Below are presentations that were showcased during the Thirteenth Annual ASMEA Conference on November 18 - 20, 2020. 

Roundtable A: Regional Impact of the Abraham Accords

Prof. Nikolas Gardner, UAE National Defense College
Prof. Mark Heller, Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv University
Mr. Bashir Tofangsazi, The Ohio State University

The Abraham Accords, the peace treaties signed between Israel and Bahrain, and Israel and the UAE earlier this year, represent a new era for relations among Middle Eastern states. Signed with the promise to: “seek tolerance and respect for every person…no matter their race, faith or ethnicity; support science, art, medicine, and commerce to inspire humankind…and bring nations closer together; and; end radicalization and conflict…”, the Accords have up-ended longstanding views on pursuing peace in the region. They also pose challenges to regional spoilers like Iran and Turkey. This roundtable discussion will provide views of the Accords from the perspectives of Israel, Iran, and the UAE.

Roundtable B: "Fake News" about Israel: Ground Zero for Today’s Journalism Crisis

Mr. Richard Baehr, Dr. Richard Landes, Dr. Asaf Romirowsky, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, Mr. Sam Westrop
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME)

Starting with the outbreak of the “Al Aqsa Intifada” in September 2000, the Western legacy news media has been engaged in misreporting of the news from the Middle East that has no parallel in its widespread consensus and lengthy hegemony… twenty years and counting. Since then, and with increasing velocity in the last five years, the invasion of manipulative partisan reporting into what should be news media dedicated to accuracy and relevance has become a major plague in Western cultures, especially acute in this time of pandemic. This panel will explore the dynamics of this pandemic of distorted and inaccurate news, and its impact on Western cultures. 

Instabilities in the Arabian Peninsula

Dr. Edward Lynch, Hollins University
Qatar and the Rift: Small States and Big Opportunities

Mr. Ala Mohsen, University of Utah
From rebels to government: Islamist movements in power - The case of Houthis in Yemen

Dr. Wojtek Wolfe, Rutgers University
Saudi Arabia’s Growing Economic, Financial, and Geopolitical Troubles

Discussant: Mr. David Silverstein

Adapt and Innovate: The Faithful in Turkey

Dr. Ioannis N. Grigoriadis, Bilkent University
The Ecumenical Patriarchate in Action: Russia, Turkey and the Ukrainian Ecclesiastical Crisis

Dr. Hakki Gurkas, Kennesaw State University
Innovation in Religious Tradition: From the Blessed Birth to the Mevlid-i Nebi, 1989-2019

Mr. Neset Ulusal, Indiana University Bloomington
Alawīsm and Shī‘īsm in Ottoman Sunnī Sufism; A Case Study on Ismā‘il Ḥaqqī al-Bursawī

Discussant: Dr. Kivanc Ulusoy

Turkish Foreign Policy: Tested on all Fronts

Dr. Stavros Drakoularakos, University of the Peloponnese
Turkey and its periphery after the Arab Spring

Prof. Banu Eligur, Baskent University
The Impact of Nonstate Actors on Turkish-Israeli Relations Since 2002

Mr. Kivanc Ulusoy, Istanbul University
Testing Turkey’s state capacity: The Syrian Migration Crisis as Catalyst

Discussant: Dr. Ioannis N. Grigoriadis

Finding Meaning in Feminism and the Divine

Ms. Ilma Qureshi, University of Virginia
Love, Longing and Self-annihilation: Reconceptualizing Fanā as Ecstasy in Fakhr al-DīnʿIrāqī’s Ushāq-nāmeh

Ms. Golriz Shayani, University of Texas at Austin
Persian Christian Worship Music: A Medium for Negotiating Religious and National Identities

Ms. Lamees Assayed Fadl, City University of New York
May Ziadah: The Voice of an Arab revivalist Poet and Feminist

Discussant: Dr. Mustapha Tajdin

Who Stands with Women in the Middle East?

This panel is sponsored by Indiana University Press.

Ms. Hala Adel Abdelgawad, University of Sussex and Cairo University
Between Exclusionary Discourses and “Performative Citizenship”: The Dynamics of Women’s Mobilization regarding the Appointment of Female Administrative Law Judges in Egypt

Dr. Lindsay Benstead, Portland State University
Do Islamists Parties Reach Women?

