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Middle Eastern Women: Diverse and Amazing Role Models


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One of the biggest mistakes we make as writers, teachers, and storytellers is to show our audiences only perfect role models. This is off-putting to everyone, not just to young women. Research urges us again and again to show that the success achieved by role models should be attainable and replicable.

That’s why the women in Wafa’ Tarnowska’s book Amazing Women of the Middle East are not perfect. They are not only queens or princesses. They come from all walks of life and from many parts of the Middle East. We hope that this talk with Middle Eastern author Wafa' Tarnowska on International Women’s Day will inspire everyone to believe in their dreams, regardless of the obstacles.

Q&A will follow and be moderated by Ivy Raines, Syracuse University.

Wafa’ Tarnowska is an award-winning writer, translator and storyteller. She was born in Lebanon and has worked and lived in several countries from India, to Australia, to the UAE as well as Cyprus and Lebanon. She currently lives between the UK and Poland, writing, translating books and documentaries, and offering storytelling sessions in English and Arabic. Wafa' sees herself as a cultural bridge between East and West and feels particularly proud of her many books for children, including The Arabian Nights and Amazing Women of the Middle East. Her new book Nour’s Secret Library, available from March 14, 2022, is based on Wafa’s own life experience in the Lebanese civil war and inspired by a true story in Syria. It is about the power of books to heal, transport and create safe spaces during difficult times.


Social Science and Public Policy





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Students, Graduate and Professional

Students, Prospective

Students, Undergraduate




MAX-Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, MAX-Middle Eastern Studies Program


Havva Karakas-Keles


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Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

We’re Turning 100!

To mark our centennial in the fall of 2024, the Maxwell School will hold special events and engagement opportunities to celebrate the many ways—across disciplines and borders—our community ever strives to, as the Oath says, “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.