Lebanon has suffered in recent years, CASAR hopes that this conference will allow AUB to reconnect with scholars in North America who share our interests, survey the global state of these vital scholarly disciplines, and serve as a prelude to an expanded conference we plan to convene in Beirut soon.

"We Are the Ones Who live Here" Podcast Launch Party​

CASAR organized a listening and official launch party for a new podcast series from emerging Lebanese voices which took place on April 27 in West Hall Auditorium B. The podcast started as a segment from a journalism and theatre workshop in collaboration between the AUB Theatre Initiative and Hand2Mouth Theatre in New York in the spring of 2022. Spearheaded by ben Mourad, the podcast took on a new life and form, being extended into a full fledged series. Every episode reads like an auditory art piece, taking listeners on different journeys and stories throughout Lebanon, narrated by the people who live there.

Season 1 of this Podcast was produced with the generous support of Public Affairs Section at U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

The podcast series is out on all streaming platforms! A total of five episodes have been released for Season 1. You can also visit​​

​​Workshop production of 1000 Strange Places: A Play by Robert Myers

Twenty years ago, the US led an illegal invasion of Iraq that cost the lives and health of hundreds of thousands of people, most of them Iraqis. In 2003, as the world waited for George W. Bush to launch the war of “shock and awe" he had threatened, almost every Western journalist left Iraq.

One reporter, newly hired by The Washington Post, a Lebanese-American journalist named Anthony Shadid, from Oklahoma City, demanded to stay in Iraq and report the war from the perspective of ordinary Iraqis. Those stories, which constituted a new, more human form of journalism and which offered an alternative to the official narrative of preventing “weapons of mass destruction" and “spreading freedom" would win Shadid the first of two Pulitzer Prizes. 

He would go on to write a memoir, House of Stone, about his family, rebuilding his grandmother's stone house in Marjayoun and the meaning of home, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. A Thousand Strange Places: Anthony Shadid and the Middle East is a workshop production of a new play about the extraordinary life and career of Anthony Shadid, based in part on his archive at AUB's Jafet Library.  ​

Online and in-person registration hereregistration​

Etel Adnan Symposium

The English Department, AUB Libraries, the Sheikh Zayed Chair for Arabic and Islamic Studies, and the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) are glad to host a symposium which brings together academic research with personal testimonies and cultural practices In homage to Etel Adnan to explore her life and work across languages, cultures, and exiles. Born in Beirut in 1925 to a Greek Christian mother from Smyrna and an Arab Muslim father from Damascus who served as an officer in the Ottoman Empire, Etel Adnan's life has its beginnings in the aftermath of World War I and spanned almost a century. She received significant international acclaim as a visual artist over the past decade for work in a range of mediums, including painting, drawing and tapestry. However, she was also a powerful master of words, experimenting in a wide array of forms – as a journalist, novelist, essayist, activist, and poet philosopher. All of her work is deeply grounded in a humanistic approach, embracing the universe in critical yet joyful and visionary ways.

This symposium is accompanied by an exhibition of Etel Adnan's private papers, which she generously bequeathed to the American University of Beirut, film screenings, a staged reading, and a music concert. 

​For the event program, please visit CASAR's instagram page @casar_aub. ​

​"Boycott": Movie Screening and Conversation with Julia Bacha

The Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research is glad to host a screening of the film Boycott by Brazilian award-winning documentary filmmaker Julia Bacha. The screening will be followed by a talk with Julia Bacha and Professor Greg Burris, Associate Professor and Director of Media Studies at the American university of Beirut, and a Q&A.

Boycott, the most recent film by Just Vision, follows the stories of a news publisher, an attorney and a speech therapist, who, when forced to choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech across America. The film traces the impact of state legislation passed in 34 states designed to penalize individuals and companies that choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record. The film's story becomes more timely by the day. This spring, the Supreme Court will likely decide whether or not to take up one of the legal cases spearheaded by the ACLU that we follow in the film. We will also see copy-cat billscontinue to spread across the country and begin to target more and more movements for justice and equity. Just last month, South Carolina prefiled a template bill that targets abortion rights, trans rights & workplace equity. Similar anti-boycott legislation is taking place across the United States, as well as internationally. The film takes a bracing look at the far-reaching implications of this legislation and shares inspiring tales of everyday people standing up to protect their right to dissent.

Location: West Hall, Auditorium B

Date: February 7, 6 PM Beirut Time

Fall 2022-2023​​​

Film Screening: "Blood Zero" by Doyle Avant

The Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) brings "Blood Zero," a film written and firected by Doyle Avant starring Basma Baydoun, Joyce Abu Jaoude, Nada Abou Farhat, Sara Abdo, and Suha Nader.

