Academic Institution and Partnerships 2013 – 2014

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International Summer Programme

• “Expressions of Diversity: An Introduction to Muslim Cultures,” June 16-27, 2014, Vancouver (BC). Co-sponsored by CCSMSC with the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (Aga Khan University, London). Featuring visiting scholar, Dr. Omid Safi (University North Carolina, Chapel Hill) speaking to the theme “Mysticism and Popular Culture in Muslim Contexts.”
• Dr. Omid Safi (Public Lecture), “Jalal ud-Din Rumi: Love as the GPS of Divine Secrets.” June 25, 2014, SFU Vancouver Campus.

Annual Lecture Series

• Dr. John Bowen, (Washington University in St. Louis), “Shari’a Without Law: The Dilemma Facing Britain’s Shariah Councils.” September, 26, 2013, SFU Vancouver Campus. (+ Dinner Reception)
• Dr. Carl Ernst, (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). “How to Read the Qur’an.” October 24, 2013, SFU Vancouver Campus. Islamic History Month Annual Lecture. Co-sponsor, Vancouver Muslim Community Centre. (+ Dinner Reception)
• Dr. Carl Ernst, (Seminar), “Translating Sufism Across Cultures: Hallaj and Ruzbihan Baqli.” October 25, 2013, SFU Vancouver Campus. (+ Lunch Reception)
• Dr. Eugene Rogan, (Oxford), “The Ottoman Front: The Great War in the Middle East.” March 13, 2014, SFU Vancouver Campus. (+ Dinner Reception)
• Dr. Eugene Rogan, (Seminar), “The Annihilation of Ottoman Armenians.” March 14, 2014, SFU Burnaby Campus (+ Lunch reception)
• Dr. Angelika Neuwirth, (Freie Universitat Berlin), “Reading the Qur’an as a Text of Late Antiquity.” March 27, 2014. SFU Surrey Campus. CCSMSC-World Literature Annual Lecture. (+ Dinner reception)

Annual Mirhady Endowed Lecture

• Dr. Sheila Canby, (Metropolitan Museum of Art), “The Material World of Safavid Iran, 1524-40. November 14, 2013. SFU Woodwards Campus. (+ Public Reception)
• Dr. Sheila Canby, (Seminar), “The Demimonde in Safavid Painting” November 15, 2013. SFU Vancouver Campus. (+ Lunch Reception)

Cultural Events

• Dr. Venetia Porter, (British Museum), “Reflections on Exhibiting Islam & Islamic Art in the Contemporary World,” May 8, 2013, 7:00 pm SFU Vancouver Campus, (+ Reception). Talk in conjunction with MOA Exhibition Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian, and Turkish Artists. Explained some of the critiques and challenges she faced. The lecture was well received with a large attendance and a public reception afterwards.
• “An Evening with Rawi Hage.” November 1, 2013, 7:00pm. Vancouver Public Library. The Lebanese Canadian Society of BC (LCS of BC) with the collaboration of the World Lebanese Cultural Union – BC Council (WLCU) and Simon Fraser University (SFU), held a reception to mark the accomplishments of the Lebanese Canadian Author Mr. Rawi Hage.
• Conference/Exhibit: “The INCREDIBLE MACHINE,” March 7-8, 2014, SFU Woodwards, Vancouver. Co-organized with Dr. Clint Burnham (English) and the help of Access Gallery at SFU Woodwards. Panelists included guest lecturer, Dr. Reza Negarestani, Dr. Laura Marks (Contemporary Arts), Dr. Sohrab Kashani (guest), and Mo Salemy (artist), who examined the prehistory of the contemporary relationship between mass culture, technology and post revolutionary Iran as it pertains to the dominant Islamic philosophical traditions that has informed the Shie branch of Islam.

Workshops and Conferences

• Indonesian Interfaith Dialogue and Development Initiative. November 27, 2013, 1-4:30 pm. A two-part international workshop titled Interfaith Dialogue in a Plural Society. SFU Vancouver Campus. (+ Lunch + Public Reception)
• Panel one: Interfaith Dialogue and Development: A View from the Academy with Dr. David Seljak (St Jerome’s) Philip Ryan (Carleton), Dr. Munir Jiwa (Berkeley).
• Panel two: Interfaith Dialogue and Development in Indonesia: Past, present and Future, Indonesian delegates.
• Keynote: “Justice in an Interfaith Context: The Significance of Indonesia,” Dr. Jamhari Makruf Vice Rector for Academic Affairs UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, Indonesia.
• Sacred Spaces Tour. November 28, 2013. A charter bus line tour for the Indonesian delegation and 40 Greater Vancouver change leaders, starting at Christ Church Cathedral and travelling to Richmond to tour the International Buddhist temple, Guru Nanak Niwas Sikh Gurdwara, Richmond Jamia Mosque, and Synagogue Beth Tikvah at No. 5 Road (Highway to Heaven). Lunch at Sikh Gurdwara.

