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MENA Faculty Respond to Trump's Executive Order of January 27

February 6, 2017

Several MENA faculty members have published articles and given interviews in response to the Executive Order that President Trump signed on January 27, which instituted a 90-day ban on entry into the United States for all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen; the indefinite suspension of entry into the United States of all Syrian nationals as refugees; the suspension of all refugee processing for 120 days; the introduction of new screening procedures for all visa applicants; and the suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program. Bringing their scholarly expertise to bear on these dramatic developments, political scientists Wendy Pearlman and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd and film scholar Hamid Naficy have made critical interventions in public policy debates and helped inform the current cultural conversation. Read their interventions here:

Wendy Pearlman, "I interviewed 300 Syrian refugees. They are far from a security threat." The Monkey Cage (Washington Post blog), January 30, 2017

Over nearly five years, I have interviewed more than 300 displaced Syrians in the Middle East and Europe. My forthcoming book, a collection of testimonials in which Syrians explain their country’s conflict in their own words, shows that these men, women and children are far from security threats.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, "The Myth of the Muslim Country," Boston Review, January 31, 2017

Describing the nations subjected to Trump's ban as Muslim is sociologically sloppy, historically misguided, and politically dangerous. The government does not have the authority to determine who counts as Muslim or Christian. How is it that today so few of us are ready to contest the claim that this authority belongs to the state?

Hamid Naficy interviewed in "Nominated for an Oscar, Barred From America," The Atlantic, February 1, 2017

The Iranian film The Salesman is shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. But because of Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, the movie’s director won’t be attending the ceremony. To get a better sense of the cultural and geopolitical context of Farhadi’s recognition by the Oscars and his eventual boycott, I spoke with Hamid Naficy...

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