Inside the Middle East

Four Thursdays, October 26 and November 2, 9, and 16, 6:00–7:30 P.M. | The Station Museum of Contemporary Art, 1502 Alabama at LaBranch, 77004. Free street parking available.

The Middle East looms large in the world with violence, displacement, terror, destruction, and human rights violations making headlines. Four renowned international scholars will go behind the scenes to bring us up to date on the present situation, the history and the future.  They will also discuss how the United States is involved in the region and the lives of citizens of these countries.

October 26: Ussama Makdisi “Sectarianism and Coexistence in the Modern Middle East”
Ussama Makdisi is a professor of history and the first holder of the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair in Arab Studies at Rice University.  He is the author of Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conquest of the Middle East; Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations, 1820-2001; and the forthcoming The Ecumenical Frame: Coexistence and Sectarianism in the Modern Middle East (University of California Press). Dr. Makdisi earned a PhD from Princeton University and a BA from Wesleyan University.

November 2: Nathan Citino “Envisioning the Arab Future: Modernization in U.S.-Arab Relations”
Nathan Citino, associate professor of history at Rice University, is author of From Arab Nationalism to OPEC: Eisenhower, King Sa’ud, and the Making of US-Saudi Relations.  Dr. Citino has a PhD from Ohio State University and completed an Arab language program at the University of Chicago.  He has served on the board of editors of the International Journal of Middle East Studies and as associate editor of Diplomatic History.  His recent book, Envisioning the Arab Future: Modernization in US-Arab Relations, 1945-1967, was published by Cambridge University Press.

November 9: Abdel Razzaq Takriti “The Syrian Tragedy between Past and Present: Empires, Rulers, and Movements”
Professor Abdel Razzaq Takriti holds the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Arab History at the University of Houston.  He is the author of Monsoon Revolution: Republicans, Sultans, and Empires in Oman (2016), and is the co-author and co-editor of the website The Palestinian Revolution (  Dr. Takriti holds a DPhil in Modern History from Oxford University and is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

November 16: Idean Salehyan “From Al-Qaeda to ISIS: Syria, Iraq, and the Future of the Middle East”
Idean Salehyan is an associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at Dallas. His research focuses on civil and international conflict, transnational security threats, and the political consequences of environmental scarcity. Author of Rebels without Borders: Transnational Insurgencies in World Politics (2009), Dr. Salehyan received BA degrees in political science and Third World Studies and a PhD in political science from the University of California, San Diego.



Upcoming is Spring 2018! 

West Side Story: Leonard Bernstein at 100
Two Wednesdays, March 21 and 28, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Private residence directions to subscribers
A few seats available


Farming Wonders in Richmond, Texas
Saturday, March 24
Details to subscribers
A few seats available


What's on Lisa Falkenberg's Mind
Tuesday, March 27, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, 77004


Gorbachev: His Life and Times
Monday, April 16, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | The Junior League, 1811 Briar Oaks Ln, 77027
Co-sponsored with World Affairs Council of Houston


Behind the Pages: A Conversation with William Middleton 
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:00 P.M.


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.