The BLS aims at the full integration of Palestine into the global learning community. It sponsors discourses on subjects of cultural, scientific, and societal importance by leading research experts and public intellectuals of varied heritage and viewpoint.

Prof. George Smith

The Virology of Ideas—An Indispensable Pandemic

Prof. Salim Tamari

Autobiographic Narratives of the Great War and the Creation of the New Middle East

Dr. Honaida Ghanim

Post-justice, exceptionalism, and the normalization of Apartheid

Dr. Gertrudis Rojas

Soberana vaccines against SARS-CoV2: handling antigenic complexity in a versatile biotechnological process

Prof. Nancy Kanwisher

Functional Imaging of the Human Brain: A Window into the Architecture of the Mind






Abstract

 
The Great War on the Eastern Front, looked at from the passage of 
one century, led to major transformations in the way in which the people of the region – from the Ottoman capital of Istanbul to the Arab provinces of the Empire – looked at themselves and at the world.
 What I propose to do is to see how the war and the fighting were reflected in the biographical trajectories of soldiers who fought in it and civilians who endured it, and how the war affected the transformation of their lives and the reshaping of their identity and affiliations during and after the war.
The war was so devastating that, according to contemporary accounts,
it took a toll of one-sixth of the total population of greater Syria—one of the highest among all war fronts during that period.  In this presentation, I will examine this great transformation through the lives of three civilians and three soldiers whose life trajectories marked the transition from Ottomanism to the new Middle East of Arab and Turkish nationalism. 
The writers include Khalil Sakakini, who kept a diary during the war in Jerusalem. His account is riveting in that it captured a vivid portrait for the desolation of the city in 1915 and 1916, the famine years.
 Muhammad Kurd Ali’s Damascene memoirs include his period as a publicist, some critics would say apologist, for the excesses of Jamal and Anwar (Enver) Pashas in Syria and Palestine. 
The most important fictional work to come out of the Great War in Arabic is The Life of Mifleh al Ghassani (1921) by the Palestinian writer and journalist, Najib Nassar, whose the novella is a thinly disguised autobiographical war memoir of the author, who spent 1916-1917 hiding from the Turkish gendarmes in the Bedouin encampments of the Jordan Valley.

Assaf Kfoury

Islah Jad

Steering committee

Ahmed Abbes

Mario Martone

Anat Matar

Ubai Aboudi

Michael Harris

List of previous lectures and recordings

Post-justice, exceptionalism, and the normalization of Apartheid

Dr. Honaida Ghanim (Director of the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies “MADAR”, Visiting Professor at Birzeit University)

Soberana vaccines against SARS-CoV2: handling antigenic complexity in a versatile biotechnological process

Dr. Gertrudis Rojas (Center of Molecular Immunology, Havana, Cuba)

The Virology of Ideas—An Indispensable Pandemic

Prof. George Smith (University of Missouri, Nobel laureate in chemistry in 2018)