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Various Years:
Vardanants Day Armenian Lecture Series

March 25, 2015

Lubana Al Quntar & Kenan Adnawi: Traditional Music and Song from Syria
In this concert Lubana Al Quntar performs classical Arabic Maqam pieces with a melancholy flavor, characteristic of this genre. She is accompanied by the internationally known oud player Kenan Adnawi, who also presents traditional instrumental music of Syria.

March 17, 2015
An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia
Seyyed Hossein Nasr from George Washington University and Mehdi Aminrazavi from the University of Mary Washington College discuss philosophy in Persia.

March 11, 2015
Gentile Bellini's Drawings of Ottomans: Italian Art Serving the Sultans
Rosamond Mack discussed "Gentile Bellini's Drawings of Ottomans: Italian Art Serving the Sultans."

December 10, 2014
Cultures Without Borders: From Beirut to Washington, D.C.
May Rihani spoke about her book "Cultures Without Borders: From Beirut to Washington, D.C.," a memoir on girls' education, women's empowerment and common ground among diverse cultures.

September 17, 2014

The World of Persian Literary Humanism: Spreading Culture through Books
As part of the Library's celebration of a thousand years of the Persian book. Dr.Hamid Dabashi discusses Persian literary humanism and how Persian culture was spread through books

August 13, 2014
The Persian Book in Pre-Modern Turkey
As part of the Library's celebration of a thousand years of the Persian book, Ahmet Karamustafa discusses Persian literature in pre-modern Turkey.

July 23, 2014
The Printing Press as an Agent of Tradition in Iran
Ulrich Marzolph spoke about printed materials in 19th Century Iran.

July 15, 2014
Yemen's Unknown Treasure: Traditional Silver Jewelry of Bedouin & Tribal Women
Marjorie Ransom discussed traditional silver jewelry of Bedouin and tribal women in Yemen. Her book, "Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba" documents her exploration of the significance of a woman's handmade jewelry with its attributes of power, protection, beauty and personal identity. This is the first in-depth study of Yemeni silver, uniquely illustrated with over 300 photographs.

June 26, 2014
Images & Observations: Faces of Egypt

For ten years, photographer Deborah Shea Doyle traveled throughout Egypt- from bustling Cairo to remote parts of the Sinai region- to explore the landscape and learn about the lives of ordinary Egyptians, especially the Bedouins. She visited large cities and small villages and traversed through the country's inaccessible areas, which presented her with a gold mine of opportunities to capture and record interesting faces of people she encountered along the way. Her splendid collection of photographs of ordinary Egyptian men, women, and children as they work and play in their everyday lives, invites readers to discover Egypt and its people as they have not been seen before. The humanity captured through her expert lens is matched by an engaging text and observations that give readers insight into the local customs and habits.

May 2, 2014
The Wide World of Persian: Connections and Contestations, 1500-Today
This conference examines this period that includes not only aspects of cohesion and fracture but also renewal and reconstitution of the Persian-speaking world. The period from early modern to contemporary times features some of the defining moments in the lifespan and legacy of the Persian world. This was a period that witnessed immense interchange and connection at the height of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires. This was also a period marked by connections and contestations between the different peoples and places for whom engagement with Persian remained a crucial enterprise. Long-standing trans-regional currents and emergent local trends produced both broad similarities and stark contrasts regarding the role of Persian literary and cultural norms for different peoples and places. The participants -- Fatemeh Keshavarz, Kevin Schwartz, Amin Tarzi, Muriel Atkin, Wazhmah Osman, Pardis Minuchehr, Willem Floor and Corey Miller -- were asked to consider how connections and contestations around language, literature and culture helped define the shifting contours of the wide world of Persian at different moments and places.

June 30, 2014
Fighting Pediatric Cancer in Iran
Saideh Ghods spoke about her work with pediatric cancer in Iran. She spoke in Persian and was translated.

June 25, 2014
The Persian Book: Animation & Illustration
Illustrator, animator, and painter Rashin Kheiriyeh discusses animation and illustration as part of the Library's exhibition, "A Thousand Years of the Persian Book."

June 11, 2014

Woven Worlds & Painted Pictures: The Persian Book in India
Sunil Sharma discussed the Persian book in India.