• Sixth Annual Middle East and Islamic Consortium of British Columbia (MEICON-BC) Student Conference, March 15, 2014, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Co-sponsor, UVic, UBC, SFU, KPU. * Initiative organized primarily by Dr. Amir Mirfakhraie (KPU) with assistance from Dr. Derryl Maclean.

Shared Lectures

• Book Launch: “Islam in the Hinterlands, Muslim Cultural Politics in Canada,” Dr, Jasmin Zine, April 4, 2013, 7:00 pm, SFU Vancouver Campus. The Centre co-sponsored a book launch and panel discussion of the book “Islam in the Hinderlands, Muslim Cultural Politics in Canada” with The School for International Studies. The book event featured some of Canada’s top Muslim Studies scholars who contributed to the book edited by Dr. Jasmin Zine.
• Dr. Venetia Porter, (British Museum), “Nomadic Aesthetics and the Importance of Place,” May 9, 2013, 7:30 pm. Part of the MOA Global Dialogue series sponsored by Wesbild, and nestled within the illustrious exhibition in Spring/Summer 2013, Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian and Turkish Artists, UBC Museum of Anthropology.
• Dr. Elliot Colla, (Georgetown University), “New Writing From Egypt,” October 17, 2013, 7:00pm, UBC Centre for Near Eastern and Religious Studies. Co-sponsor UBC, SIS, CCSMSC.
• Dr. Ebrahim Moosa, (Duke University ), “Retrieving the ‘Ethical’ in Islamic Law: A Worthy Pursuit or a Fool’s Errand?” February 27, 2014. SFU, Segal Graduate School of Business. Co-sponsor UBC, SIS, CCSMSC.
• Dr. Kristian Petersen, (Gustavus Adolphus College), “The Reconstruction of Islamic Discourses in China: An Inquiry into Scripture,” March 26, 2014, 4:30pm. UBC Centre for Near Eastern and Religious Studies. Co-sponsor UBC, SIS, CCSMSC. Professor Petersen is an expert on Chinese Islam, and his upcoming book is about the historical development of Scripture and Pilgrimage in Chinese Muslim societies.

Special Events

• Abualy Alibhai Book Dedication – Library Acquisition (Private). October 2013. The Al-Waez Abualy Alibhai Aziz Collection was donated to SFU by the Abualy Family. The collection donation was celebrated with a private ceremony at Halpern Centre, SFU. Keynote: Dr. Ali Asani, Harvard University, Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Ginan Recital: Mr. Shamshu Jamal. Collection open for guests during reception that followed.

Colloquium Series

• Dr. Rumee Ahmed (Department of classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies – UBC), “A Theology of Reform: Islamic Systematics and the Search for Muslim Ethics,” January 23, 6-7pm, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver.
• Dr. Reza Tabandeh (University of Exeter), “The Rise of Ni‘matullahi Shi‘ite Sufism in Early Nineteenth-Century Qajar Persia: Husayn ‘Ali Shah, Majdhub ‘Ali Shah, Mast ‘Ali Shah and their Battle with Islamic Fundamentalism,” February 6, 6-7pm SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver.
• Dr. Hossein Houshmand (CCSMSC – SFU), “Rumi’s Religion of Humanity: Why Love Matters for Justice,” February 13, 6-7pm SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver.
• Dr. Nahid Ghani (University of Tehran) “Creation Myth in Zoroastrainism,” February 20, 6-7pm SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver.
• Dr. Maryam Mahvash (CCSMSC – SFU), “Light and Spatial Perception in Safavid Architecture,” March 6, 6-7pm SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver
• * Organized with the assistance of CCSMSC research assistant, Ardalan Rezamand.

Academic Institution and Partnerships 2012 – 2013 

International Summer Program

• “Expressions of Diversity: An Introduction to Muslim Cultures,” with Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Dr. Bruce Lawrence (and Dr. miriam cooke), Duke University, July 9-20, 2012, Vancouver (BC). Co-sponsored by CCSMSC with the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (Aga Khan University, London). 20 faculty and 30 participants over the two-week program. * Faculty components by Dr. Derryl Maclean.

