Bulletin Board, November 2010, Page 71

Announcements, Upcoming Events, Awards & Obituaries

—Compiled by Adam Chamy


Dr. Michael Hudson, who help found and organize Georgetown University's highly respected Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), which he has led intermittently for more than 35 years—is leaving the institution to serve as director of the National University of Singapore's Middle East Institute.

The Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Multi-Country Research Fellowships are open to U.S. doctoral candidates and scholars who have already earned their Ph.D. in fields in the humanities, social sciences, or allied natural sciences and wish to conduct research of regional or trans-regional significance. Fellowships require scholars to conduct research in more than one country, at least one of which hosts a participating American overseas research center. It is anticipated that approximately 11 fellowships of up to $9,000 each will be awarded. Applications will be available in early October; deadline is Jan. 15, 2011. For more information and to download the application form, visit . To contact CAORC by e-mail, write ; by phone, call (202) 633-1599; by mail, CAORC, P.O. Box 37012, MRC 178, Washington, DC 20013-7012.

The American Center for Oriental Research (ACOR) will host one of the 2011 Critical Language Scholarship Program's Intensive Summer Arabic Language Institutes. Those interested in applying to the CLS Program to study Advanced Beginning, Intermediate, or Advanced Arabic in Amman, Jordan are invited to visit <www.CLSscholarship.org>.


Upcoming Events

Arab Heritage Month will be observed by Michigan and California in October, and by Illinois in November. Check local newspapers and Web sites for events honoring the achievements of Arab Americans in these communities.

The National Arab American Medical Association (NAAMA) will hold its 32nd National Medical Convention in New York City, at the Times Square Westin, Oct. 9 through 11. For more information visit <www.naama.com>.

The American Task Force on Palestine's Fifth Annual Gala will take place Oct. 20 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, DC. For more information visit .

The Arab American and Chaldean Council will hold its 31st Annual Civic and Humanitarian Awards Gala Oct. 16 at the Detroit, MI Marriott Renaissance Center. For more information call (248) 559-1990.

The Arab American Chamber of Commerce will hold its 18th Annual Building Economic Bridges Banquet in Dearborn, MI, Oct. 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information call (313) 945-1700.

The Middle East Institute will hold its 64th Annual Conference, on the theme "Rethinking a Middle East in Transition," Nov. 3 and 4 at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington, DC. The Nov. 3 banquet will feature al Jazeera English host Riz Khan, and present an award to Issam M. Fares, former deputy prime minister of Lebanon, for his outstanding humanitarian contributions. Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat will be the keynote speaker at the Nov. 4 luncheon. For more information or to RSVP, call (202) 785-1141 ext. 236 or e-mail .

The 2010 World Affairs Council National Conference, on "U.S. Foreign Policy: Into the Next Decade," will take place Nov. 3 to 5 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. for more information visit .


William "Bill" Christison, 82, a former senior analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency and outspoken critic of Israel's occupation of Palestine, died June 13 of a rapidly advancing neurological disease. A Princeton graduate, he joined the CIA in 1950, serving in the agency's analysis branch for almost 30 years. In his early years there, he worked as a national intelligence officer focusing on Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. During a tour in Saigon he met his future wife, Kathleen—a CIA officer herself. By the time he retired in 1979 he had risen to become director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis, leading a 250-person unit of analysts and researchers. Following his retirement, he and Kathleen moved to Santa Fe, NM. After the fall of the Soviet Union he became increasingly critical of U.S. foreign policy, especially in regard to Israel-Palestine. His articles about Palestine, the War on Terror and the 9/11 truth movement regularly appeared in the online magazine CounterPunch and on . His and Kathleen's last book together, Palestine in Pieces: Graphic Perspectives on the Israeli Occupation, is available from the AET Book Club (see December 2009 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p. 68). In addition to his wife, survivors include three children and three grandchildren.

Harold M, Keshishian, 81, an Armenian rug expert and art patron, died July 23 in Washington, DC. Known for his incredibly photographic memory and astute ability to unravel the history and importance of rugs, he was born in London to a family fleeing the Armenian genocide. The shop that his father, Mark Keshishian—a rug merchant when the family lived in Istanbul—opened in the District in 1931 was cleaning, repairing, and selling rugs to the White House by 1935. After a stint in the Army and the Colorado School of Mines, Harold joined his father and middle brother in the family business, and wrote two well-regarded books on textiles. In the 1970s he played a prominent role in redecorating the State Department's diplomatic reception rooms, and was appointed to the Cultural Properties Advisory Committee by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He was one of the first recipients of the prestigious Joseph V. McMullan Award, and served on the board of the Near Eastern Art Research Center and as trustee emeritus at Washington, DC's Textile Museum.

