Spring 2008 was the most active semester thus far for the Middle Eastern Studies Program. As part of its lecture series, MESP helped to bring to campus some of the most prominent scholars in the field (see the webcast of many of these talks at http://middle-eastern-studies.syr.edu/Speakers.htm):

• Hugh Roberts (former Director of the North Africa Project for the International Crisis Group), “Thinking Politically about Islamism and Terrorism” (February 27)
• Pete Moore (Case Western Reserve University), “The War Economy of Iraq in Comparative and Regional Perspective” (March 25)

• Samer Shehata (Georgetown University), “Culture & Democratization in the Arab World” (April 8) • Mona Eltahawy (independent journalist), “Sheikhs and Digital Pulpits: In the Middle East, Islam fills the airwaves and Islam is online, but whose Islam is it?” (April 9)
• Robert Vitalis (University of Pennsylvania), “America’s Kingdom: The Real Origins of the US-Saudi Special Relationship” (April 10)

• Greg Gause (University of Vermont), “Making American Middle East Policy” (April 14)
• Zachary Lockman (New York University), “The United States in the Middle East” (April 22)
• Iason Athanasiadis, “Sleepless in Tehran: How Iran’s Alert Elites Are Claiming Regional Suprem- acy” (April 21)

The film festival featured the following films and documentaries: Ceasefire (an Iranian comedy), Syriana (a Hollywood espionage thriller), An Educational Film (an Egyptian comedy), To Die In Jerusalem (a personal and human perspective on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict), Deserted Riviera (a look at the legacy of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah conflict), and War Spin: The Media and the Iraq War (a BBC documentary about the American news media in wartime).