Middle East Lecture Series

Zidell Hall is the site of this weekly lecture series.

Cedar Sinai Park’s  Life Enrichment Department has challenged, entertained and amused residents with diverse lectures, musical performances and presentations for 20 years. Now the senior living campus will open its Tuesday evening lectures and many other goings on at Rose Schnitzer Manor to our friends in  the Jewish community.

The price is free and all lectures begin at 7 pm in Zidell Hall. Our current series deals with the Middle East. The presenters offer solid academic credentials.


Tuesday Feb 19

Speaker: Peter Bechtold, Portland State University

Topic: Intro to the Middle East/What’s Unique About the Middle East?

The Uniqueness of the Middle East compared to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas; this will refer to two geographic, historic and “cultural” phenomena each. Also, a more detailed introduction about the nation states, the ethnic and religious compositions, economic and political systems of more than 20 states from Morocco to Afghanistan.

Tuesday Feb 26

Speaker: David Champion, Lewis and Clark College

Topic: World War I, the British Empire, and the creation of the Modern Middle East

This lecture focuses on the impact of the First World War, the British Empire and the postwar political arrangements following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire that created the modern Middle East.  Topics will include British strategic military objectives in the area, the rise of Arab nationalism and Zionism, the growing importance of petroleum as the fuel for industry and transportation, and the mandate system that redrew the borders of the Middle East into the eventual nations with which we are now familiar.  We will also study important historical figures who helped shaped this history including Sheikh Hussein ibn Ali, T. E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill, Arthur Balfour, Emir Faisal, Chaim Weizmann, Gertrude Bell and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Tuesday March 5

Speaker: Cyrus Partovi, Lewis and Clark College

Topic: U.S. Interest in the Middle East

Tuesday March 12

Speaker: Robert Asaadi

Topic: State-Society Relations in Iran

Summary: Western media representations of Iran often produce the image of a monolithic society in support of the Islamic Republic regime. These accounts fail to capture the significant complexity and diversity of Iranian society. In this lecture I will explore how population demographics, globalization, and domestic political debates help us better understand the tensions between the forces of change and continuity in the Iranian case.

Tuesday March 19

Speaker: Addie Byrum, Lewis and Clark College

Topic: Arabic (Script, Structure, and Basic Expressions) and Arab Culture

Arabic Instructor Adelaide (Addie) Byrum will talk about the ways in which Arab hospitality and generosity shine through in the Arabic language and its beautiful expressions. She will talk about the poetic yet logical and almost mathematical structure of the Arabic language, show how the letters connect and offer a few examples of Arab calligraphy. She will also discuss and show pictures of her experiences living, traveling and studying Arabic in the Middle East and North Africa.

Tuesday March 26

Speaker: Rabbi Stampher

Topic: How Israel Was Created

This lecture is about the forces that led to the decision of the United Nations to establish a state of Israel, the tactics used in the war and how Israel succeeded in winning the war.

Tuesday April 2

Speaker: Baher Butti

Topic: Iraqi Culture

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