we welcome you to discover the

Middle East

Year 2 – Fall 2018 | Winter 2019

Year two of the humankind series focuses on cultural, social and political parallels between the Middle East and the US. This series of lectures, exhibits, texts, activities and performances will provide diverse perspectives on a region of our world that is never short of generating strong opinions. Connect with the cultures and peoples of the Middle East and open yourself up to this opportunity to explore similarities and differences with our lives here in the US and lives half a world away.

We welcome you to recap our Year 2 program

FALL 2018 | WINTER 2019

Lectures & Presentations

Making Sense of the “Muslim” Travel Ban

It’s impact on Refugees, Citizens and Immigration Law


September 20, 2018

Presented by Saeed Khan


Saeed Khan will explore how the so-called Muslim travel ban has been challenged and upheld by the US Supreme Court, defining the executive branch’s authority over the nation’s immigration laws. He will look at how the ban has affected real lives, including those of US citizens and their families.

What We Carried: Fragments & Memories from Iraq & Syria

An Artist Lecture by Jim Lommasson


September 25, 2018

Presented by Jim Lommasson


Jim Lommasson will talk about the trajectory of his life and career. Early on, his work as a commercial photographer led to a new direction in his art, documenting war experiences of American soldiers who served in the Middle East. From there he began to explore how to record and share experiences of refugees, immigrants, and, most recently, survivors of genocides. His work touches the core of the humanity in each individual.

Islamic Identity in the US

Being Muslim in America


October 29, 2018

Presented by Meira Neggaz


Meira Neggaz will discuss what it is like to be a Muslim and an American living in a country where the modern introduction to Islam was 9/11.

Comics & Graphic Novels

An Artist Lecture by Leila Abdelrazaq


November 13, 2018

Presented byLeila Abdelrazaq


Leila Abdelrazaq will explore how her Palestinian culture plays a role in her art and where it may not be present in it at all. She’ll also discuss why she started publishing other graphic artists’ work.

Islamic Identity in the US

Being Muslim in America


October 29, 2018

Presented by Meira Neggaz


Meira Neggaz will discuss what it is like to be a Muslim and an American living in a country where the modern introduction to Islam was 9/11.

Comics & Graphic Novels

An Artist Lecture by Leila Abdelrazaq


November 13, 2018

Presented byLeila Abdelrazaq


Leila Abdelrazaq will explore how her Palestinian culture plays a role in her art and where it may not be present in it at all. She’ll also discuss why she started publishing other graphic artists’ work.

Science of the Middle East

Historical & Contemporary


March 6, 2019

Presented by Yunus Telliel


Yunus Telliel will examine the powerful, and rarely discussed, influence Arab science had on Western science. He’ll also trace how science has changed under Islam.

Philosophies of the Middle East

A lecture about Middle Eastern Culture


March 13, 2019

Presented by Robert Worth


Author and New York Times journalist Robert Worth will share his observations on events happening in the Middle East, integrating interviews and stories from people living and fighting in these countries.

Author Talks & Book Discussion Series

3 Author & Book Talks Throughout the Year


Author Talk & Book Discussion: 

The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf – Mohja Kahf.


Author Mohja Kahf was born in Syria, came to the US as a preschooler, and grew up in the Midwest. Currently a faculty member at the University of Arkansas, she has written poetry, novels, and nonfiction. Kahf’s work draws from her own life-journey and explores the cultural and social clashes of what it means to carry out a Muslim life in America.


Author Talk & Performance: 

Looking for Palestine (Book) / Palestine (Script) – Najla Said


Author and actress Najla Said presents an engaging and entertaining story about growing up in an Arab-American family and the challenges of trying to fit into American culture.


Author Talk & Book Discussion:

A Rage for Order – Robert Worth


Author and New York Times journalist Robert Worth will share his observations on events happening in the Middle East, integrating interviews and stories from people living and fighting in these countries.

In the Theatres

Film & Performances

A Moment of Innocence

Directed by Mohsen Makhmalbat: Viewed at the Historic Vogue Theatre in Downtown Manistee


Part autobiography, part comedy-drama, this movie tells the story of how, two-decades after he stabbed a policeman at a rally when he was a teenager, a man decides to locate the officer he injured and make amends.

Traditional Arabic Sounds meet Western Classics

Live Concert Performance with Simon Shaheen : Live at West Shore Center State Theater


Simon Shaheen and his ensemble electrify their listeners with music that spans traditional Arabic sounds, jazz, and Western classical styles.

Fall Exhibit

What We Carried

Fragments & Memories from Iraq and Syria


Jim Lommasson captures raw emotion and purpose in this photographic exhibit of objects brought by Iraqi and Syrian refugees when they fled to the US. The photos reveal the human side of refugee life and rebuilding home somewhere else.

Fall Exhibit

Illustrating Palestine

Comics & Graphic Novels of Leila Abdelrazaq


Leila Abdelrazaq examines issues related to diaspora, refugees, history, memory and borders of Palestinian culture all through the incredible use of graphic illustration and design.

Winter Exhibit

Crossing Borders

Carrying Home Traditions


This exhibit is inspired by the work of Jim Lommasson from early fall. Art students from WSCC and local high schools will photograph objects brought by immigrants, migrants and others to help them establish new homes in Michigan.

Thank You


Thank you for your interest in Middle East, we hope that you will join us for an upcoming lecture soon!

Special Thanks To

Manierre Dawson Gallery

Gallery is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19.

Contact us

3000 N Stiles Road
Scottville, MI 49454
humankind@westshore.edu

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