Ms. Mennatullah Hendawy, TU Berlin and Ain Shams University
Housing as [in]visible Spouse: Divorced Women with Custody between Law, Real estate and Culture in Egypt

Dr. Chen Kertcher, Ariel University
The Proselytism of Gender stereotypes in Muslim countries: Examination into the UN CEDAW work

Discussant: Dr. Consolata R. Sulley

Lebanon: Negotiating the Precipice

Mr. Isaac E. Andakian, Kennesaw State University
The Failure of Liberal Peacebuilding in Lebanon: What is the Alternative?

Prof. Jean D. Avenel, Université Paris 12
The First Humanitarian Intervention in Modern History

Mr. Taylan Paksoy, Bilkent University
The Juggling Prince and the Diplomat: Fouad Chehab and McClintock and 1958 Lebanon Crisis

Discussant: Dr. Eyal Zisser

Malawi’s Pursuit of Independence and Good Governance

Dr. Paul B. Chiudza Banda, Tarleton State University
Nurturing Decolonication: US - Malawi Relations in the 1960s

Mr. Gift Wasambo Kayira, West Virginia University
Land Reform and the Politics of Development in Malawi, 1950s-1962

Ms. SangEun Kim, Vanderbilt University
Contested Traditional Leadership and the Welfare of Villagers

Discussant: Dr. Noel Twagiramungu

Models of African Governance

Mr. Vladimir Chlouba, The Ohio State University
One Size Fits All: The Origins of Contemporary Mixed Governance in Namibia

Prof. Patrick Milabyo Kyamusugulwa, International Institute of Social Studies
State corruption and lack of social accountability: attempt to decipher the root causes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Ms. Kimberly L Shella, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Migration of Identity and Anti-Immigration and Pro-Immigration Parties: Parties, Politicians, the Media, and Characterization of Immigrants in South Africa

Ms. Diane E Whitelaw, Queen's University
Between the Big Man and Obscurity: The Political Contributions of Mathias Mainza Chona to Zambian Democracy in the Twentieth Century

Discussant: Dr. Robert Lloyd

Making Religion and Nation in Africa

Dr. Aldrin T. Magaya, DePauw University
‘Change within Continuity:’ Sacred and Holy Spaces and Socialization in Bocha, Zimbabwe, c1910 -1960s

Mr. Andrew Marshall, Georgetown University
Bible Translation and the Politics of National Cohesion

Dr. Noel Twagiramungu, Boston University
Inside the Tanganyika- Zanzibar Union: A case for Nyerere’s Third Space as an antidote to Tribalism

Discussant: Dr. Wyndham Whynot

The Colonial Project and its Discontents

Mr. Bright Alozie, West Virginia University
“Voices Behind Bars” Petition Writing, Convict Identities and the Tensions of Colonial Punishment in Southern Nigeria

Ms. Caroline Angle, University of Maryland, College Park
From Civilizing Mission to Cultural Négritude: The IFAN Ethnographic/Art Museum in Colonial and Decolonizing Senegal

Mr. David Tallon, Reading University
Oil in Colonial Nigeria: Lessons from Iran Learned and Unnoticed

Discussant: Dr. Paul B. Chiudza Banda

Women in Africa: Progress and Empowerment?

Mr. Alhassan Abdul Rahman, The Ohio State University
Muslim Female Enrollment in ‘Integrated Muslim Education’ in Contemporary Ghana

Ms. Katarina Maruskinova, University of West Bohemia
Shifting Sands of the Sahara: Moroccan Women in the Local Tourist Industry

Dr. Consolata R. Sulley, University of Dar es Salaam
Candidate selection rules and women representation in electoral politics in Tanzania

Discussant: Dr. Lindsay Benstead

Tools of War in the Middle East

Dr. Ricardo A. Crespo, Grossmont College
Currency Warfare and Air Power: An Examination of Operation Point Blank and the Air Campaign Against ISIS’s Currency Reserves

Dr. Ofer Israeli, The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Israel
US-Iraq War (2003) Indirect Link of ISIS Rising

Mr. Jay Ryder, The University of Melbourne
A Comparative Analysis of Rhetoric from the First Crusade (1095-1099) and the War on Terror

Dr. Aram Shahin, James Madison University
What Is Islamic about a Muslim Soldier’s Actions in Battle? Islamic Manuals of War on Islamic Warfare

Discussant: Dr. Kenneth Christie

Holy Discourses and their Interpretations

Prof. Joseph S Spoerl, Saint Anselm College
Islam and Islamism

Dr. Mustapha Tajdin, Khalifa University for Science and Technology
Post-Islamism in Morocco and the Politics of Sharīʿa: Al- Raysunī’s Utilitarianism and Al ʿUthmānī’s Silent Secularity

