List of Persian/Iranian Events for 2009-05-19

    Shirin Ebadi at Seattle Arts & Lectures

    Seattle Tuesday - May 19, 2009     10:27 AM

    SAL Presents An Evening With Dr. Shirin Ebadi - May 19
    7:30pm, Benaroya Hall
    Co-presented by the UW's Jessie & John Danz Lecture Series
    with support from Reed, Longyear, Malnati & Ahrens

    In 2003, Shirin Ebadi became the first Iranian and first Muslim
    woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Ebadi has worked for
    women's rights and human rights for more than three decades. She
    was the first female judge in Iran, but with the advent of the
    Islamic Republic in 1979, she was forced to resign her seat and
    only returned to the law in 1992. Dr. Ebadi has represented many
    clients over the years who are dissidents or accused of anti-
    governmental activities. Her most recent case is Iranian American
    journalist Roxana Saberi who has been sentenced to prison on
    charges of espionage.


    For tickets to this amazing talk, please visit www.lectures.org or call 206.621.2230

    Comunnity Meeting: Building Iranian Studies at UC Davis

    California - Davis Tuesday - May 19, 2009     07:00 PM

    Please join us for a Community meeting

    Building Iranian Studies within the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program at UC Davis

    When: Tuesday May19th, 2009
    Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm
    Where: Memorial Union II - 2nd floor
    Refreshments will be served

    Suad Joseph
    Director of Middle East/South Asia Studies

    Please RSVP to Gurjit Mann
    Middle East/South Asia Studies Program
    Phone: 530-754-4926
    mesastaff@ucdavis.edu

    Facebook Event Profile:
    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=77967834294
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    Iranian Studies at a Crucial Time

    Since the Iranian revolution of 1979, U.S.-Iran relations have been at a critical impasse, with devastating misrepresentations and stereotypes of Iranians and Muslims surging after 9/11. Concerns about terrorism, war, nuclearization, unemployment, and human rights, have often stifled popular support for furthering peaceful negotiations with Iran.
    To serve our community, it is of paramount importance for UC Davis to educate students and the public about this critical area of the world. Establishing Iranian studies at UC Davis as part of the Middle East/South Asia Studies program will enable us to raise awareness about Iranian culture, build bridges of trust and mutual respect, facilitate communication and help to build a lasting peace.
    In 2004, UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef led the
    first delegation of American scholars and area business people to visit Iran since 1979. The Chancellor’s visit initiated a number of UC Davis scholarly engagements with leading Iranian academic institutions, including a return visit by the Chancellor in 2008 as part of a delegation of American university presidents. Where governments have failed, the university has been an essential link not only in educating future generations about Iranian culture and society but also in maintaining exchange activities that serve to promote understanding.
    The Iranian community in Northern California plays a key role in these efforts. Iranian-Americans excel especially in medicine, engineering, and business. Highly educated and with a median family income 20 percent higher than the national average, Iranian-Americans contribute substantially to the U.S. economy. They have supported initiatives to educate college students about Iran and have provided a foundation for programs with a long-term vision.

    II. What Iranian Studies Offers

    The next step in establishing a strong institutional base for Iranian studies is to hire a scholar at UC Davis in the social sciences committed to teaching courses on modern Iran— from the perspectives of modern history, culture and society, or Iranian cinema. In 2008, UC Davis hired a professor of 16th-17th century Iranian history, Ali Anooshahr. Jocelyn Sharlet, Comparative Literature, is also a scholar of 11th-15th century Persian literature. Adding a scholar of modern Iran in the Social Sciences will solidify a program for students, for research, and for community outreach. With the leadership of these scholars, we will develop Persian language instruction, alongside Arabic, Hebrew, and Hindi/Urdu.
    We have a unique opportunity to teach Iranian history and culture at UC Davis, and a vast reserve of research to draw from. For nearly three thousand years Iran has been a flourishing civilization, absorbing cultural and demographic movements from Europe to Asia. The birthplace of one the earliest revealed religions, Zoroastrianism, which influenced Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Iran became the center of one of the first global empires under Cyrus the Great. Historically Iran has been a central site for cultural and religious exchange, trade routes, and the traffic in goods and ideas. Yet, despite the critical role Iran has played historically, it has been often misrepresented in Western popular culture, media, and even in scholarly texts. Understanding Iran’s culture and history is vital for our national interests and for the world community.