Due to a surge in deaths from D.I.V. (the Death Immuno-Sufficiency Virus) a new branch of Purgatory has opened up in the historic Ambassador Hotel – the site of Robert Kennedy's 1968 assassination. Purgatory also doubles as a lurid nightclub where Saddam Hussein, Marina Oswald Jr., Sirhan Sirhan and a swirling array of walks-ons from history gather to await the end of time – 6:08 p.m. 4 August 2020.

Blood ZerO was performed and filmed at Station Beirut during the peak of the Covid pandemic. It is now being screened for the first time at The Ark. 


Running time: 93 min.                       


The film Screening will take place on the 17th of December 2022 at 7 p.m.

The Ark 
Adel El Solh Street 

Price: 0 LL 
For reservations and more information:  78 812 651  /

Link to the movie trailor:​ 

​​​​​​A Panel on the American 2022 Mid-Term Elections: Impacts on the U.S., the Middle East and the World ​​

The Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR), in collaboration with​ the Issam Fares Institute (IFI) and the Global Engagement Initiative at the American University of Beirut, organized a panel on the 17th of November on the Mid-term US elections with speakers R. William Johnstone, Maya Berry, Karim Makdisi and Huwaida Arraf, moderated by Rami Khouri.


​(PBS News Hour)

In one of the most consequential mid-term elections in the U. S. in decades, Democrats out-performed pollsters' predictions and deprived the Republican Party of substantial congressional power. The ire of voters, especially female voters, at the recent Supreme Court decision overturning abortion rights was clearly underplayed by pundits and the mainstream media, and President Biden and former President Obama's warnings that “democracy is on the ballot" clearly resonated with voters in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania. But in the Florida governor's race, Trump's primary rival, Republican Ron DeSantis, won in a landslide. What are the ramifications of the mid-terms for the political future in the U.S., for domestic policy in the next two years and for the world and the Middle East in a time of continuing turmoil? Join us to discuss these and other topics with a diverse array of politicians, pollsters, activists, scholars and political analysts.

Maya Berry is the executive director of the Arab American Institute and former legislative director for U. S. Congressional Minority Whip David Bonior. At AAI, she has worked on combating hate crime, protecting the rights of securitized communities and strengthening democracy in the U. S.​

R. William Johnstone has since 2006 provided consulting services for a variety of political polling, communications and research firms. In 2021-22 he has served as research director for a consortium of political organizations working on behalf of 32 Democratic candidates for the U.S. House. Prior to that, he worked for over twenty years as legislative director and chief of staff for U.S. Senators Wyche Fowler, Jr. (D-GA) and Max Cleland (D-GA). In 1986, he received the Campaign Manager of the Year Award from the American Association of Political Consultants for his work on Fowler's successful Senate campaign that year. Johnstone also served on the staff of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission). He is the author of 9/11 and the Future of Transportation SecurityBioterror: Anthrax, Influenza, and the Future of Public Health Security; and Protecting Transportation. Mr. Johnstone attended Emory University (BA, MA). 

Huwaida Arraf is a Palestinian American human rights attorney, activist, and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian civil society-led movement which utilizes nonviolent direct action to confront and challenge Israeli military occupation and colonial violence. She is the former chairperson of the Free Gaza Movement, and in 2008 led five successful sea voyages to the Gaza Strip to confront and challenge Israel's illegal blockade of the two million Palestinians living there. She currently resides with her husband and two children in Michigan, where she works as a civil rights attorney. In 2020, she served as a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention and in 2022 was a candidate for the US Congress in Michigan's 10th congressional district. 

Karim Makdisi is an Associate Professor of International Politics, and Director of the Graduate Program in Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.

Rami George Khouri is co-director of Global Engagement at the American University of Beirut, an internationally syndicated political columnist and book author, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He was formerly executive editor of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper, editor-in-chief of The Jordan Times, and founding director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.  He was awarded the Pax Christi International Peace Prize for 2006.

Link to the full panel will be posted soon.

CASAR supports Civilization Sequence Program (CVSP) Prestigious Lecture Series (2022-23)

"The Sovereign Debt Crisis in Lebanon and Other Emerging Markets" ​a talk by Sami Geadah

​(Ozge Ozdemir, BBC Turkish)

In collaboration with the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy & International Affairs (IFI) and the Global Engagement Center in New York, the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) hosted a hybrid talk titled "The Sovereign Debt Crisis in Lebanon and Other Emerging Markets: Problems and Prospects" on October 2oth, given by Sami Geadah (IFI- AUB Associate Fellow) and moderated by Sumru Altug (Chair of the Department of Economics, AUB) at the IFI buidling.

​Professor Geadah discussed the rapid increase in emerging market sovereign debt levels in recent years and how the share of this debt held by domestic banks has also increased, tightening the connection between sovereign debt and financial risks. While Lebanon was an outlier in emerging markets in these vulnerabilities—which were an important cause of the ongoing crisis—Lebanon was not unique in this regard. The ongoing changes to global economic conditions are expected to be unfavorable to emerging market debt, including to several countries in our region, raising questions about debt sustainability. Countries can take measures to alleviate these risks, namely in the fiscal and financial areas, some of which might be challenging given pressures to increase near term growth and provide employment opportunities especially for the youth.