Tony Judt, 62, a well-regarded scholar of European history who was known for his critical statements about Israel, died Aug. 6 at his home in New York of Lou Gehrig's disease. An English-born historian, he was the son of a Russian mother and Belgian father who was descended from a long line of Lithuanian rabbis. As an avowed left-wing Zionist, he spent much of his youth supporting Israel by helping to promote immigration of Jewish people from the United Kingdom and spending a year working on a kibbutz. In the aftermath of the Six-Day War he worked as a driver and translator for the Israel Defense Forces. Over time he drastically changed his views—in 1983 describing Israel as a "belligerently intolerant, faith-driven ethno-state" and by 2003 calling for a one-state solution. While he was a strong commentator on the politics of Israel-Palestine, the bulk of his work focused on European history, especially French economics. His most famous work, the landmark Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1948, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and referred to by Yale historian Timothy Snyder, as "the best book in its subject that will ever be written by anyone." Judt spent the bulk of his professional life in the United States, serving since 1987 as a professor at New York University and director of its Remarque Institute. He was a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and other publications on subjects ranging from his personal struggles with Lou Gehrig's disease to politics and society. His final book, Ill Fares the Land, critiques societal and political changes in America. Judt is survived by his third wife, dance critic Jennifer Homans, and two children.

Ghazi Algosaibi, 70, a former Saudi Arabian cabinet member, poet and author, died Aug. 15 at a hospital in Riyadh of stomach cancer. He was known for his poetry and liberal religious views, which often put him at odds with the conservatives in the country. During his tenure as cabinet member, he headed the ministries of health, electricity, water, industry, and labor. As his country's ambassador to Britain from 1992 to 2002, he aroused some controversy by writing a poem defending Palestinian suicide bombers at the height of the second Palestinian intifada. Many of his works were banned in Saudi Arabia because of their satirical depiction of ruling regimes, politics and social norms. Algosaibi often spoke out publicly against terrorism and extremism, calling for gradual democratic reform in the Kingdom and region. The Saudi Culture Ministry recently lifted its ban on his writing, citing its contribution to the Kingdom's cultural heritage.

Dimitrios Ioannidis, 87, the controversial security chief who led a coup against Greece's military leaders, provoking Turkey's invasion of Cyprus in 1974, died Aug. 16 at an Athens hospital after experiencing breathing problems in his cell in a special wing of a maximum security prison built during his military regime where he spent the last 35 years. As head of the brutal ESA military police, Ioannidis was the key military figure during a dictatorship that seized power in 1967 after years of political instability. The ultraconservative junta imposed martial law, cracked down heavily on political opponents, and tortured countless citizens. While the junta was largely condemned by the West, a 1971 visit to Greece by Vice President Spiro Agnew was viewed by many Greek pro-democracy leaders as evidence of Washington's approval of the dictatorship. After some pro-democracy reforms in 1972, Ioannidis and a group of army hard-liners staged a successful coup, ruling Greece for the next eight months. Under the regime, relations with Turkey and President Makarios of Cyprus quickly fell apart. In June 1974, the military overthrew Makarios, prompting a Turkish invasion of the island. By that August, Turkey controlled nearly 40 percent of the island, and Cyprus remains a major thorn between Greece and Turkey to this day. The invasion also prompted the fall of the military government in Greece and a return to democratic civilian rule.

Amin al-Hindi, a former Palestinian intelligence chief and associate of PLO leader Yasser Arafat, died Aug. 17 in Amman, Jordan of cancer. Born in Gaza in 1940, he spent many years in exile as a security officer for Fatah, and was widely suspected of having played a role in organizing the attack on Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. Because his link to the attack was never made clear, he was spared the series of Mossad reprisals and, following the 1983 Oslo accords, eventually allowed back into West Bank. In the 1990s Arafat appointed him general security and intelligence chief of the Palestinian Authority. During his tenure, he had frequent contacts with Israeli security officials and was respected for his efforts to forge peace. He attempted to resign from his post in 2004, citing the lack of government reforms and chaos within Fatah, but stayed on until Arafat's death in November of that year. He eventually was replaced when Mahmoud Abbas assumed power in 2005. According to the Palestinian news agency Ma'an, al-Hindi was buried at an official military funeral held at the presidential compound in Ramallah attended by President Abbas, Premier Salam Fayyad and other PLO officials.

Edmond N. Howar, 81, a Washingon, DC-area real estate developer active in Arab-American and Islamic organizations, died in Washington Sept.1 of Lewy body disease, a degenerative neurological disorder, and dementia. A native of Washington, DC he was a graduate of George Washington University and, after serving in the Army from 1953 to 1955, began working for his father's company, Howar Properties. He was a co-founder of the National Association of Arab Americans, which later merged with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and a member of the Islamic Center of Washington. In 1975 he attended the official state dinner for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. His marriage to author and television personality Barbara Dearing Howar ended in divorce, as did a second marriage. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Margot Reid Howar, three children, three sisters and four grandchildren.

Peter Gubser, 69, former president of American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), died Sept. 2 of prostate cancer at a Bethesda, MD hospital. An "In Memoriam" will appear in the December 2010 issue of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,.

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