The Majlis at the ANU

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The Majlis at the ANU

A roundtable on contemporary issues in Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and North African politics

An Overview

In both Arabic and Persian, the term majlis can describe a regular gathering of like-minded individuals. It is regularly used in the Arabian Peninsula as a forum for friends and colleagues to meet and discuss political and social developments, to engage in debate, to share views and research, and to network. The Majlis at ANU provides a space for scholars and the public to meet and share their thoughts on contemporary events across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. It also provides an opportunity for individuals to present their original research and receive feedback from their peers.

The Majlis in 2018 will be held monthly starting Friday 23 March and is open to the public. We have enjoyed the participation of graduate students across the Australian National University and other Canberra-based research institutions, but all are welcome. Meetings are held on Fridays from 11am to 12.30 pm in the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Building 127 on Ellery Crescent), and morning tea is available .

The Detail

Most weeks will focus on either a topic that is central to media coverage at that time or more enduring thematic issues. For example, we have previously discussed Russian involvement in Syria’s civil war and have considered the theoretical approaches to the study of Islam. Prior to each Friday meeting, we will share several short articles (of newspaper or journalistic depth) with participants to get the conversation started.

Any participant in the Majlis is welcome to recommend a topic that is of interest to them, and we will do our best to accommodate it. The preference is for subjects that can be linked to contemporary events, but the only requirement is that they be useful to members, and interesting! One of the purposes of the Majlis is to build connections and awareness of research across the ANU, so we look forward to hearing what you’ve been working on, and what you’d like to learn more about.

We also arrange expert speakers where possible, including those based in the region who will speak via Skype or video chat. If you have a recommendation for an expert speaker, please let us know and we will work them into the schedule.

How to join

The Majlis is free and open to the public, but we welcome any prior indication of attendance for catering purposes. Please email us to receive information and updates about the Majlis meetings.

Past events

Yemen: Current and Future Challenges

14 Dec 2018

Labelled the ‘worst humanitarian crisis in the world’ by the EU and characterised by the UN as ‘entirely man-made’, the ongoing crisis in Yemen continues to...

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Some Patterns of Shia Muslim Tithe (Khums) in Iran and Australia

30 Nov 2018

Money has a privileged place in analyses of modernity. In both the Weberian and Marxist traditions of social theory, money’s increasingly abstract and free-...

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Transition and Geopolitics in Afghanistan

12 Oct 2018

In Afghanistan, inter-elite competition over power, resources, and ideology on the one hand, and repeated foreign interference and invasion on the other hand...

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Syrians displaced in Jordan: humanitarian needs and responses

17 Aug 2018

While there is plenty of media attention on Syrian refugees in Europe, the bulk of Syrians displaced by the Syrian conflict are living in neighbouring...

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The Stateless Bedoun in Arab Gulf Society: The case of Kuwait

3 Aug 2018

The Bedoun 'without nationality' is a social class in several Arabic Gulf counties, many of which consider them stateless, or recognize them as illegal...

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Red Lights on the Black Sea: The Traffic in Women between Russian and Ottoman Empires

20 Jul 2018

The Majlis is pleased to announce next session, 'Red Lights on the Black Sea: The Traffic in Women between Russian and Ottoman Empires' In the early twentieth...

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Turkey after the 2018 elections

6 Jul 2018

On 24 June 2018, Turkey went to both parliamentary and presidential elections. Since March 2014, Turkish voters have gone to the ballot box five times; two...

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Islam in Kazakhstan: The case of Salafism

22 Jun 2018

Among the five states of Central Asia, Kazakhstan is a less religious and comparatively stable country. However, recent trends indicate the emergence of...

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Divine Enabling: The Ideological Motivation of ISIS

25 May 2018

As ISIS influence and support is waning in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere, this Majlis attempted to tackle some of the ideological narratives that prompted its...

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Trump's Jerusalem Decision and the Question of Palestine

20 Apr 2018

President Trump’s announcement of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparked wide international criticism and protest, and...

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Updated:  5 June 2018/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications