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Bustani Middle East Seminar celebrates 30 years

Funded by Myrna Bustani in memory of her father, Emile M. Bustani '33, the seminar is hosting two public lectures in March.
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Emile M. Bustani
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The Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar at MIT is celebrating its 30th anniversary this academic year. This spring semester it will host two lectures on contemporary Middle East affairs.

On March 1, Lebanese author Elias Khoury will read a selection from his newest novel, “Broken Mirrors: Sinalcol,” and discuss modern Lebanon’s historic encounter with violence as well as the nation's literary scene and the representation of Lebanese and Arab society in literature. Copies of Khoury’s book will be available for sale after the reading and discussion.

On March 15, Bernard A. Haykel, professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, will discuss Saudi Arabia and the Politics of Islamic Militancy, examining the concept of Salafism and the role of the Saudi government.

The Bustani Seminar is funded by Myrna Bustani of Beirut, Lebanon, in memory of her father, Emile M. Bustani, who received an SB in civil engineering from MIT in 1933. Emile Bustani headed the leading engineering and contracting firm in the Arab world and was a prominent Lebanese statesman until his untimely death in 1963.

Ford International Professor of History and Associate Provost Philip S. Khoury has chaired the Bustani Seminar for three decades. “We are so grateful to Myrna Bustani and her family for enabling us to host at MIT some of the world’s leading scholars and commentators on the contemporary Middle East,” Professor Khoury says. "It has become one of the leading university forums in the U.S. for discussion and debate on the politics and culture of that conflicted region.”

Both lectures will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Room E51-395.

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