SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Beyond religion: ISIS and the crisis in the Middle East

Ghias Aljundi, writer and human rights activist, Charles Tripp, SOAS and Nadje Al-Ali, SOAS

Date: 26 September 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 26 September 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture

The event will give the SOAS community and members of the public the opportunity to listen to and engage with 3 speakers specialised in the Middle East who will all address ISIS and the recent crisis in the Middle East.

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Beyond religion: ISIS and the crisis in the Middle East


Chair: Hassan Hakimian, London Middle East Institute, SOAS

Ghias Aljundi : ‘ISIS and the Syrian cause’

The talk will discuss the emergence of ISIS in Syria and its expansion. It will also address the role of the Syrian regime and regional powers. Finally, the talk will also reflect on the damage ISIS has caused to the Syrian cause.

Charles Tripp: 'Iraq: the rentier caliphate'

The talk will address the political economy of Iraq in which it emerged and how it reflects many features of that political economy. This is intended as an antidote to the focus on religiosity, ideology and identity that has largely been framed in the terms set by Da`ash itself.

Nadje Al-Ali: 'Gender, Violence and Minorities'  

The talk will address the issue of gender-based violence and violence against religious and ethnic minorities in the context of Da’ash (ISIS) in Iraq.  It will also reflect on the difficulty to talk about women and minorities in a context where sexual violence is being instrumentalised by both sectarian and imperialist agendas.   

Speakers’ bios:

Ghias Aljundi is a Syrian writer and human rights activist who has been living in London for the past 15 years. Ghias has worked as a freelance journalist and has written for several Arabic newspapers, including al-Safir in Beirut. He took part in the Write to Life project, a creative writing programme for torture victims and survivors. He writes poetry and short stories and has written a play that was performed in London. He has been working on freedom of expression campaigns in the MENA region since 2001.

Charles Tripp is Professor of Politics with reference to the Middle East, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy. His research interests include the nature of autocracy, state and resistance in the Middle East, the politics of Islamic identity and the relationship between art and power. His most recent book is "The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East" (Cambridge University Press, 2013).  He is presently working on a project on the emergence of the public and the rethinking of republican ideals across the states of North Africa.

Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies at SOAS, University of London. She has published widely on women and gender in the Middle East as well as transnational migration and diaspora mobilization. Her most recent book (co-edited with Deborah al-Najjar) is entitled "We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War" (Syracuse University Press). Professor Al-Ali is a member of the Feminist Review Collective and a founding member of Act Together: Women’s Action for Iraq.

Hassan Hakimian is Director of the London Middle East Institute and MBI Al Jaber Reader in Economics with reference to the Middle East at SOAS, University of London. He has researched and published widely on Middle Eastern economies with reference to Iran as well as human resources and labour markets in the Middle East. His most recent book (co-edited with Parvin Alizadeh) is entitled Iran and the Global Economy: Petro Populism, Islam and Economic Sanctions (Routledge, 2013). Dr Hakimian is the founder and Series Editor of the "Routledge Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa."

Organiser: SOAS Students’ Union in association with the LMEI and the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS

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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4330 / 4490