This year’s University of Alberta’s International Week 2015 runs from Monday, January 26 to Friday, January 30. As in past years there are a number of sessions related to Palestine and the broader Middle East of interest to PSN supporters. Most events are free, and all are open to the general public. For information about all International Week events, you can visit the website or download the program guide.

Photographs from Palestine-Israel: Living in a Context of Conflict
January 20 – February 9
Rutherford Library South, Galleria
(Click here for map)

Opening reception on Monday, January 26 at 5:00 pm in the Rutherford Library South, Foyer

Peak behind the headlines about Palestine-Israel to have a closer look at walls, snow, protests, olive trees, peace activists, checkpoints and World Cup Soccer in this context of seemingly unending conflict. This is an exhibit of photographs of people’s daily lives and challenges in Palestine and Israel taken by Ryan Roderick Beiler, a young American photographer living in Bethlehem from 2010-14.

Sponsored by the Mennonite Central Committee

Gaza: The Horror of Displacement
Featuring Dr. Ghada Ageel, Department of Political Science
Thursday, January 29 (3:30 – 4:50 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 2-140
South Corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street, U of A Campus
(Click here for map)

For 50 days in the summer of 2014, Israel bombed the Gaza Strip from air, land and sea, killing more than 2,200 Palestinians and wounding more than 11,000. At the height of the bombardment, roughly one third of Gaza’s population was displaced and, by the time the August 26 cease-fire was declared, over 17,000 homes had been destroyed and another 67,000 homes damaged. Dr. Ageel was there and describes the bombardment and chilling aftermath as “the scariest and most stressful trip” of her life. Join Dr. Ageel as she reflects upon her experience, the new wave of displacement (i.e. “refugeed” refugees) and the prospects for Gaza’s future.

The Middle East After the Arab Spring
Featuring Dr. Mojtaba Mahdavi, Department of Political Science & Office of Interdisciplinary Studies
Friday, January 30 (11:00 – 11:50 am)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 1-498
South Corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street, U of A Campus
(Click here for map)

Where is the Middle East heading after the Arab Spring? The rise of ISIL/ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the civil/proxy war in Syria and Yemen, the return of military rule in Egypt, and the deep political crisis in post-Gaddafi Libya have contributed to the revival of an old discourse of “Middle East Exceptionalism”, meaning the Middle East is exceptionally immune to the process of democratization and remains resistant to democracy. This talk problematizes the root causes of the current crisis and sheds light on problems and future prospects of grassroots democratization in the region. It suggests that the Arab Spring is an “unfinished project” and the quest for human dignity, social justice and freedom will continue to generate democratic social movements in the region.


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