Bulletin Board

Information from the Department:

Student Family Housing

The NMC department wants to make you aware of a great option for student couples and families.

“30 & 35 Charles St West offer a lively, diverse high rise community for student couples and families from all over the world. We have an open, inclusive environment with a zero tolerance for abusive, sexually abusive, or discriminatory behaviour and language.”

Visit the link below here for more information: http://www.studentfamilyhousing.utoronto.ca/Page31.aspx

NEW495Y: Independent Community Engagement Learning Seminar

“NEW495Y is geared toward students in the final stages of their undergraduate degrees who are keen to get out of the classroom and gain some  learning from experience;  who are looking for opportunities to engage in community service, social advocacy, or non-profit work; who want to challenge themselves and to think critically about social justice issues; and who are interested in exploring different ways of learning.”

One of the placement sites is with Journalists for Human Rights which is currently doing work in Jordan and the Middle East, and is looking for someone with a background in this region and preferably Arabic–speaking.

An opportunity for a student interested in the role of media in human rights awareness and democratic development, with a background in Middle Eastern, Aboriginal, African Studies, or Peace and Conflict, Development, Equity and Media Studies.

Due date: August 24

For more information, go here: http://www.newcollege.utoronto.ca/academics/new-college-academic-programs/community-engaged-learning/new495-independent-community-engaged-learning-seminar/


English Language Learning Program

July 9th, 2015


The English Language Learning (ELL) Program will offer a non-credit
course, ELL010H1F, Intensive Academic English, from August 24-Sept. 2, 2015.
Focus on enhancing your English for scholarly reading, academic writing,
oral presentations and more. Register on ROSI along with your Fall 2015
courses. The $200 fee is waived if you complete the course.  For more information, visit:


or contact ELL:





New Round of Sweater Orders!

February 6th, 2015

Dear NMC Students and Staff,

As you may have noticed, NMC sweaters have arrived! If you missed your chance to order last time, good news! The Students’ Union will be taking another round of orders.

If you would like a sweater please email us at uoftnmcsu@gmail.com with 1) your size and 2) what you would like it to say on the back (preferably as an image file).

This time they will be delivered much sooner as they are all ready to print at the book store! Please email us by this weekend and we will have them ready in two weeks. They are Maroon sweaters with the NMC circular logo on the front, and the back can have a customized name in any language. They will come to 35$ each!

Thank you,

Sharon Mizbani
NMCSU President

Sweaters have Arrived!

February 4th, 2015

Dear students,

Sweaters are ready!!

to all who have ordered, please bring $35 cash to the NMC student lounge, on the second floor of Bancroft.
the options for pickup so far are:

– Wednesday February 4th from 12-3 pm
– Friday February 6th from 12-3 pm

We thank you all for your patience and support!
(Nur sporting her custom made NMCSU Sweater!)
Nur Sweater

Call for Artist Submissions!

January 31st, 2015

Dear students,

NMCSU is holding its annual Year-End Social in March and is looking to display original student art for the event. We are interested in showcasing visual art work of any size and any media, preferably related to the Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Department’s theme. If you would like to participate, please email us at uoftnmcsu@gmail.com with details about your piece as soon as possible.

NMCSU’s Year End Reflection

December 5th, 2014

The Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Undergraduate Students’ Union serves as a liaison between students and the NMC Department and organizes several fun and educational events to enhance student life. We would like to congratulate the following students on their election win for the 2014-2015 academic school year:

President:                                  Sharon (Shervin) Mizbani
Vice-President:                        Nadia Bakhtiari
Treasurer:                                 Hassan Shahid
Secretary:                                  Moska Rokay
Journal Editor-in-Chief:        Shirin Shahidi
Events Coordinator:               Leila Zadeh
First Year Representative:    Haseeb Hassaan

So far, NMCSU has organized several events. Some of the highlights include an “Afternoon Bazaar and Tea House” where students were able to taste a table full of delectable treats from the Middle East and learn some traditional card games and backgammon. The Union also organized an academic seminar in association with students from the WGS340H1 class called “Women and Revolution in the Middle East: Roundtable Discussion”. The discussion was led by five leading activists, researchers, and professors focusing on contemporary issues concerning women in the Middle East.

Next semester, students can look forward to more fun and academic events including another academic seminar, themed tea house, and an undergraduate symposium. In addition, we will be hosting the annual year end “Social” where students and professors are invited to unwind after a rigorous school year.

The Journal’s Executive Team has also been working on the next issue of the Undergraduate Journal of Middle East Studies. The journal was conceived in 2004 and the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations has since produced seven publications of scholarly research by undergraduate students at the University of Toronto. This year, the team has embarked in the ambitious mission of expanding the readership and scope of the publication by accepting submissions from undergraduate students worldwide. We look forward to sharing our eighth issue both in print and online in March 2015.

On behalf of the NMCSU Executive Team, we would like to wish everyone happy holidays and we look forward to accomplishing even more towards our goals in the new year!