May 21, 2014
When Ink and Color Meet: The Art of Painting in the Shahnameh (Book of Kings)
Massumeh Farhad participated in the Library's "A Thousand Years of the Persian Book" exhibit with her lecture on painting in the Shahnameh

May 7. 2014
Persian Mystical Literature
Fatemeh Keshavarz from the University of Maryland and Jessika Kenney from the Cornish College of the Arts discussed Persian mystical literature as part of a lecture series accompanying the "A Thousand Years of the Persian Book" exhibition

April 30, 2014
An Anthropologist Looks Back on Decades Living in the Middle East
Andrea Rugh reflects on her years living and working as an anthropologist in the Middle East.

April 25, 2014
The Persian Book of Kings: Vicissitudes of a Foundational Text in Iranian Culture
Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak discussed "The Persian Book of Kings" as part of the Library's "A Thousand Years of the Persian Book" exhibition.

April 22, 2014
DNA & the Origins of Peoples: The Armenians
Hovann Simonian and Peter Hrechdakian delivered the 18th Annual Vardanants Day Armenian lecture on their work using social media to expand the nonprofit Armenian DNA Project, a Facebook group of more than 1,000 members around the world involved in researching Armenian family history through genetic testing.

March 27, 2014
A Thousand Years of the Persian Book
This lecture launched the "A Thousand Years of the Persian Book" exhibition at the Library of Congress. The rich literary tradition of the Persian language over the last millennium was discussed. From illuminated manuscripts to contemporary publications, the exhibition will bring attention to the literary achievements of Iran and the greater Persian-speaking regions of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Central and South Asia and the Caucasus.

March 26, 2014
The Sultan's Kitchen: A History of Turkish Cuisine
Sheilah Kaufman shares her great passion for richly flavored, no-fuss food in this presentation on the history of Turkish cooking.

January 15, 2014
The Golden Treasures of King Tut
Nevine H. Tolba discussed the Egyptian museum and the archaeological findings from the tomb of King Tutankhamun in Egypt.

November 20, 2013
Presentation of Kyrgyz Book
Along with a Kyrgyz delegation, Muratbek Imanaliev presented his latest book on Kyrgyzstan to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

November 5, 2013
Green Desert: Olzhas Suleimanov
Poet and author Olzhas Suleimanov is regarded as one of Kazakhstan's and Central Asia's most influential intellectuals. He read from "Green Desert," the first comprehensive translation of his works into the English language. It provides a concise overview of his rich literary heritage and serves as an introduction to the contemporary literature of Kazakhstan and Eurasia.

September 19, 2013
The Armenian Language & its Place in the Indo-European Linguistic Family
Charles de Lamberterie discusses the history of the Armenian language as part of the 17th Annual Vardanants Day celebration.

September 12, 2013
Cultural & Historical Perspectives on Iraqi Cuisine
Two award-winning authors -- Annia Ciezadlo and Nawal Nasrallah -- discuss their work and Iraqi cuisine.

September 4, 2013
Understanding Egyptian Cuisine & Culture
In this lecture, Amy Riolo defines Egyptian cuisine, explains how the food is central to Egyptian culture, and talks about food throughout Egyptian history.

August 6, 2013

Afghan Art and Architecture Through the Ages
Hamid Naweed spoke about his new book, "Art Through the Ages in Afghanistan," a study of the pictorial and sculpting arts from the the prehistoric period to the Islamic era in Afghanistan.

July 25, 2013
Muhammed ibn Dawud: The Man of Our Times & the Abbassid Language of Brotherhood
Jennifer Tobkin discusses Muhammad ibn Dawud al-Isfahani (d. 297/909), compiler of an anthology of poetry called "Kitab al-Zahra" ("The Book of the Flower") and author of some 500 lines of poetry in it as well as commentary on poems by other poets. Ibn Dawud is arguably more famous for the legend that he died from love for a male friend than for any of his own writings. As early as the 11th century, biographical dictionaries such as "Ta'rikh Baghdad" told the story of Ibn Dawud's writing those poems of his which appear in "Kitab al-Zahra" for a man who did not reciprocate Ibn Dawud's feelings for him and eventually dying from this unrequited love.

June 19, 2013
The Sufi Ritual in the New Theater
Sudanese actor and director Ali Mahdi discusses how theater, music and drama have an invaluable role in promoting dialogue and supporting peacekeeping processes.

June 12, 2013
Egypt, the Arab World & the Future
Ismail Serageldin spoke of the dissonance between the Islamic world and the West and explained some of the reasons for this dissonance. He also made the case for the importance of Egypt. What happens in Egypt he argued, affects what happens in the Arab world, which in turn influences what happens in the rest of the Muslim world, and consequently impacts the relationship between these countries and the Western world. He argued that the "new generation of texters, bloggers, Facebook and Twitter devotees" want an open, free and democratic society -- and he maintained that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

May 30, 2013
Development of Transjordan During the 19th Century
Raouf Abujaber discusses the development of Transjordan during the 19th century.

May 28, 2013
Arabetics: Arabic Language & Script History, Typography & Computing
Saad Abulhab gave a lecture called "Arabetics: Arabic Language and Script History, Typography, and Computing."

May 14, 2013
Life & Works of Naguib Mahfuz Symposium, Part 1
Life & Works of Naguib Mahfuz Symposium, Part 2
Egyptian author and screen playwright Naguib Mahfuz (1911-2006), the 1988 Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature, is the subject of this international symposium co-sponsored with the Egyptian Embassy. Part 2, afternoon sessions, included remarks by William Hutchins, Valerie Anishchenkova, Ahmed Shams Al-Din Hajjaji and Mohamed Helmy El Borai.

April 16. 2013
Marefa: The On-Line Arabic Encyclopedia
An examination of Marefa, an online Arabic encyclopedia, by its creator, Nayel Shafei

April 10, 2013
From Mecca to Mashhad: A Lithographed Shiite Pilgrimage Scroll from Iran
A Nowruz lecture featuring Ulrich Marzolph speaking about a lithographed Shiite pilgrimage scroll from Qajar, Iran.

March 20, 2013
Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings
Hamid Rahmanian presented an innovative version of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh "The Epic of the Persian Kings" based on illustrations from thousands of Iranian, Mughal Indian, and Ottoman manuscripts.

March 8, 2013
The Loss and Rebirth of the Library of Alexandria
Renowned thinker, writer and speaker Ismail Serageldin discusses the restoration of the Library of Alexandria.

March 8, 2013
The Knowledge Revolution and the Future of Libraries
Ismail Serageldin speaks on the transformation of knowledge and how it will impact the future of libraries.

March 1, 2013
The Grand Museum, Egypt
Muhammad Gamal discusses Egypt's Grand Museum.

February 25, 2013
Women in Lebanon: Living Together and Facing Modernity
Marie-Claude Thomas of the United States Naval Academy discusses "Women in Lebanon: Living Together and Facing Modernity."

January 17, 2013
Tajik Manuscripts & Their Conservation in Tajikistan
A lecture on the Tajik manuscripts and their conservation in Tajikistan followed a presentation of the book "The Tajik Golden Heritage" to the Library of Congress.

January 16, 2013
The New Generation of Modern Arab Women
Judith Hornok describes a new image of the Arab world, the modern generation of Arab women.

October 2, 2012
Resurrecting the Ancient Library of Alexandria
Hassan Eltaher discusses the considerable cultural and historical project of reviving Egypt's ancient library at Alexandria.

September 21, 2012
Who are the Copts?
Bishop Angaelos delivered a presentation on the Copts, the native Christians of Egypt.

September 18, 2012
The Origins of Traditional Palestinian Costumes & Embroidery
Hanan K. Munayyer discusses the origins of traditional Palestinian dress and embroidery.

August 29, 2012
The Growth of a Squiggly Letter Language Collection: Armenian at the Library of Congress
Levon Avdoyan discusses the establishment and growth of the Library's Armenian language collections.

July 19, 2012
Reading Omar Khayyam's Ruba'iyyat with Their Historical Context
Mehdi Aminrazavi, professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Mary Washington discusses "Reading Omar Khayyam's Ruba'iyyat within Their Historical Context."

