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Load Poems Like Guns

The Diplomat Magazine  review of Load Poems Like Guns: Women’s Poetry from Herat, Afghanistan–compiled and translated by SISMEC Researcher Farzana Marie. A common saying about Herat, Afghanistan is that you cannot stretch out a leg there without “poking a poet in the ass.” In her 2002 book The Sewing Circles of Herat, British journalist Christina Lamb attributes[…]

“Letters to War” and “Lethe”

Letters to War and Lethe is a collection of poems about war: its deprivations, its strange gifts, and its remembrances. “Whether set in Afghanistan or an American supermarket,” writes Boston-based poet Joyce Peseroff, these poems “upset platitudes and assumptions about those who fight, what they remember, and who speaks for them.” Farzana Marie’s book, Peseroff says,[…]

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Media Evolution on the Eve of the Arab Spring

Nine months before Mohammed Bouazizi’s self-immolation, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University hosted a symposium on Arab media. Much (and not much) has changed in the region’s media landscape since. Understanding the structural and functional characteristics at a historical juncture ahead of the uprisings can help us comprehend what precipitated (and inhibited) the ensuing changes. The[…]

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Building on Nietzsche’s Prelude

Musa al-Gharbi explains the (anti)philosophy undergirding his research at the unlikely intersection of theology, cognitive science and Mideast geopolitics.   I. As a social epistemologist, my work has been focused on highlighting the ways misinformation, disinformation and ignorance adversely affect policy in the geopolitical and tactical spheres. I subscribe to the via negativa because it[…]

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Talking to Strangers

Ambassador David Dunford speaks with SISMEC researcher Christina Sciabarra about his new book with Ghassan Muhsin Hussein entitled “Talking to Strangers.” He discusses the challenges of joining the Coalition Provisional Authority which served as the occupational administration after the American invasion of Iraq in 2003.  Tasked with rebuilding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Dunford describes the challenges[…]

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Hearts for Sale! A Buyer’s Guide to Winning in Afghanistan (Excerpt)

A beloved and well-respected Afghan civil society leader, Dr. Mohammad Saeed Niazi once said, “The hearts of the people are for sale—but not for money.” Genuine caring, respect, and service “buy” hearts; and those hearts freely offer the legitimacy governments embroiled in counterinsurgency so crave. Dr. Niazi’s words suggest that neither the secret to earning[…]

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Drones: The New American Way of War

SISMEC’s research on drones in Middle East Policy: “Drone Warfare in Yemen: Fostering Emirates through Counterterrorism?” Dr. Leila Hudson, Colin S. Owens, David J. Callen. Middle East Policy, Fall 2012. “Drone Warfare: Blowback from the New American Way of War,” Dr. Leila Hudson, Matt Flannes and Colin Owens. Middle East Policy, Fall 2011.   SISMEC Presents “Drones: The[…]