    III. The Achievements of ME/SA

    The Middle East/South Asia Studies Program at the University of California, Davis was founded in 2004, as an undergraduate Minor in response to the demands of UC Davis students and the urgent need for understanding this crucial area of the world. In its first year, 1,052 students enrolled in ME/SA courses. By June 2006, the program had won a major U.S. Department of Education grant to launch Arabic and Hindi/Urdu instruction, new courses, conferences, lectures, and K-12 teacher training. The ME/SA undergraduate Major was launched in Fall 2008. By 2008, UC Davis had 28 ME/SA affiliated faculty, 18 teaching faculty, and over 70 courses. As the only University of California campus with a minor and major in Middle East/South Asia Studies, UC Davis is a pioneer in the study of the Middle East and South Asia in relationship to each other.

    IV. Why UC Davis

    With internationally distinguished faculty, support of the wider Davis/Sacramento community, and the encouragement of administration and faculty, ME/SA Studies at UC Davis is becoming nationally leading program. Iranian studies will be a key component of the ME/SA Studies program for the foreseeable future.
    Students entering UC Davis are from the top 12.5 percent of their class and have achieved higher than a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale. As a major research university north of the Bay Area and California, UC Davis attracts a large number of Iranian students from the San Francisco Bay Area (home
    to 24 percent of the California Iranian/Afghan population) and the Sacramento region (which houses a large Iranian population).
    The UC Davis Iranian Student Cultural and Aesthetic Organization presents Iranian film festivals, lecture series, and the annual Nowruz Celebration, attended by over 500 people each year. The Iranian Alumni Association raised over $450,000 to fund student scholarships at UC Davis. The Graduate School of Management developed a training program with Sharif University funded by an Iranian UC Davis alumnus. In 2005 Iranian Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi lectured on human rights to an audience of 1,800 at the Mondavi Center. Ms. Ebadi's lecture was co-organized by the ME/SA Studies Program. ME/SA Studies organized a symposium on Iran in May of 2006. In February, 2009 ME/SA organized an Iranian film symposium and has (co)sponsored a number of speakers on Iran since 2004 (Mehringaz Kar, Hamid Dabashi, Hamid Naficy, Azar Naficy). Offering Iranian Studies within ME/SA strengthens UC Davis’ vision of internationalizing the campus with academic partnerships, exchange of students and scholars, and cultural cooperation with Iran.

    IV. Why We Need Iranian Studies Now

    The current global political climate, the unique role of UC Davis, the robust growth of ME/SA, and the strength and involvement of the Iranian-American community offers a most timely moment in the development of international relations. Iranian studies will contribute to enhancing knowledge and transforming relations at this critical juncture. Not only can we expect to change history through education, dialogue and academic exchange but we have already laid a foundation through ME/SA to further ensure the success and longevity of the program. The faculty, students and community are energized and supportive. Now is the time to build Iranian studies within ME/SA at UC Davis.
    March, 2009
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    Driving Directions to UC Davis’ Memorial Union

    From Sacramento:
    Take I-80 West towards San Francisco. Exit on Hwy 113 North towards Woodland. Take the Russel Blvd. exit and turn right onto Russell. Proceed down Russell and turn right onto Howard Way (heading South), then turn left into the North Entry parking structure. Day parking is available for $6.00. After parking, continue SOUTH down Howard until it dead ends at the Memorial Union building. Upon entering the building walk to the right until you come to a stairwell, proceed to the second floor and follow signs to conference room MU II.

    From the Bay Area:
    Take I-80 East towards Sacramento. Exit just before Davis on Hwy 113 North towards Woodland. Take the Russel Blvd. exit and turn right onto Russell. Proceed down Russell and turn right onto Howard Way (heading South), then turn left into the North Entry parking structure. Day parking is available for $6.00. After parking, continue SOUTH down Howard until it dead ends at the Memorial Union building. Upon entering the building walk to the right until you come to a stairwell, proceed to the second floor and follow signs to conference room MU II.
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