June 5, 2012
Jurji Zaidan: His Contributions to Modern Arab Thought & Literature (Morning Session)
Jurji Zaidan: His Contributions to Modern Arab Thought & Literature (Afternoon Session)
Scholars from the Arab world, Europe and North America presented papers and discussed the life and work of the noted Arab novelist, journalist and publisher. (Morning session.) Speakers included Jens Hanssen (University of Toronto) Marwa El Shakry (Columbia University), Anne-Laure Dupont, Roger Allen (University of Pennsylvania), Zainab Ben Lagha, William Granara (Harvard University), Michael Cooperson (University of California/Los Angeles), Thomas Philipp (Erlangen University, Germany), George Zaidan (founder of The Zaidan Foundation), and from the Library of Congress, Roberta Shaffer, Jeremy Adamson and Mary Jane Deeb.

May 16, 2012
The Persian Traditional Music Golha Project
This illustrated lecture revealed the background and importance of Golha radio programs which were broadcast in Iran from 1956 through 1978. Jane Lewisohn discussed the artistic, literary and social significance of preserving and promoting Persian literature and music in general.

May 15, 2012
The Last Pharaoh: A Dream for the World
Wagdi Zeid presented "The Last Pharaoh: A Dream for the World," his play about Akhnaton, the first monotheistic pharaoh in Egypt, and his efforts to unify the country and promote his belief of the one and only god.

May 10, 2012
Gift of Georgian Book
Nikoloz Rurua, Georgian Minister of Culture, presents Librarian of Congress James H. Billington with "Contemporary Georgian Fiction," translated and edited by Elizabeth Heighway and published by Dalkey Archive Press. Heighway and Dalkey Archive Press founder John O'Brien give insight and answer questions about the gift book.

April 19, 2012
Armenian Literary Identity
Kevork Bardakjian presented "Scribes, Compositors and the Mind in the Making: the Armenian Script and the Creation of an Armenian Literary Identity." Levon Avdoyan discussed "The Continuity and Change of an Armenian Identity in the Digital Age." Following the lectures, participants visited the new exhibition, "To Know Wisdom and Instruction: The Armenian Literary Tradition at the Library of Congress."

April 5, 2012
Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfashan
Rudi Matthee spoke about his new book "Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan

February 24, 2012
Jerusalem: A Photographic Journey
Nawal A. Kawar and John F. Buydos, reference librarians at the Library of Congress, presented a brief history of Jerusalem illustrated with photos and slides.

February 16, 2012
Islam Through Western Eyes
According to author Jonathan Lyons, the Western view of Islam has prevented the West from responding effectively to its most significant 21st-century challenges: the rise of Islamic power, the emergence of religious violence, and the growing tension between established social values and multicultural rights among Muslim immigrant populations. Lyons addresses the issues of Islam and modernity, Islam and violence, and Islam and women and proposes new ways of thinking about the Western relationship to the Islamic world.

November 28, 2011
Turkmenistan Folk Ensemble (Concert)
The African and Middle Eastern Division sponsored presented a concert featuring the Turkmenistan Folk Ensemble performing traditional Turkmenistan music.

November 28, 2011
Literary & Performing Arts of Turkmenistan (Symposium)
In observance of Turkmenistan Culture Day and the 20th anniversary of the nation's independence, the Library hosted a series of events celebrating Turkmenistan, including this symposium on its literary and performing arts.

September 6, 2011
The New Anbar Awakening, 2009-2011
Michael Albin discussed his deployment to Iraq.

June 22, 2011
Farzaneh Milani: Words Not Swords
Farzaneh Milani discusses her recently published book, "Words Not Swords: Iranian Women Writers and the Freedom of Movement."

March 29, 2011
Ameen Rihani: The Book of Khalid
The Library of Congress and the Ameen Rihani Institute presented a symposium on the 100th anniversary of the first Arab-American novel, Ameen Rihani's "The Book of Khalid."

March 9, 2011

Belly Dancers, Harems & Chadors
Author Maha Addasi discusses the importance of getting multicultural details right in children's books.

February 9, 2011
Abbas Milani & The Shah
Over the course of almost 40 years, Mohammad Reza Shah was a colossus in Iran, the one constant in a swirl of changing loyalties, political fortunes, and pressures both domestic and international; by the end of his reign, virtually no state decision could be taken, save by him. Abbas Milani discusses the ruler in his latest book, "The Shah".

January 19, 2011
Cuisine and Culture in the Arab World
Author Amy Riolo discusses cuisine and culture in the Arab world.


Near East Section Webcast Archives
2000 through 2010


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