Dr. Hamza Zafer, University of Washington
The Language of Surplus in the Quran’s Communitarian Rhetoric

Dr. Anouar El Younssi, Emory University
Voices of Dissent/ Reform in Islam in North America: A Movement that Keeps Growing

Discussant: Dr. Douglas Streusand

Borne in Violence: Local Players in Iraq and Syria

Mr. Haval Ahmad, Aberystwyth University
The de facto Autonomous Governance and Stability in the Middle East: The Case of Kurds in Rojava

Ms. Yehudit Barsky, Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy
Children of The Islamic State: Seeds of Resurgence and Groundwork for Perpetuation

Mr. Tamas Dudlak, Corvinus University of Budapest, University of Pecs
Beyond sectarian balancing. The pragmatic relationship between Turkey and the Kurdistan Autonomous Region in Iraq (2014-2017)

Mr. Joe Kotinsly, University of Texas at Austin
Brave New World Order: The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Politics of Sect

Discussant: Dr. Liora Lukitz

Forging Foreign Relations and National Security in Iran

COL Norvell B. DeAtkine, Joint Special Operations University
Historical Considerations in Understanding Iran's Military and Their Way of War

COL Wes Martin, U.S. Army (Retired)
The U.S.--Iranian Rollercoaster Relations Since 1953, a Frontline Warrior’s Assessment

Prof. George Sanikidze, Ilia State University
Iran and the South Caucasian Countries: Different Realities, Different Opportunities

Discussant: Dr. Joseph Skelly

The Maintenance of Iran’s Ruling Regime

Ms. Shukriya Bradost, Virginia Tech
Political Power Sharing in Iran: A Source of Ethnic Conflict

Dr. Neal Coates, Abilene Christian University
Iran’s Regime Changing? A Content Analysis of Open Source Media, 2018-2020

Layla M. Hashemi, George Mason University
Media, Protest and Resistance in Authoritarian Contexts

Dr. Mark Silinsky, Haifa University
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - Its Similarities to the Soviet KGB and the German SS and Gestapo

Discussant: Dr. David Meier

Pursuing Success and/or Failure in Egypt

Dr. Rashed Daher, Contemporary Arab World Center, Budapest
Too big to fall? Water policy challenges in the transition to a new political ecology in Egypt

Prof. Sherin El Gendi, Ain Shams University
Al-Butrosiya Church: A Story of the Unexpected Terrorist Bombing

Ms. Hannah Ridge, Duke University
(Il)liberal Democrats in Egypt

Dr. Mohamed Ismail Sabry, Bremen University of Applied Sciences
The rise of Nasserism: Socioeconomic and Institutional factors or Path Dependency?

Discussant: Dr. Steven Childs

Stirring the Pot in North Africa

Mr. Sercan Canbolat, University of Connecticut
Decoding Militant Islamists’ Rhetoric and Strategy in Their Native Language: A Novel Arabic Coding Scheme for Leadership Analysis in the Middle East and North Africa

Lucia Kroiter, Royal Roads University
Can tribal conflict resolution mechanisms create a common ground for disputing parties in Libya under the regional patronage?

Dr. Natalia Piskunova, Moscow State University
Russia’s Return to Africa: A comparative Study of Egypt, Algeria and Morocco

Discussant: Dr. Mark T. Clark

Sifting the Future of the Arab Spring in Tunisia

Prof. Uriel Abulof, Tel Aviv University, Cornell University
Tunisia and Algeria Amidst the Arab Spring: Lived Experiences of Hope

Ms. Nourhan Kassem, Macquarie University
The Crisis of Hegemony in the Middle East and North Africa after the Arab Spring: The Tunisian Political System’s Crisis as a Case Study

Ms. Shirley Le Penne, Cornell University
One state, One people - One Secularism? Understanding Secularism in Tunisia with Saba Mahmood’s Religious Difference in a Secular Age

Mr. Salih Yasun, Ostrom Workshop
Bureaucrat-Local Politician Relations and Hierarchical Local Governance in Emerging Democracies: A Case Study of Tunisia

Discussant: Dr. Ricardo Crespo

The Pursuit of Physical Security in East Africa

Dr. Erica De Bruin, Hamilton College
The Rise of Militarized Policing in the Middle East and North Africa

