We Live in Cairo Act II Speaker Series

MAY 2, 2019

A.R.T., in collaboration with the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Belfer Center’s Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, will co-present a series of post-show discussions with leading artists, journalists, and scholars on topics inspired by the show.

A ticket to any performance of We Live in Cairo allows you admittance to any of these talks.

Thursday, May 16: Ganzeer

Following the 7:30PM performance

Described as a “chameleon” by Carlo McCormick in the New York TimesGanzeer is considered one of the most enigmatic artists of his generation, having been compared to everyone from Ai Weiwei to Banksy to Alan Moore to Jaime Hayon. Ganzeer operates seamlessly between art, design, and storytelling, creating what he has coined Concept Pop, a brand of cultural insurgency that utilizes the aesthetics birthed by Pop Art in tackling the subject matter typically ascribed to Conceptual Art. His medium of choice as described by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie in Artforum is “a little bit of everything: stencils, murals, paintings, pamphlets, comics, installations, graphic design,” and more. With over 40 exhibitions to his name, Ganzeer’s work has been seen in a wide variety of art galleries, impromptu spaces, alleyways, and major museums around the world, such as the Brooklyn Museum (New York), The Palace of the Arts (Cairo, Egypt), Greek State Museum (Thessaloniki, Greece), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England), and the Edith Russ Haus (Oldenburg, Germany). His current projects include the short story collection Times New Human and the graphic novel The Solar Grid (2016 Global Thinker Award from Foreign Policy). He has been an artist-in-residence in Germany, Poland, Jordan, Holland, and Finland, and has lived extensively in Cairo, New York, Los Angeles, and now Denver.


Saturday, May 18: Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi

Following the 2PM performance

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is a United Arab Emirates-based columnist and researcher on social, political, and cultural affairs in the Arab Gulf States. Al Qassemi’s tweets became a major news source during the Arab Spring, rivaling the major news networks at the time, until TIME magazine listed him in the “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.” In 2018 he ranked 19th on the “Arabic Thought Leader Index” by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. Al Qassemi was an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow from 2014 through 2016, a practitioner in residence at the Hagop Kevorkian Center of Near East Studies at New York University in the Spring of 2017, and a Yale Greenberg World Fellow in 2018. Al Qassemi is also the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent initiative established in 2010 to contribute to the intellectual development of the art scene in the Arab region by building a prominent and publicly accessible art collection in the United Arab Emirates. In 2018, 100 works from the collection were hosted on a long-term basis at the Sharjah Art Museum. He is currently conducting research for a book that documents the modern architecture of the city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and serves as a lecturer at the Council of Middle East Studies in Yale University, teaching a course on the politics of modern Middle Eastern art.


Saturday, May 25: Ezzedine C. Fishere

Following the 2PM performance

Ezzedine C. Fishere has been a visiting professor at Dartmouth College since September 2016, where he teaches courses on Middle East politics and cultures. Prior, he taught in the Political Science department of the American University in Cairo, worked as a diplomat, wrote novels, and, since the Tahrir Uprising, has been engaged in Egyptian politics by working with political groups advocating for democracy, writing extensively for Arabic and international media outlets, and speaking about Middle East political realities to the media and at conferences.


Saturday, June 1: Tarek Masoud

Following the 2PM performance

Tarek Masoud is a Professor of Public Policy and the Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he is also Faculty Director of the Middle East Initiative. His research focuses on political development in Arabic-speaking and Muslim-majority countries. He is the author of Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2014), of The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform with Jason Brownlee and Andrew Reynolds (Oxford University Press, 2015), as well as of several articles and book chapters.


Saturday, June 1: Soha Bayoumi and Ahmed Ragab

Following the 7:30PM performance

Soha Bayoumi is the Allston Burr Resident Dean of Kirkland House and Assistant Dean of Harvard College, and a lecturer in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. Trained in political theory, political philosophy, and intellectual history, she works on the question of justice at the intersection of political theory, intellectual history, and science, medicine, and technology studies. With a focus on medicine and public health, her research addresses the question of health and social justice, biomedical ethics, and the links between medicine and politics, with a geographical focus on the Middle East and a special interest in postcolonial and gender studies. She is currently finishing a book manuscript (co-authored with Sherine Hamdy, UC Irvine) on the role of doctors in the Egyptian uprising and working on another book project on the question of health and social justice and the social roles of doctors in postcolonial Egypt. She is an editor of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies (JMEWS) and associate editor of the Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (JIMS).

Ahmed Ragab is a historian of science and medicine and a scholar of science and religion. He received his MD from Cairo University School of Medicine in 2005, and PhD from the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris in 2010. He is the author of The Medieval Islamic Hospital: Medicine, Religion, and Charity (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Ragab’s research focuses on the history of medicine, science, and religion and the development of cultures of science and cultures of religion in the Middle East and the Islamic World. He also studies and publishes on gender and sexuality in the medieval and early modern Middle East, postcolonial studies of science and religion, and other questions in the history of science and religion.


Saturday, June 8: Nermin Allam and Vickie Langhor

Following the 2PM performance

Nermin Allam is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Rutgers University-Newark. Before joining Rutgers, Allam held a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University. Her areas of research interest include social movements, gender politics, Middle Eastern and North African studies, and political Islam. In her book, Women and the Egyptian Revolution (Cambridge, 2017), Allam tells the story of the 2011 uprising from the perspective of the women who participated, based on extensive interviews with female protestors and activists. The book offers an oral history of women’s engagement in this important historical juncture; it situates women’s experience within the socio-economic flows, political trajectories, and historical contours of Egypt.

Vickie Langohr is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the College of the Holy Cross. Her work focuses on women’s rights in the Arab world and in countries transitioning to democracy and on movements against sexual harassment worldwide. Her publications include articles in the journals Comparative Politics, the Journal of Democracy, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Contemporary Studies in Society and History, and Middle East Report, as well as articles on “Monkey Cage,” the political science blog of The Washington Post. She has done archival research and fieldwork in India and in Egypt, where she lived for four years and did research most recently in January 2019.


Wednesday, June 12: Leila Fadel

Following the 2PM performance

Leila Fadel is a national correspondent for NPR based in Las Vegas, covering issues of culture, diversity, and race. Most recently, she was NPR’s international correspondent based in Cairo and covered the wave of revolts in the Middle East and their aftermaths in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and beyond. She was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award from the Overseas Press Club for her coverage of the 2013 coup in Egypt and the toll it took on the country and Egyptian families. In 2017 she earned a Gracie Award for the story of a single mother in Tunisia whose two eldest daughters were brainwashed and joined ISIS. The mother was fighting to make sure it didn’t happen to her younger girls. Before joining NPR, she covered the Middle East for The Washington Post as the Cairo Bureau Chief. Prior to her position as Cairo Bureau Chief for the Post, she covered the Iraq war for nearly five years with Knight Ridder, McClatchy Newspapers, and later The Washington Post. Her foreign coverage of the devastating human toll of the Iraq War earned her the George. R. Polk Award in 2007. In 2016 she was the Council on Foreign Relations Edward R. Murrow Fellow.


Related Productions