Saturday, February 16, 2019 | ePaper

Public lecture on co-existence in modern Middle East at ULAB

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Prof Ussama Makdisi from the Department of History, Rice University speaks at a public lecture on "Harmony of Co-Existence in the Modern Middle East" at ULAB auditorium, Dhanmondi in the capital recently.

Campus Report :

University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) hosted a public lecture on "Harmony of Co-Existence in the Modern Middle East" at ULAB auditorium, Dhanmondi in the capital recently.
Prof Ussama Makdisi from the Department of History, Rice University, delivered lecture hosted by the Centre for Advanced Theory (CAT), ULAB. Prof Makdisi's lecture traced a forgotten, rich history of pluralism in the Middle East that has been obscured from contemporary memory.
He criticised the argument that the Middle East has forever entrenched in violence - a racist and false account of history that is too-often assumed as true by commentators on the present-day violence in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Countering this tale, Prof Makdisi plotted a history of co-existence during the late 19th century Ottoman Empire, suggesting that the reason that accounts of peaceful plurality had been written out of history books is because of the entrenched Islam phobia of Western commentary about the Middle East.
Prof Makdisi's lecture was of particular interest to a Bangladeshi audience as it raised a number of parallels between the histories of 'communalism' in South Asia and histories of 'sectarianism' the Middle East.
To extend and deepen this much needed dialogue that explores the parallels and deep connections between these two regions of the world, Prof Makdisi has proposed a future workshop at ULAB facilitating exchanges between historians of South Asia and the Middle East.
Kazi Inam Ahmed, Member of the ULAB Board of Trustees, delivered a welcome speech at the beginning and the lecture, which ended with a vote of thanks by Prof Salimullah Khan, Director of CAT, ULAB.

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