Link to the talk:​

Link to Q&A portion:

Link to Q&A portion PART 2:

​​Directors Lab Mediterranean (DLM) 2022

With the support of the Al Waleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR), the Director's Lab Mediterranean (DLM) is holding its fourth edition fully in person at the American University of Beirut from the 12th to the 19th September, 2022.

DLM​ follows the model of the Directors Lab at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City, and it aims to provide emerging and mid-career stage directors from all over the world with the opportunity to build peer connections and create artistic networks while exploring Mediterranean theater traditions and current practices. It was endorsed by Anne Cattaneo, the founder of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and was initially launched at the American University of Beirut in July 2019 hosted by the AUB Theater Initiative and the Department of Fine Arts and Art History.​​​​


​​​Summer 2022​

Global Humanities Institute: Climate Justice and Problems of Scale​​​ University of Pretoria 2022

The Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) participated in the Global Humanities Institute (GHI) on “Climate Justice and Problems of Scale" held at the University of Pretoria (and over virtual platforms). The Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded the institute which will run from July 29 through August 7, 2022. The panel titled “Environmental and Artistic Activism”​​ was presented by panelists Leo Bernucci, Marcos Colón, and Robert Myers addressing environmental and artistic activism in the Amazon, Africa and globally by examining the history and consequences of extractivist practices, perspectives of Indigenous peoples, the dangers activists and those who report on environmental degradation face, and the role of film, theater and other media in drawing attention to corporate and governmental destruction of the environment.​​​

The Cofounder and Managing Director of Environment Academy, Sammy Kayed, travelled to South Africa to give a workshop at the Global Humanities Institute (GHI). Sammy's workshop broke down the situation in Lebanon and argued that the country acts as a portal for the conceivable and inconceivable characteristics of the civilizational collapse warned of by climate scientists and critiques of neoliberalism. He looked at the genuine and co-opted rush towards transformation and justice. He gave several absurd stories of co-optation, exhibitionism, and instances of false solutions emerging from Lebanon. He then gave stories of hope emerging from over 100 community members and 30 experts deeply involved in the Environment Academy. He invited the audience to reflect on their beliefs on whether or not their country is doomed and what doom means to them. He then nudged these perceptions toward a hopeful imaginative where the frontlines of doom are actually the most ripe areas for genuine transformation. 

​Spring 2022

​​​Media and Environment​​​: Moderators: Round Table Discussion Moderated by Blake Atwood (AUB) and Suzanne Enzerink (University of St. Gallen)

​This roundtable discussion approaches these questions from two different, if parallel, approaches: representation and infrastructure. We set out to understand how people encounter the environment in the everyday, be it through novels, media coverage, or material experiences. The roundtable purposefully foregrounds different geographies--the US vs. India--and methodologies to showcase the breadth of recent scholarship that theorizes human responses to environmental change and/or catastrophe. Ultimately, by bringing together these different perspectives, we aim to underscore that the effects of modernity, colonialism, and extraction are felt across the world. This global framing is pressing in Lebanon, where environmental collapse is interwoven with a multitude of other crises, including financial, political, and public health.


Min Hyoung Song (Boston College, Professor of English and Director of the Asian American Studies program)
Rahul Mukherjee (University of Pennsylvania, Dick Wolf Associate Professor of Television and New Media Studies; Associate Professor of English; Director, Cinema and Media Studies Program) 

May 4, 2022 at 5pm Beirut time, 10am EST

​​Find the link to the panel here:

"A Thousand Strange Places": Play About Anthony Shadid Premiered at Yale

​A Thousand Strange Places: Anthony Shadid and the Middle East, a play about the career of renowned Lebanese-American journalist Antony Shadid, by CASAR director Robert Myers,  produced by the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale University in conjunction with CASAR and AUB, premiered at Yale on April 29 and 30 and in New York on May 2. The play, which is based in part on the Shadid archive housed at AUB's Jafet Library, took place in conjunction with a panel, organized by prominent journalist and AUB professor Rami Khouri, of celebrated foreign correspondents and journalists from The New York TimesThe Washington Post and the Columbia School of Journalism who knew and worked with Anthony Shadid. These events were developed by the CASAR Working Group on Anthony Shadid, which was initiated and is directed by Rami Khouri, director of Global Engagement at Debs Center in New York. Other members of the Working Group include prize-winning photographer George Azar, who teaches in the Department of Media Studies at AUB, Associate Professor of English at AUB Amy Zenger, and Kaoukab Chebaro, formerly a curator at AUB's Jafet Library and currently the director of special collections at Columbia University. Marcia C. Inhorn, the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at Yale and Chair of the Council on Middle East Studies, says, “We are looking forward to hosting the premiere of this extraordinary new play and panel about Anthony Shadid at Yale and to working again with our partners at CASAR and AUB." ​