Sharon Mizbani
NMCSU President

Women and Revolution in the Middle East Roudtable: Review Posting

26 November 2014

written by Frances Maranger

On Tuesday, November 25th, the Women and Revolution in the Middle East class organized the annual Roundtable discussion. This event was sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Institute, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Students’ Union, and the Adult Education and Community Development program at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Five scholars were invited to address two central questions developed by the students: “What does your involvement as a feminist activist entail?” and “What is your vision for the future of women in the Middle East?”

A unique feature of this year’s event was the launch of a new website created by four students in the class. Their interactive timeline tool documents over three hundred critical moments for women in Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Egypt, and Turkey, spanning over one hundred years of history. The team wishes to collaborate with the public in order to include additional timeline entries and expand current entries. The website can be accessed at  www.womensthwarta.me.

Dr. Manal Hamzeh, a Women’s Studies professor at New Mexico State University, began the panel discussion with her research on women’s testimonies of their physical and sexual assaults during protests in Egypt between December 13th, 2011 and November of 2013. Her methodology seeks to prove the powerful pedagogical potential of testimonies, and is a valuable tool in exposing oppressive institutions.

The second panelist, Ghadeer Malek, a former student of the Women and Revolution in the Middle East class and a Palestinian feminist activist, writer, and spoken word poet, recently published her book Min Fami: Arab Feminist Reflections on Identity, Space & Resistance (co-edited with Ghaida Moussa, 2014). Ghadeer spoke about the challenges female writers of the Middle East face in diaspora, questions of home, and identity in the wake of the ever-changing, unstable territory of the Middle East. For her, writing is a powerful and influential art that can never be separated from politics. Ghadeer encourages Middle Eastern women to continue writing in the midst of these struggles, with the intention of furthering education and reaffirming progressive modes of thinking among peers.

Dr. Sharifa Sharif, an Afghan – Canadian feminist author, spoke on her extensive research in regards to the professional women of Afghanistan, the ways in which these women reckon with instituted patriarchal powers, and what all of this means for their personal identities. Dr. Sharif has also conducted research on child marriages.  She explained how Afghan families often marry off their daughters to protect them from gang-rape and kidnapping. Her most recent research investigates war-time trauma among Afghan women. Much of this violence is closely related to the production and trade of drugs. Her vision for the future is to see women of the Middle East become stronger, to have a collective voice, and to have a collective identity. She noted that the Roundtable Discussion was an energizing and empowering event and that the more information is publicly available, the more potential we have to fight oppressive forces.

Dr. Linda Tabar, a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto, also discussed feminism in the context of Palestine.  She expressed a Palestinian solidarity with citizens of Ferguson in the wake of the recent non-indictment of Michael Brown’s killer, officer Darren Wilson. She believes it is important to publicly recognize groups of people who can connect on issues of identity and violence against bodies. Furthermore, she encouraged everyone not to view issues such as public rape and assault, human trafficking, forced prostitution, and the ISIS phenomenon through a cultural lens, but through a global capitalist / racist / patriarchal lens. Dr. Tabar argued that it is colonialism that continually reinscribes patriarchal orders. She ended by warning of the glorification of “exotic notions” and the fixation and glamorization of ISIS.

Lastly, Dr. Afiya S. Zia, doctoral student at the Women and Gender Studies Institute, a feminist researcher and pro-democracy activist from Pakistan, spoke about a number of critical issues, including dictatorships and the role of states and international donor agencies in financing authoritarian regimes. She addressed questions of identity and agency for Middle Eastern women, and the oppressive structures that have yet to be dismantled, particularly those that disproportionately affect women in negative ways.

Dr. Shahrzad Mojab, professor of the Women and Revolution of the Middle East class, closed the discussion with this quotation from a group of Mexican activist students on campus:“They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.” She went on to explain the crucial and dialectical role that art plays in encouraging women to keep struggling against oppressive forces.  She is confident that women of the Middle East are the seeds for a brighter future.

The students of the Women and Revolution of the Middle East class wish to thank all of the speakers who provided their knowledge, expertise, and time for this event, and all of the people who came out to listen, learn, and engage in this critical dialogue. The students would also like to thank Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Students’ Union for their support. Most importantly, the class wishes to recognize professor Shahrzad Mojab for her passion, guidance and leadership.  She was instrumental in making the Roundtable discussion an immense success.

NMC Department Sweaters!

November 25th, 2014

NMCSU is excited to present department sweaters for anyone who is interested! The sweaters will be crew-neck in maroon, with the NMC departmental logo on the front, along with the option of personal names on the back. For anyone interested in having it in a language other than English, we ask that you send us an image file rather than a document file.

The sweaters will be about 30$. If you are interested, please email NMCSU’s Vice President, Nadia Bakhtiari, at uoftnmcsu@gmail.com with your name in an image file and your size. We are ordering the sweaters from the UofT bookstore so the sizes are comparable to other unisex UofT sweaters.
The last day to place your order via email will be Tuesday December 2nd!

Thank you,

NMCSU Sweater 2
NMCSU Exec Team

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