The Afro-Middle East Centre invites you to a seminar entitled:

Understanding the current crisis in Iraq and its geopolitical context

Awad Abdel Fattah Speaking Tour

The Afro-Middle East Centre  invites you to a speaking tour of Johannesburg and Cape Town by Awad Abdel Fattah, Palestinian politician from Israel. Fattah will be in South Africa talking about the façade of 'Israeli Democracy' at the University of Cape Town and the University of Johannesburg in April 2013.


The Afro-Middle East Centre invites you to a seminar entitled Israeli society and prospects for change in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Presented by internationally renowned Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, and moderated by Prof Ran Greenstein.

Dr Larbi Sadiki, senior lecturer at Exeter University in the UK, argued that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) uprisings over the past seventeen months did not appear out of nowhere but that the Arab world has had a history of protests, uprisings, organisation and mobilisation.

Sadiki was speaking at a seminar organised by the Afro-Middle East Centre on 24 April. Tunisian by birth, Sadiki was in South Africa as a guest of Dajo Associates, a consultancy based in Midrand. He is a prolific writer and an expert on democratisation in the Arab world. His columns on AlJazeera's English website and his sharp analyses of the uprisings of the past year have attracted much attention. Sadiki's seminar addressed the question of the possibilities for democracy in the MENA region.


The Afro-Middle East Centre and DAJO Associates invites you to a seminar entitled Birth pangs of democracy in a region experiencing revolutionary ebbs and flows and transitionary politics presented by Dr Larbi Sadiki, senior lecturer at Exeter University, AlJazeera columnist and expert on the Middle East and North Africa region.


Address in gaseminar organised by the Afro-Middle East Centre at its HydeParkoffices, Iraqi ambassador to SouthAfrica, HishamAl-Alawi, spoke about the challengeshis country faces inestablishing an indigenous democracy where Iraq is would take full control of state-building in a post-invasion context.

Belligerent threats against Iran began The AMEC seminar, on 14 March 2012, was themed 'The Iraqi experience of democratic transition and establishing good governance'. Al-Alawi also challenged the assumption that Islam and democracy were incompatible. He emphasised, instead, that the principles of democracy were not only consistent with Islam, but were also integral to the faith and embedded in the Qur'anic text.

New Perspectives on Palestine


The Afro-Middle East Centre

and the

Centre for the Study of Democracy

invite you to a seminar which will discuss new perspectives on Palestine-Israel
and will feature two important voices:
Ali Abunimah on One Country - the path to peace in the Middle East
Oren Yiftachel on Ethnocracy, land and identity in Israel/Palestine
Date: 16 April, 2010
Time: 2:30
Venue: Room C, New Admin Building (next to Council Chambers),
Kingsway Campus, University of Johannesburg
For more information, call Ashwin - 071 184 9757 or Safiyyah - 084 300 0019


Ali Abunimah is the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse and has contributed to numerous other volumes and written hundreds of articles on the question of Palestine. In 2008-2009 he was a Fellow at the Palestine Center. He is a co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, an award-winning online publication established in 2001. Electronic Intifada covers issues related to Palestine and the Palestine-Israel conflict. It is read by over 60,000 individuals worldwide every month. Based in Chicago, Mr Abunimah is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago.

Oren Yiftachel teaches urban studies and political geography at Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel. He previously taught at Curtin University, Australia; the Technion, Haifa; the University of Pennsylvania; Columbia University; UC Berkeley; University of Cape Town; Calcutta University; and the University of Venice. Professor Yiftachel's research has focused on critical understandings of the relations between space, power and conflict, drawing mainly on neo-Gramscian, post-colonial and Marxian inspirations, with strong social justice, multi-cultural and conflict resolution orientations. His work has been widely cited and translated into seven languages. His work is known for its originality, developing new concepts and theories, including "the dark side of planning", "urban social sustainability", "ethnocratic societies", "trapped minorities", "fractured regions", "ethno-classes", "internal frontiers" and "gray space", to mention a few. Professor Yiftachel is the founding editor of the journal Hagar: Studies in Culture, Politics and Place, and he serves on the editorial boards of Planning Theory, Society and Space, Urban Studies, IJMS, MERIP. He has worked as a planner and activist in a wide range of bodies, including the public housing association, and most recently at the council for unrecognized Bedouin villages in southern Israel/Palestine. He is also a founding member of the activist Faculty for Israel-Palestine Peace (FFIPP), and PALISAD, and is an active board member of B'tselem and Adva (Centre for Social Equality). Professor Yiftachel has published over 100 articles and ten books, including Planning a Mixed Region in Israel (1992), Planning as Control: Policy and Resistance in Divided Societies (1995), Israelis in Conflict (with Kemp, Newman, Ram - 2004), and Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine (2006).