Anthony Shadid Workshop Series and Performance April 2022

​After a series of successful workshops on the style of journalism of the late Lebanese American journalist, Anthony Shadid, carried out both online and in person at AUB, Hand2Mouth Theatre collaborated with the workshop participants and an ensemble of actors on a performance compiled from the interviews conducted by the participants with indiviuals living in Lebanon. The cast included local performing artists Feyrouz Abouhassan, Andrea Fahed, Jennifer Nasrallah, Romario Akiki, Rami Saidi, and Ralph Khoury. The play was directed by Lebanese actor and director Raffi Feghali in collaboration with Jonathan Walters of Hand2Mouth theatre. Collaborating with participating students on writing were playwright Andrea Stollowitz of Hand2Mouth and local writer Dima Salim. In parallel, writer and poet Ben Moorad from the visiting US team was working with a group of participants on a podcast series allowing them to share wonderful and intriguing stories about their experiences in Lebanon as well as the people they interviewed for the workshop series. 

The performance ran for four nights, from the 10th to the 13th of April at Station in Beirut, attracting a full crowd and press interest every night.​

​​Environmental Literacy Workshop Presented by Professor Rola Khishfe

The AUB Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, and Prince AlWaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut, hosted an interactive workshop about Environmental Literacy on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at IFIs conference room.

​To tackle the real-world environmental problems facing our societies, environmental literacy has become a goal of many worldwide science curricula. The interactive workshop thus aimed to address environmental literacy in teacher education programs with prospective teachers who will address environmental literacy in their classrooms. The issue of environmental literacy was explored through the lens of argumentation in relation to environmental social science-based issues. 

​​De-colonized Global Media: Reporting as if Ordinary People Matter

Global media reporting and commentary are increasingly polarized, profit-oriented, ideologically driven, and entertainment-based — when the world needs exactly the opposite: complete, accurate, empathetic, and non-colonial views of other cultures.The NYCity-based AUB's Global Engagement Initiative offers from March 22 to April 19, 2022, a five-session, free, and non-credit online seminar that explores why this matters and how we might achieve this goal.

 The seminar “De-colonized Global Media: Reporting as if Ordinary People Matter" begins by appreciating the enduring relevance of the craft and legacy of the late Arab-American foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid. His peers repeatedly recognized the power of his conveying to the world the sentiments of ordinary people across the Middle East. These sentiments often determine the fate of entire countries – as we see in the non-stop national uprisings by bludgeoned, desperate men and women across the Middle East. ​

Each 75-minute session is led by a media scholar-activist journalist whose professional experiences across cultures bring to life the three-dimensional totality of individuals, cultures, and countries across the Global South — in contrast to fear-mongering and aggressive silhouettes of foreign societies that are often seen through prisms of war, sanctions, and threats.

Reporters who successfully capture human sentiments often use narrative reporting and writing techniques that mirror the work of creative artists — novelists, painters, dramatists, poets, cinematographers, documentarians, photographers, and short story writers. Established communicators in some of these art forms who lead the seminar sessions will analyze the craft elements of people-centered reporting by Shadid and others, and why it captivates readers and editors. They will discuss with participants non-colonial journalism's core quest for social justice at home and transnational justice among states.

The five instructors are:

Seminar coordinator Rami G. Khouri, AUB director of global engagement and journalist-in-residence, with over 50 years of experience in journalism in the Middle East, North America and Europe. He has studied the personal papers of Shadid at the AUB Libraries Archives, analyzed all of Shadid's books, articles, lectures, and interviews, and interviewed 50 of Shadid's colleagues who worked with him.
Dr. Robert Myers, professor of English and comparative literature, award-winning playwright, director of the AUB Theater Initiative , and director of AUB's Center for American Studies and Research. He will explain how Shadid's texts often mirror the work of dramatists in capturing people's emotions, in the wider context of their societies' conditions. His new play that opens at Yale University in Spring 2022, 1000 Strange Places, brings to life episodes in Shadid's reporting around the Middle East that simultaneously capture the complexities of U.S.-Mideast interactions.
George Azar , award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker, has covered the Middle East for four decades for Al Jazeera, Jadaliyya , the New York Times, the AP and others. He is AUB's “Photojournalist-in-Residence" and teaches documentary filmmaking and photojournalism. A book author and director of numerous documentary films, he has been awarded a Rory Peck Award for 'extraordinary courage behind the camera', a British Royal Television Society Award, and the Jury Prize at the Al Jazeera International Documentary Festival.
Ken Harper, an award-winning designer, professor, photojournalist, and media educator, is associate professor and the first director of the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. The center is dedicated to bringing knowledge to the world through storytelling, collaboration, and innovation. Harper has pioneered international programs that link journalism students with counterparts around the Middle East and Africa
Helena Cobban, Founder and President of Just World Educational Foundation, was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and the Sunday Times and now promotes social justice and decolonization through publishing, philanthropy, and advocacy. She focuses on the Middle East, the international system, and transitional justice, especially in the Global South. She is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Washington DC-based Center for International Policy.

