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In this public seminar, five Georgetown University professors who specialize in Asia discussed the future of U.S.-Asia relations, offering their insights on some of the most important issues in the region, ranging from politics and security to climate and energy.

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May 27, 2015—DC Event: "In Conversation with Javed Ahmad Ghamidi". Co-sponsored with Al-Mawrid United States. A public talk by Islamic scholar and intellectual, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi on topics relating to religion, Muslims and the current state of affairs. The conversation was facilitated by Shehzad Saleem, Ph.D. (University of Wales) and audience members had the opportunity to present their own questions as well. 

*Podcast in Urdu
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May 27, 2015—Briefing: "Marriage, Identity, Religion & Marital Stability: Intermarriage of Turkish Citizens in the US" with Mehmet Ali Balkanlioglu. Today’s societies have become more and more multi-cultural and multi-religious than ever. As reflecting the harmonization of cultural and religious differences, today the intermarriage rate has reached its highest level throughout history, especially in the United States. More specifically, according to a Pew Research Center report, about 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity. Looking at all married couples in 2010, regardless of when they married, the share of intermarriages reached an all-time high of 8.4%. Many studies from different disciplines have focused on examining the different dimensions of intermarriage in the US since the twentieth century; however, the intermarriage of Turkish citizens in the US has been neglected as a research domain. Dr. Balkanlioglu’s research on the nature of intermarriage of Turkish citizens in the US is the first of its kind. According to the Turkish Embassy in Washington, 189,791 Turkish citizens live in the US. This talk broadly discussed the circumstances of intermarriage of Turkish citizens concerning family, identity, assimilation, culture, religion, conversion, marital stability and child raising throughout their marriages.    

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What are some of the most pressing issues in Chinese foreign policy today? In this presentation, Professor Reardon-Anderson will review Chinese foreign policy decisions in the last few decades and discuss many new challenges faced by the government in Beijing, including the issues of Xinjiang, Tibet, island disputes, and energy. 

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What sparked the protests in Hong Kong in 2014? Could these protests diminish the chances of Taiwan's unification with the mainland and dismantle the "one country, two systems" formula? In this panel discussion, a group of experts will exchange views on the ongoing protests in Hong Kong and their significance to the politics and security of East Asia.

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The South China Sea appears to be on the verge of conflict. In the past two years, Chinese Coastguard ships have rammed their Vietnamese rivals, blockaded Philippine outposts, disrupted Malaysian oil surveys, and threatened Indonesian fisheries protection vessels. The Chinese government claims "indisputable sovereignty" over the vast majority of the Sea while its southern neighbors assert that all or some of the islands in the Sea rightfully belong to them. In this presentation, Bill Hayton, BBC News journalist and the author of South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia (Yale University Press, 2014), locates the origins of the disputes in the nationalist anxiety that marked the confused transition from empire to republic in China and the processes of decolonization in Southeast Asia. He shows how the first territorial claims were provoked by the commercial exploitation of bird droppings and then how the lure of hydrocarbons combined with the adoption of a new UN Convention on the Law of the Sea led to the occupation of almost every feature in the Sea. Hayton tells the often bizarre stories of how the rival claims came about, examines the evidence for them, and discusses whether they can ever be reconciled.

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Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder presented this year's Herman Allen "Hal" Israel (C'92) Endowed Lectureship in Jewish-Catholic Relations on "The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism and the Persecution of Christians" (March 25, 2015).

Ambassador Lauder is the current President of the World Jewish Congress (WJC). As President of the WJC, Ambassador Lauder has met with countless heads of state, prime ministers, and government representatives in advancing those causes that are of most concern to Jews and Jewish communities internationally.
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Professor Pamela S. Nadell holds the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University where she chairs the Department of History. In 2007, she received AU’s highest faculty award, the Scholar/Teacher of the Year. In 2010, the American Jewish Historical Society recognized her distinguished service to American Jewish history with its Lee Max Friedman Award.  A member of the founding historians’ team for the National Museum of American Jewish History, she is currently Vice-President for Program for the Association for Jewish Studies.  Her books include Women Who Would Be Rabbis: A History of Women’s Ordination, 1889-1985.

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Cosponsored with the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Last September, in announcing military operations against ISIS/ISIL, President Obama referred to Yemen as a US policy success, to the bafflement of many within and outside the country at the time.  The jury was still out on our drone-dependent security/CT operations, the economy was in disarray and the political transition - a relative bright spot - was dimming. Recent events call the September judgment into even more question.  What is really happening, and what does it  mean for the US, the region, and the Yemenis?

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This PJC lecture was held on October 29, 2014.

Professor Gavison is the Haim H. Cohn Professor Emerita of Human Rights Law at Hebrew University Law Faculty. Born in Jerusalem she received an LLB (cum laude) in 1969, LLM (summa cum laude) in 1971, and BA in economics and philosophy (1970), all from Hebrew University. In 1975 she received a D.Phil. in legal philosophy from Oxford University. Her dissertation (Legal Protection of Privacy) was written under the supervision of H.L.A. Hart.

From 1974 she has taught at the Hebrew University. She was a visiting professor at Yale Law School (1978-1980) and Law Center of the University of Southern California (1990-1992) and a Fellow at the Center of Human Values, Princeton University 1998-99, and at the Tikvah-Straus Center at NYU 2011-2012.

Prof. Gavison is one of the founders of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and served as its Chairperson for many years and President (1996-1999).Published Human Rights in Israel (1995) and edited a three volume reader on Human Rights.  She is also the founding president of the Metzilah Center for Zionist, Jewish, Liberal and Humanist Thought.

From 1998-2008, she was a member of the International Commission of Jurists.

A major voice on human rights and constitutional issues and critic of judicial activism trends and the piecemeal constitution developed in Israel. Dr. Gavison published: The Constitutional Revolution: A reality or a self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (2000); (with Kremnitzer and Dotan) Judicial Activism : For and Against" (2000) and "Constitution for Israel: The Lessons of the American Experience" (2002).

In 1999-2001 held a dialogue with Rabbi Yaacov Medan, which culminated in the publication of A foundation for a New Covenant between Jews on Issues of State and Religion in Israel (2003).

Prof. Gavison has written extensively on the meaning and justification of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, while pointing out tensions and ways to accommodate them. E.g. "The Jewish State: Nature and Justification" (2003). In August 2013, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni appointed her to prepare a constitutional provision on what it means for Israel to be a “Jewish and democratic state”.

Prof. Gavison has won the Avihai prize (with R. Medan) in 2001; Jerusalem Toleration prize in 2002; and the EMET prize for law in 2003. She was awarded adoctor honoris causa from the JTS in 2003, and adoctor honoris causa from Bav-ilan University in 2009. She is the first recipient of the Cheshin prize which she received in 2009. She is a 2011 Israel Prize for Legal research  laureate.

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