Middle East Forum

Kylan Jones-Huffman Lecture Series, 2011-2012

Fall 2011


22 September 2011
Photo of Peterson Scott Peterson- Bureau Chief Istanbul, Christian Science Monitor

Scott Peterson is the Istanbul Bureau Chief for The Christian Science Monitor, and a photographer for Getty Images. One of the most well-traveled and experienced foreign correspondents of his generation, he has reported and photographed conflict and powerful human narratives across three continents for more than two decades, which include making 30 extended reporting trips to Iran since 1996. Those visits and years of research into Iran's politics, history, and culture form the backbone of Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran--A Journey Behind the Headlines (Simon & Schuster, Sept. 2010). It was chosen as one of the "Best Books of 2010" by Publisher's Weekly, which reviews 7,000 titles a year.


6 October 2011
Photo of Junger Sebastian Junger

Sebastian Junger is the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of The Perfect Storm, A Death in Belmont and Fire. As a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and as a contributor to ABC News, he has covered major international news stories in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other places around the globe. He has been awarded the National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for Journalism. For over a year, Junger and photo journalist Tim Hetherington embedded with Battle Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, in the remote and heavily contested Korengal Valley of eastern Afghanistan. Reporting on the war from the soldiers’ perspective, Junger spent weeks at a time at a remote outpost that saw more combat than almost anywhere else in the entire country. The professional result is twofold: WAR ( Published12th, May2010), and a 96‐minute documentary “Restrepo” that won the 2010 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and airing on the National Geographic Channel and in theatrical 


27 October 2011
Photo of Yadlin M.G. Yadlin

Amos Yadlin is a former general in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and was the head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate, known as Aman. Before being promoted to head of Aman, Yadlin was the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) military attaché to Washington, D.C. Previously in his career he headed the IDF National Defense College. When Yadlin was an officer in the IAF he participated in Operation Opera, which destroyed one of Iraq’s nuclear reactors. He also served as Deputy Commander of the IAF. Yadlin obtained a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration at Ben Gurion University in Negev. He received a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University.


27 November 2012
Photo of KuranTimur Kuran

Timur Kuran is Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. His research focuses on social change, including the evolution of preferences and institutions. He has just completed a book, The Long Divergence(Princeton University Press, forthcoming 2010), on the role that Islam played in the economic rise of the Middle East and, subsequently, in the institutional stagnation that accompanied the region’s slip into a state of underdevelopment. Some of the archival work on which this bookwas based will be published, also in 2010, as a ten-volume bi-lingual set entitled Kadı Sicilleri Işığında 17. Yüzyıl İstanbul’unda Ekonomik Yaşam / Economic Life in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul, as Reflected in Court Registers. Among Kuran’s earlier publications are Private Truths,Public Lies: The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification (Harvard University Press, 1995) and Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism (Princeton UniversityPress, 2004), each translated into several languages, including Turkish.


Spring 2012


12 January 2012
Photo of OrenAMB Michael Oren- Israel's Ambassador to the United States

Ambassador Oren has written extensively for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The New Republic, where he was a contributing editor. His two most recent books, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East and Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present, were both New York Times bestsellers. They won the Los Angeles Times' History Book of the Year prize, a National Council of the Humanities Award, and the National Jewish Book Award.

Raised in New Jersey, where he was an activist in Zionist youth movements and a gold medal winning athlete in the Maccabiah Games, Ambassador Oren moved to Israel in the 1970s. He served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, in the paratroopers in the Lebanon War, a liaison with the U.S. Sixth Fleet during the Gulf War, and an IDF spokesman during the Second Lebanon War and the Gaza operation in January 2009. He acted as an Israeli Emissary to Jewish refuseniks in the Soviet Union, as an advisor to Israel's delegation to the United Nations, and as the government's director of Inter-Religious Affairs. Ambassador Oren and his wife, Sally, have three children.

28 February 2012
Photo of FeilerBruce Feiler

BRUCE FEILER is one of America’s most popular voices on faith, family, and finding meaning in everyday life. He is the best-selling author of nine books, including Walking the Bible, Abraham and America's Prophet and one of only a handful of writers to have four consecutive New York Times nonfiction bestsellers in the last decade. He is also the writer/presenter of the PBS miniseries Walking the Bible. His latest book, The Council of Dad's tells the uplifting story of how friendship and community can help one survive life’s greatest challenges.
Bruce Feiler has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Gourmet, where he won three James Beard Awards. He is also a frequent contributor to National Public Radio, CNN, and Fox News. He has been the subject of Jay Leno joke and a JEOPARDY! question, and his face appears on a postage stamp in the Grenadines.


30 March 2012

Photo of JohnsenGregory Johnsen

Currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, he has been a Fulbright Fellow in Yemen and a Fulbright-Hays Fellow in Egypt. Additionally, he has held multiple fellowships from the American Institute for Yemeni Studies and was awarded the David R. Schweisberg Memorial Scholarship from the Overseas Press Club in 2006. His research focuses on the Yemeni civil war from 1962 – 1970, which is the subject of his dissertation at Princeton. Along with his scholarly work, he has also written in a number of more popular venues on contemporary Yemeni politics. These include, among others, the New York Times, the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Policy, and many others. In 2009, he was a member of USAID’s conflict assessment team on Yemen. Johnsen has advised and consulted for a variety of different governmental and non-governmental organizations on issues relating to Yemen. He has appeared on CNN, the Charlie Rose show, PBS’ Newshour, NPR, al-Jazeera English, al-Hurra, the BBC and numerous other television and radio programs. He is often cited in news reports on Yemen, and has testified before the US Senate as an expert on the country.

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