Each 75-minutes-long online session will be conducted in English, every Tuesday at 1 pm US Eastern Time, from March 22 to April 19, 2022. It is free of charge and open to students, working journalists, and interested professionals. Modest amounts of readings will be sent to participants before each session, and there are no written assignments. In-session discussion is the heart of the seminar and is highly encouraged. 

Applicants should complete a short questionnaire about their professional status and their interest in the seminar topic. Spaces are limited. Accepted applicants should commit to attending all five sessions and will be sent log-in information.​



Presented by the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) and co-sponsored by the English Department: 

In this talk, David Shumway will connect the singer-songwriter's music and lyrics with confessionalism in literature, including fiction, poetry, autobiography, and film from the later 1960s through the 1980s. While Mitchell has long been understood as having some relationship to confessional poets such as Sylvia Plath, Shumway expands that context and looks more deeply at the similarities and differences.

David R. Shumway is Professor of English, and Literary and Cultural Studies, and the founding Director of the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University. His most recent book is Rock Star: The Making of Musical Icons from Elvis to Springsteen (2014), and he has published numerous articles on popular music.  Some of his other books include Michel Foucault (1989), Modern Love: Romance, Intimacy, and the Marriage Crisis (2003), and John Sayles (2012). His next book deals with realism in novels, films, plays, and television series.​

Time: Thursday, February 8 pm Beirut time

Find the link to the talk here:​


Fall 2021​-22


Presented by the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) as Part of its Theme “Environments East and West" and the Initiative for Global Engagement at the American University of Beirut, Co-sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Initiative at AUB:​ 

This digital panel explored the vital issues of menstrual equity, women's health and hygiene, and the role of public policy in ensuring the availability of safe, sanitary, affordable, and environmentally sustainable menstrual products for women and girls.

​​(Access to menstrual hygiene products from Regle Elementaire via Instagram​)


Jhumka Gupta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Global and Community Health in the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University. Her research applies a social epidemiology framework towards advancing the science of gender-based violence against women and girls. She has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications on these topics. She is the Associate Editor of BMC International Health and Human Rights.  Prior to coming to Mason, Gupta was an Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Public Health. 

 Alissar Yehya is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MSFEA, AUB and an Associate in Material Science and Environmental Geomechanics at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is the founder of SEnLi initiative (Sustainable Engineering and Lifestyle) at AUB. 

 Amani Abou Harb is a policy professional who works at the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation office in Amman, Jordan. In her current role, Amani works on developing bankable private sector investments in the Middle East with a focus on sustainable development. In her previous role at the World Bank's MENA Chief Economist's Office, Amani researched land regulation and personal status laws and their economic ramifications on women in the MENA region. She has an MA in English from AUB and an MPP University of Chicago. 

 Lina Abou-Habib is the director of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at AUB, chair of the Board of Haven for Artists and collective for Research and Training for Development – Action, board member for Gender at Work and Marsa for Sexual Health and is the MENA strategic advisor for the Global Fund for Women.  

 Michela Bedard, Executive Director of PERIOD., is committed to building a better future. She also currently serves as Chair of the Board of Rahab's Sisters, a Portland non-profit serving marginalized women or those whose gender makes them vulnerable. She serves on several menstrual equity advisory councils and women's health advocacy advisory boards. Michela has Master's in Public Administration and a B. A. from the University of Southern Californ


For reservations and Zoom link please contact: Rana Baghdadi, Program Coordinator CASAR 

Find the link to the panel here:​


The Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) Presents: Storytelling as a Start to Healing a Broken Society With Sahar Assaf, Director of Golden Thread Theater in San Francisco, Najat Saliba, Director of Khaddit Beirut, and other Khaddit Members discussing the Role of Storytelling, Testimony and Theater in Preserving Memories, Ameliorating Trauma, and Beginning to Heal the Wounds Caused by the August 4 Explosion and Lebanon's Multiple Crises​.

Time: September 15, 2021 7pm​ Beirut

The panel's participants included:

Sahar Assaf: Director of Golden Threads theater in New York and assistant professor at the American University of Beirut where she headed the minor program in Theater Arts and co-founded the Theater Initiative. She is currently an ensemble member of The Faction, an award-winning theatre company in London, and is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Directors Lab Mediterranean. Her most recent work is “I Want to Tell You About Beirut" (, which presents a reading of testimonies of survivors of the Beirut Port explosion followed by a conversation commemorating the 1-year anniversary of the blast.​

Najat Saliba: Professor in Analytical Chemistry at the American University of Beirut and the Executive Director of Khaddit Beirut. She developed innovative methods to characterize smoke in tobacco and non-tobacco nicotine delivery systems. She was voted among the top 100 most influential women by BBC in 2019 and is the recipient of the 2019 L'Oreal-UNESCO International Award for Women in Science.