Mr. Oliver McPherson-Smith, University of Oxford
Better Off Alone: Somaliland, Institutional Legacy, and Prosperity

Dr. Daisy Muibu, American University
Police Officer Views on Community Policing and Counterterrorism in Somalia

Dr. Michelle Sikes, Penn State University
“Like the Bullets She Triggers at Shooting Rangers, She has Suddenly Shot to the Top”: Early Debates over Female Soldiers in Kenyan History

Discussant: Dr. Larry Simpson

Conflict and Control in The Maghreb

Prof. R.M. Douglas, Colgate University
Control by Deterrence: Responding to Sexual Violence in the U.S. Army in North Africa, 1943

Ms. Leyla Tiglay, Department of History at Ohio State University
American Military Bases Question and Decolonization in Morocco (1950-1962)

Ms. Yasmine Zarhloule, University of Oxford
Understanding bilateral relations in the Maghreb: A border perspective.

Discussant: Col. Wes Martin

Visions of Iran

Mr. Bashir Tofangsazi, The Ohio State University
The Forgotten Minority: A Longitudinal Study of the Prosecution of Baha’is in Post-Revolutionary Iran

Dr. Robert Steele, University of California, Los Angeles
Two Kings of Kings: Iran-Ethiopia Relations under Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and Haile Selassie

Discussant: Dr. Neal Coates

Experiences and Narratives: How Israel is Shaped

Mr. Asher Lubotzky, Indiana University
“Don’t Call Us Kushim”: Racialized Experiences and Political Activism among African Students in Israel in the 1960s

Dr. Dan Naor, Ariel University
Narratives of the 1982 War in Lebanon: A Case Study of Halbwach’s Theory of Collective Memory

Dr. Avi Shilon, New York University
On the process of the Easternization of the Israel Politics and Society

Prof. Eliezer Tauber, Bar-Ilan University
Rashid Rida, Jews and Zionism

Discussant: Dr. Ofira Seliktar

Contemporary Security Issues in Africa

Prof. Bruce Bechtol, Angelo State University
North Korean Military Proliferation in Africa

Dr. William Dean, Air Command and Staff College
French Military Operations in Africa in the 21st. Century

Prof. William Taylor, Angelo State University
Violent Extremism in Nigeria: Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province

Discussant: Dr. Douglas Streusand

Israel, the Palestinians, and the World

Dr. Ziv Rubinovitz, Sonoma State University
US policymaking on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 1967-present: The shift from external (Middle Eastern) events to domestic US politics

Dr. Ron Schleifer, Ariel University
Deconstructing Gaza--Why the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism Has Failed to Rebuild Gaza

Dr. Ofira Seliktar Gratz College, Professor Emerita
Constructing the Oslo Peace: An Academic-Intelligence Failure

Prof. Eyal Zisser, Tel Aviv University
Israel and the Arab World -- Breaking the Glass Ceiling?

Discussant: Dr. Avi Shilon

Topics on Africa

Mr. Passmore Chishaka, Kent State University
The Role and Impact of Truth Commissions and Tribunals as Transitional Justice and Reconstruction Mechanisms in the Aftermath of the Second Congolese Civil War (1998-2003)

Ms. Camille Dantzler, Howard University
Creative Activism and the Works of Rwandan Women Filmmakers

Mr. Joseph Lasky, Cornell University
In Times of Crisis: Heterogenous Effects of Violence on Attitudes and Behavior

Discussant: Mr. Bright Alozie

Topics in the Middle East

Ms. Dilara Hekimci, Florida International University
Playing the Victim Card: Populism against the Authoritarian Baggage of the Opposition in Turkey

Dr. Daniel Rickenbacher, Ben-Gurion University
Unwelcome Victims of Arab Nationalism: Jewish-Egyptian Refugees in Switzerland after the Suez Crisis

Mr. Andrew Russo, University of Rochester
Memories of the Morisco Expulsion in the Writings of Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Rafi?

Discussant: Ms. Suzanne Sloan

The New Shatterbelt of the Middle East: Geopolitics of Eastern Mediterranean in a Post Corona World

Dr. Nursin Guney, Nisantasi University
Flexible, Functional and Fluctuating Alliances in the New Eastern Mediterranean: What is this heading for?

Dr. Visne Korkmaz, Nisantasi University
Swinging between Realignment for Benefit and Conflictual Rivalry: What did Covid-19 change in the Turkish-Israel relations?

Discussant: Dr. Nursin Guney