Public Talks by
Professor Nezar AlSayyad
University of California, Berkeley and National University of Singapore

AlSayyad - 9 & 18 Sept 2014 - CROPPED

Title: Virtual Uprisings: Tahrir Square, Social Media and the Return of Public Space

Title: The Fundamentalist City: Medieval Modernity

Click here for more information

SALAFISM IN THE MUSLIM WORLD: Contemporary Case Studies in the ME and the SEA
DATE       : Thursday, 28 August 2014
TIME        : 5:00pm – 7:00pm
VENUE    : Seminar Room 5-2, Level 5, Block B (Bukit Timah Campus)
                  NUS, Faculty of Law, 469G Bukit Timah Road Singapore 259776

Salafism in the Muslim World - 28 Aug

Salafism has become  a formidable movement throughout the Muslim world. In its contemporary form, it has adopted a literalist, strict and puritanical approach to Islam that has often been exploited by extremist groups, perhaps most notably the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), to advocate the construction of an ‘Islamic polity’ and to take violent action against non-Sunnis as well as non-Muslims.

MEI has convened a panel of experts to discuss the influences and manifestations of the Salafist movement in the Middle East and in South East Asia.


 Click here for more information



DATE: Tuesday, 19 August 2014
TIME: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
VENUE: MEI Seminar Room, 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace Blk B #06-06 Singapore 119620

Gee - 19 Aug 2014#The current conflict in the Gaza Strip should not be seen in isolation. It is one “hot” episode in a siege that has continued at least since Hamas took over control of the area in 2007, and was directed at overthrowing the Hamas administration through measures directed against the territory’s entire population. The sufferings of the people of Gaza are not so much the by-product of a campaign against Hamas as a central tool of that campaign. Peace for Palestinians and Israelis requires respect for Palestinian rights as well as security for Israelis.


Click here for more information 

– For location map, please click HERE.
– Please call 6601 3637 or email for more info.


This is the third serving this year of the Middle East Movie Nights; a collaborative venture between the NUS Middle East Institute and The Arts house which is on its third year now. The September screenings feature a double bill of classic Egyptian movies Alexandria…why? (24 September, 7.30pm) and Summer Thefts (25 September, 7.30pm).

AlexandriaWhy & SummerThefts

Click here for more information


MEI Prominent Speaker Series

The Middle East Institute is pleased to host Professor Asef Bayat from the University of Illinois for two public talks as part of our MEI Prominent Speaker Series. Professor Bayat will be speaking on pertinent Middle East current issues and will share his perspectives and insights on them. The venue for the talks will be the MEI Seminar Room, Level 6, Block B, 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace Singapore 119620. Details of the two public talks are as follows:


Click here for more information








The Evolution of ISIS: From Al-Qaeda Offshoot to Islamic Caliphate

Date:                    Thursday, 17th July 2014
Time:                   2.30 – 4.00 pm
Venue:                MEI Level 6 Seminar Room 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace Singapore 119620

 Click HERE for more information.


The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) recent decision to  create and declare an Islamic caliphate is fraught with uncertainty. Could it be a brilliant move? Or a major blunder? Conducted by Professor Ahmed Salah Hashim of the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, ‘The Evolution of ISIS: from Al-Qaeda Offshoot to Islamic Caliphate’ will trace the evolution of ISIS from an offshoot of Al-Qaeda to an entity heavily embroiled in the Syrian Civil War, where it succeeded in building a so-called ‘Islamic mini-state’, vis-a-vis fighting the Syrian government and other jihadist groups.

It will also explore the origins of its splinter from Al Qaeda and deal in detail with its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s decision to re-immerse the organization into the Iraqi turmoil by taking advantage of Sunni disgruntlement with the Shia-dominated government of Nuri al-Maliki. We invite you to join us at the Middle East Institute as we seek to explore the origins, goals, strategy and operational art of ISIS.




12 June 2014

MEI Breaking News Dialogue
Iraq on the Brink – Major New Crisis in the Middle East?

The military takeover of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, and surrounding territory by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) could be a game-changer in the chaotic Middle East.  Now ISIS, with its extreme Islamist ideology, occupies substantial territory and possesses formidable military and financial assets.  Not only does it threaten the territorial integrity of Iraq, it adversely affects the security of the neighboring states of Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia and poses a major challenge to American strategic interests.

What is the immediate background to this new situation?
What are the new internal dynamics in Iraq and Syria?
Is the Middle East state system crumbling?
What does this mean for the Sunni and Shi’a communities?
What are the implications for Middle East oil exports?
Will the United States and regional powers resort to military action?
What are future scenarios?

MEI has asked four of its researchers with Iraq and regional security expertise to discuss these and other issues.  Two of them, Ali Allawi and Fanar Haddad, have recently returned from field research in Iraq. Click here for speaker bios.


As part of the MEI Prominent Speaker Series, the NUS Middle East Institute and MUIS Academy are pleased to host Professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Professor of Political Sociology in the American University of Cairo and renowned human rights expert. Professor Ibrahim will be giving two public talks pertaining to the contemporary Middle East issues with particular emphasis on Egypt.

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Please click HERE for more details.


This is the second serving this year of the Middle East Movie Nights; a collaborative venture between the NUS Middle East Institute and The Arts house which is on its third year now.  The June screenings feature a double bill of movies in honour of Palestine: Divine Intervention (11 June, 7.30pm) and Private (12 June, 7.30pm); two interesting cinematic portrayals of life in the occupied territories.  (Click image for more info on both movies and registration link)




movie mei


Our quarterly Middle East Movie Night with The Arts House at The Old Parliament is back! For the first installment this year, we will be screening a double bill of films under the theme ‘Syria’. Abdulatif Abdulhamid’s ‘The Nights of the Jackal’ is set in a small Syrian village and chronicles the effects of Westernization and war on traditional family life. Nabil Maleh’s ‘The Extras’ is a romantic comedy that tells the engaging story of a poor young Syrian couple’s courtship that is fraught with societal scrutiny. Both films will be screened this Wednesday and Thursday, 23 and 24 April respectively at 7.30 pm at The Arts House. Admission is free but registration is required and can be done here: A discussion will ensue each screening.


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