 Iman Nuwayhid: Professor of Public Health at the Faculty of Health Science (FHS) at the American University of Beirut, where he formerly served as dean for 12 years (2008-2020). He is American Board Certified in Occupational Medicine and applies a social and political lens of analysis in his research, which focuses on health of workers, including health of working children, environment and health, and conflict and health.​

Rima Karami: Associate Professor of Educational Administration, Policy and Leadership in the department of Education at the American University of Beirut. She is the director and the principal investigator of the TAMAM project launched in 2007 to initiate school-based reform and research on how to build leadership skills for sustainable schools where currently she is operating in 67 schools in 8 Arab countries.​

Nuhad Dumit: Associate Professor at the School of Nursing at the American University of Beirut. She is the convener of the undergraduate division and coordinator of the administration and management MSN track at the School, as well as the co-director of the Continuing Medical Education Office of the Faculty of Medicine.
For information contact Robert Myers,

Link to the full ​panel:



2020-2021 Events​

​​For more information on this year's theme, ENVIRONMENTS EAST AND WEST, click hereFor more information on our ongoing collaborative initiative with the Issam Fares Institute (IFI), Policy and Politics in the Americas, click here​.

Spring 2021​

 Party in the Sky: The Photo-DJ Lucien-Samaha

AUB Art Galleries is inviting you to a virtual discussion with the artist Lucien Samaha.

Time: Apr 28, 2021 03:00 PM Beirut

This exhibition​ brings to the attention of our audiences the activities of the Lebanese/American photographer, artist, traveler, archivist, and DJ Lucien Samaha. It focuses on one of Samaha's gigs, on the 107th floor of the North Tower of the original World Trade Center (WTC) from the late 1990s until 9/11. The exhibition comprises several online galleries, containing photographs, videos, clips, and documents related to his party in the Twin Towers. A partyinskypdf.pdf places Samaha's cultural activities in a broader cultural and political context, amid historical transitions: from analog to digital photography, from the WTC as center of NYC's tourism to “ground zero" of terrorism; from an artist residency program located in the North Tower to its links to art institutions in Beirut; from 9/11 to 8/4, the “ground zero" that devastated the cultural capital of the Middle East this past summer.

"Party in the Sky" was initiated in collaboration with, and with financial support from, the Center of American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut, as part of CASAR's "Arts in the Americas" series

Reading and Interview with writer Zaina Arafat--April 23 @4pm Beirut time

Register here:

 Please join us on Friday April 23 @4pm for a reading by and interview with writer Zaina Arafat.  Zaina Arafat is an LGBTQ Arab/Muslim-American fiction and nonfiction writer. She is the author of the novel You Exist Too Much, which was selected as a most anticipated book for 2020 by O, The Oprah Magazine, Good Morning America, Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications including The New York Times, Granta, The Believer, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, BuzzFeed, VICE, Guernica, Literary Hub and NPR. In recognition of her work, she was awarded the Arab Women/Migrants from the Middle East fellowship at Jack Jones Literary Arts. She holds an M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University and an M.F.A. from Iowa. She lives in Brooklyn and is currently at work on a collection of essays. You Exist Too Much is a finalist for the 2021 Lamba Literary Award in Bisexual Fiction.

At this event, Arafat will begin by reading from You Exist Too Much. On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12–year–old Palestinian–American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgment will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother's response only intensifies a sense of shame: “You exist too much," she tells her daughter.

Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East—from New York to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine—Zaina Arafat's debut novel traces her protagonist's progress from blushing teen to sought–after DJ and aspiring writer. Opening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities, the novel is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings—for love, and a place to call home.

After the reading, Arafat will be interviewed by Dr. Zeina Tarraf. There will also be time for audience questions. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required:

Hosted by the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut.

Selected praise for You Exist Too Much

Roxane Gay: "Sexy in its own way."

NPR: "At once complicated and engaging, this is the kind of debut novel that announces the arrival of a powerful new author who, besides writing beautifully, has a lot to say."

Teen Vogue: "When being a queer Muslim seems too complex for the world to handle, You Exist Too Much is a testimony as otherwise. There is nothing more of an attestation to our narratives than an LGBTQ Muslim author with a bisexual Palestinian-American main character."

The Guardian: "A nuanced, sparkly debut"  

The Fares Center in collaboration with the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) cordially invite you to a joint Fletcher-AUB panel discussion – webinar entitled: "Studying and Teaching the Encounter between the U.S. and the Middle East" on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 12:30 - 1:45 ET (6:30 pm till 7:45 pm Beirut time).