The Afro-Middle Centre invites you to a seminar entitled, "Ending Israeli Apartheid: a One-State Solution" on Saturday 8 February 2010, at 3pm in the AMEC seminar room, by Saree Makdisi, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles and acclaimed author of "Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation" - hailed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as "a compelling account of the lives of ordinary Palestinians suffering under occupation--and a reminder that a true peace can be built only on justice."
Date: Saturday, 6 February 2010
Time: 3pm
Venue: AMEC seminar room, 38 Louw Geldenhuys Drive, Emmarentia, Johannesburg
Turn into Ingalele Street off Barry Hertzog Avenue (at Mosque)
Follow Ingalele down approx. 150 meteres to a 4 way stop in direction of Emmarentia dam/park (this is where Louw Geldenhuys, Ingalele and Vaal streets meet.)
From 4 way stop, canoe club carpark on diagonal left, AMEC (burnt yellow corner house) on diagonal right
Saree Makdisi is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of Romantic Imperialism (Cambridge University Press, 1998), William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s (University of Chicago Press, 2003), and, most recently, Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (WW Norton, 2008), which was hailed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as "a compelling account of the lives of ordinary Palestinians suffering under occupation--and a reminder that a true peace can be built only on justice."
Professor Makdisi's scholarship focuses on the culture of modernity and empire in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain and on the consequences and afterlives of modernity and empire in the contemporary Arab world, especially Lebanon and Palestine, about which he has published extensively in scholarly books as well as in academic journals such as Critical Inquiry. In the spirit of speaking not only to a relatively narrow circle of scholars sharing a common expertise but to a broader public as well, he has written, in addition to Palestine Inside Out, a number of articles on contemporary events which have appeared in, among others, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Nation, The Huffington Post, The London Review of Books and the Beirut newspaper al-akhbar.
Safiyyah Surtee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
011 782 6754

By Afro-Middle East Centre

The Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC) hosted an academic seminar in which specialist historian, Faisal Devji, presented a paper on "al-Qaeda, Jihad and the Democratization of Islamic Authority".

The presentation focused mostly on an analysis of the rhetoric of al-Qaeda. Devji proposed that the group uses the language of "human rights" to carry out its operations.

He also focused on the opportunities for new forms of Islamic authority to be borne out of opposition to al-Qaeda, specifically democratized authority. The text of Devji's presentation can be read here.

The Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC) will host a seminar by specialist historian Faisal Devji entitled "Al Qaida, Jihad and the Democratisation of Islamic Authority" on Wednesday 19 August 2009, at 7pm in the AMEC seminar room.

Faisal Devji is a historian who specializes in studies of Islam, globalization, violence and ethics. He has been teaching teaching at the New School for Social Research in New York City, and has just been appointed to a post at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.


Now a Canadian citizen, Devji is Zanzibari, having been born in Dar es Salaam in 1964. His undergraduate education was at the University of British Columbia, where he received double honours in history and anthropology.

He received his PhD from the University of Chicago with a dissertation entitled “Muslim Nationalism: Founding Identity in Colonial India”, and was chosen to be a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. He has taught at Yale University and also served as Head of Graduate Studies at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London.

In 2005, Cornell University Press published his Landscapes of Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity, a book which explored the ethical premises of jihad as opposed to its more widely-studied purported political ones. The book draws a distinction between the majority of Islamic fundamentalist organizations concerned with the establishing of states, and al-Qaida with its decentralized structure and emphasis on moral rather than political action. Devji's second book, The Terrorist in Search of Humanity: Militant Islam and Global Politics, was published by Columbia University Press in 2008. Devji is also a regular contributor to the scholarly journal Public Culture, and serves on its editorial committee.

Please click here for a selection of Devji's articles.

"Al-Qaida, Jihad, and the Democratisation of Islamic Authority"

Date: 19 August 2009

Time: 7pm

Venue: AMEC Seminar Room, 38 Louw Geldenhuys Drive, Emmarentia, Johannesburg

Fore more infomation, please call AMEC on +27 11 782 6754 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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