 This event will be an interactive panel that seeks to define the different ways students and scholars understand the study of the encounter between the U.S and the Middle East. The Fares Center is pleased to welcome Professors Malik Mufti and Waleed Hazbun, as well as two Fletcher alums: Columbia University Dean Emerita Lisa Anderson (F'74) and AUB Professor Karim Makdisi (F'96, '01). The conversation will be moderated by Director Joseph Bahout of the Issam Fares Institute at AUB, and Fares Center Director Nadim N. Rouhana.

The weibinar took place via Zoom.

A Leadership Development Initiative of American University of Beirut, Duke University, EARTH University and The University of Texas at Austin

Seminar I
Social Justice, Asymmetries of Power and the Climate Crisis

March 10, 2021

12 – 1:30 pm New York time, 7-8:30 pm Beirut time

The second and third seminars will be on March 31 and April 21.



​Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 12PM EST / 7PM Beirut 


Leopoldo Bernucci, Distinguished Professor of Spanish at the University of California, Davis, will speak on the rubber boom in the Amazon, the genocide of indigenous peoples and his study of José Rivera's novel The Vortex.
Anne Spice, Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Ryerson University, will speak on Indigenous resistance to resource extraction and pipeline infrastructures in so-called "Canada."  
Adam Waterman, Assistant Professor of American Literature and Culture at the American University of Beirut, will speak on his forthcoming book The Corpse in the Kitchen, which examines the so-called Black Hawk War and colonization of the upper Mississippi River lead region as an instance of primitive accumulation for purposes of mineral accretion.


Robert Myers, Director of CASAR and Professor of English, American University of Beirut

This event is co-sponsored by the Global Engagement Initiative, NYC and the English Department at AUB. 

​​From Al-Qaeda to the US Capitol Insurrection: What Makes Violent Extremists Tick?

Former FBI special agent Ali Soufan has spent 25 years tracking and analyzing Al-Qaeda, ISIS, American White supremacists, and other violent extremists. He discusses with AUB's Rami G. Khouri the common traits and distinct differences among Middle Eastern and American violent extremists.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 11AM EST / 6PM Beirut
Presented to you by: 

The AUB Global Engagement Initiative, NYC
The Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR)

Fall 2020

​                        A one-person performance illuminating Lee Atwater's controversial role                                 leading to George H.W. Bush's 1988 presidential victory over Michael Dukakis ​and   igniting today's polarized politics.​


Friday, October 30, 2020  Noon EST / 6PM Beirut


Written by Professor Robert Myers, AUB
Performed by Daniel Abeles - New York City 
Directed by Ian Morgan - the New Group, New York City 

Discussion to follow with playwright Robert Myers and Susan Estrich,
USC law professor, 1988 Dukakis campaign manager

Co-sponsored by AUB's Center for American Studies and Research,
Theater Initiative , and Global Engagement Initiative, Debs Center, New York City

Link to the full event:​

​​ ​

​PANEL: "The 2020 US Elections: Shifting Trends and Demographics"

Thursday October 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm (Beirut time)


The upcoming United States presidential elections which will take place on November 3 is sure to be one of the most contentious in recent US history. The political crescendo has been building up since the Democratic Party primaries, which led to the nomination of former VP Joseph Biden to take on incumbent President Donald Trump.

What is at stake in this year's US elections? Will a Biden win be able to roll back many of the policies of the Trump administration like the Paris Agreement, the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), environmental deregulation, and corporate tax breaks? Will the US reengage with international institutions, like the UN and make-up with traditional allies like NATO? Or will a Trump reelection continue to take the US into international isolation to appease his narrow nationalist base?

This webinar will focus on the chances of the two candidates to reach the White House, based on the latest polls, the swing states, demographics, and the campaigns’ performances and strategies. The discussion will also focus on the policies of both candidates regarding Middle East issues and how these positions are affecting the Arab/Muslim vote and political choices, as well as the growing didivision in voters' attitudes about race and gender. attitudes about race and gender​.​

This event is organized by the Issam Fares Institute and co-hosted by the NY-AUB Global Engagement Initiative and CASAR as part of The Policy and Politics in the Americas Initiative. ​

Spring 2020

americas-official (1).pngLECTURE: “U.S.-Iranian policy and implications for the Middle East and for U.S. politics” ​

Mehran Kamrava, Professor and Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar

Thursday, February 6 | 5:00 PM | Issam Fares Institute Auditorium (Level B)



 Troubled Waters: Insecurity in the Persian Gulf (Cornell University Press, 2018); Inside the Arab State (Oxford University Press, 2018); The Impossibility of Palestine: History, Geography, and the Road Ahead (Yale University Press, 2016); Qatar: Small State, Big Politics (Cornell University Press, 2015); The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War, 3rd ed. (University of California Press, 2013); and Iran’s Intellectual Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2008). ​​

​​​​Fall 2019

AA_Logo.pngPERFORMANCE: The Belle of Amherst

​October 17, 18, 19 | 20:30 PM | Zoukak Theater 

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The Belle of Amherst gives its audience the opportunity to spend an evening with Emily Dickinson, face to face. Written using many of Dickinson’s poems, poem-letters and other correspondence from her life, we get a glimpse into the very private, seclusive world Miss Dickinson inhabited in Amherst, Massachusetts. Indeed, this imagined “visit” gives us a glimpse that she herself, an avowed recluse, would never have granted an audience in her lifetime. The playwright, William Luce, suggests Emily was a “seclusive individualist of the highest order.” His play allows us to meet Ms. Dickinson as she shares her own story and welcomes us into the “inner drama of a poet’s consciousness.” “The Belle of Amherst is a love affair with language, a celebration of all that is beautiful and poignant in life.

The Belle of Amherst is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York, produced by the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut with support from the Ithaca College Office of Sponsored Research and School of Humanities and Sciences, and co-sponsored by The Women and Gender Studies Initiative AUB.​

Actor: Kathleen Mulligan​
Director:​ Norm Johnson
Lighting and Projection Design: Kyle Stamm
Sound Design: Aria Sardella
Stage Management in New York: Kelsey Dunne, Rhys Kauffman
Production Manager in Beirut: Razan Abu Ismail
Dramaturge: David DeVries

This performance is co-sponsored by the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) and the Women and Genter Studies Initiative at the American University of Beirut. For information about the private workshop series related to the performance, please check our page for CASAR's theme this year, Arts in the Americas​. ​

AA_Logo.pngCONCERT : Afro-Arabic Jazz Conceptions

Tarek Yamani Trio​, African-American jazz and Arabic music band

Wednesday, October 16 | 8:30 PM | Charles Hostler Amphitheater | Facebook Event​

Tarek_Yamani_Trio_1.jpgThe Tarek Yamani Trio closes the AUB Lunar Year Festival workshop series, "On The Moon", with a concert on Afro-Arabic Jazz Conceptions. The band consists of Tarek Yamani on piano, Makram Aboul Hosn on bass,  Khaled Yassine  on drums. 

Born and raised in Beirut, Tarek is a Lebanese-American, New York-based pianist who taught himself jazz at the age of 19. He has been dedicated to exploring relationships between African-American Jazz and classical Arabic music which are most evident in his second album "Lisan Al Tarab: Jazz Conceptions in Classical Arabic", and in his newly released “Peninsular” which fuses jazz with quarter-tones and the rhythms of the Arabian Peninsula.​

A recipient of many prestigious awards such as the Thelonious Monk Jazz Composers Competition, the Baryshnikov Artist-in-Residence, the Huygens Scholarship, the Prins Bernhard Culture fund and the Abu Dhabi Festival Commission, Tarek has been part of three editions of the official International Jazz Day all-star concerts and performed in venues such as the Smithsonian Museum (DC), National Sawdust (NYC), Atrium at Lincoln Center (NYC), Boulez Saal (Berlin), MuCEM museum (Marseille), the United Nations Assembly Hall (NYC), Kings Place, Aaron Davis Hall, Melbourne Arts Center, Sejong Center for the Arts (Seoul), and Gran Teatro de la Habana (Cuba). For more information about the event or the band, please visit the Facebook Event page.

This event is co-sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), Department of Physics, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, the Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences (CAMS), and CASAR at AUB. For more information about the three-day workshop in astrophysics and the history of science, "On The Moon", please visit their Facebook Event page.

LECTURE: "Mexico 2019: Current Situation and Future Perspectives"​

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Jose Ignacio Madrazo Bolivar, Mexican Ambassador to Lebanon
Tuesday, September 24 2019 | 4:00 PM | IFI Auditorium (Level B) | Facebook Event​

Mexico is located in a geo-strategically privileged region at the center of the two most important economic axes of the planet: The Atlantic and the Pacific. It has several trade agreements with access to 46 countries and 1,200 million consumers which places it within the 20 largest economies in the world. In this context, Ambassador Madrazo discusses Mexico’s foreign policy agenda vis a vis migration, international cooperation, human rights, multilateral drug control regime, ​trade, investment, and climate change.

PANEL: "20​19 Rugby World Cup: Rugby in the US & the Middle East"

2019 Rugby Panel.pngrugby.jpg

​John Harris, ​Professor for Cultural Business & Associate Dean Research (Glasgow School for Business and Society)
Danyel Reiche, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics (AUB)
Axel Maugendre, PhD student (University of Strasbourg)
​Steve Wrigglesworth, Coach of the Lebanese National Rugby Union men's team
Wednesday, Sept 11 2019 | 4:30 PM | West Hall, Auditorium B

This panel discusses the global development of rugby union from a historical, sociological, and political perspective. On a global scale, rugby has been primarily driven by Commonwealth countries. We discuss its potential to globally spread across countries, social classes and gender.

​​Recent E​vents

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For more information on our recent events and collaborations from Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 click here.


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