Annual Lecture Series
• Dr. Lila Abu-Lughod (Columbia University), “Beyond Saving: Islam, Rights and Women’s Lives,” October 4, 2012, SFU Vancouver Campus. (+ Dinner Reception)
• Dr. Marcus Milwright (University of Victoria), “Dimensions of the Hajj before the Modern Age,” October 11, 2012, SFU-Segal School of Business. Islamic History Month Annual Lecture.
• Dr. Asef Bayat (Brown University), “What are Social Non-Movements: A View from the Middle East,” February 28, 2013, SFU-Segal School of Business. (+ Dinner Reception)
• Dr. Geert Jan Van Gelder (Oxford University), “Translating a Flawed Masterpiece of Arabic Literature: The Epistle of Forgiveness (Risalat al-Ghufran) by al-Ma’arri (d. 1057),” March 14, 2013, SFU Surrey Campus. CCSMSC-World Literature Annual Lecture. (+Dinner Reception)

Annual Mirhady Endowed Lecture

• Dr. Touraj Daryaee (University of California-Irvine), “Iranshahr Among the Sasanians: The Construction and Representation of an Idea and Culture,” November 1, 2012, Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. 10th Annual Mirhady Endowed Lecture. (+ Public Reception).
• Graduate seminar with Dr. Touraj Daryaee, “If These Walls Could Speak,” November 2, 2013, SFU Harbour Centre. (+ Lunch Reception)

Cultural Events

• “Adab: Expressions of Indonesian Culture: A Celebration of 60 Years of
Indonesian-Canadian Diplomatic Relationships,” July 17, 2012, Goldcorp Centre
for the Arts, SFU. A concert of gamelan music and dance with the Busy Island Gamelan Orchestra, Sutrisno Hartana (Victoria), Djoko Walujo (California Institute of the Arts), and Dr. Azyumardi Azra (Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University). Co-sponsored with the Consul General of Indonesia. (+ Public Reception)

Colloquium Series

• Dr. Amir Mirfakhraie (Kwantlen Polytechnic University), “Constructions of Phobias, Fractured Selves, Stigmatized Selves, and the Ideal Citizen in Iranian School Textbooks,” January 24, 2013, SFU Harbour Centre.
• Dr. Brandon Marriot (Oxford), “Looking Towards Ottoman Muslims: Cross-Religious Fusion in the Beliefs of a Seventeenth-Century Dutch Protestant,” January 31, 2013, SFU Harbour Centre.
• Dr. Hossein Houshmand (SFU), “Can Political Liberalism Be Exported to Muslim Societies?” February 14, 2013, SFU Harbour Centre.
• Dr. Sedi Minachi (SFU), “The Conflict between Clericalism and Secularism in Iran since the 19th Century from the Perspective of Gender Relations,” February 28, 2013, SFU Harbour Centre.
• Dr. Amyn Sajoo (SFU),“Minority Citizenship and the Shari’a: Lessons from the Arab Spring,” March 7, 2013, SFU Harbour Centre.
• Eva Sajoo (SFU), “Religion and Development: Muslim Feminist Approaches,” March 14, 2013, SFU Harbour Centre.
• Dr. Parin Dossa (SFU), “Acknowledging the Women of Afghanistan: Social Suffering and Remaking of Life,” March 20, 2013, SFU Burnaby Campus.
• Dr. Maya Yazigi, (SFU), “The Classical Arabo-Islamic Genealogical Tradition and the Evidence for Gender: Preliminary Conclusions,” March 28, 2013, SFU Harbour Centre.
• Dr. Pari Azram Motamedi,“Translations and Visual Interpretations of the Poetry of Mohammad Reza Sahfii Kadkani,” April 4, 2013, SFU Harbour Centre.
• * Organized with the assistance of CCSMSC visiting scholar, Dr. Sedi Menachi

Academic Institution and Partnerships 2011 – 2012

Workshops and Conferences

1. Workshop on “Scriptures in Medieval Iberia: Language, Literature, and Sacred Text in a Multi-Religious Society,” June 6, 2011. Cosponsored by CCSMSC, Iona Pacific Inter-Relgious Centre (VST), Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (UBC), Green College (UBC), Centro Internacional de Investigacion de la Lengua Espanola, and Universidad de La Rioja.
2. International Workshop on “Economic Crisis and the Reorganization of the Global Economy: Trans/regional Responses” September 2011. Cosponsored by CCSMSC, Sociology and Anthropology (SFU), Centre for Global Political Economy (SFU), Latin American Studies (SFU), SSHRC.
3. Workshop and Roundtable on “Gendered Colonialisms: Religion, Violence, and the Canadian State,” February 3, 2012. Cosponsored by the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and women’s Studies, Women Against War, Interfaith Institute (SFU), and the CCSMSC.
4. The Fourth Annual Middle East and Islamics Consortium of British Columbia (MEICON-BC) Student Conference, March 24, 2012, 9 am to 5 pm, SFU Segal Graduate School of Business.

International Summer Program

1. “Expressions of Diversity: An Introduction to Muslim Cultures,” July 18-29, 2011, London (UK). Co-sponsored by CCSMSC with the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (Aga Khan University, London).

Lectures and Colloquia

1. Peyman Vahabzadeh (UVic), “A Generation’s Odyssey: Rebellious Action and the Creation of Social Epic in Iran in the 1970s.” April 1st 2011. Co-sponsored with Shahrvand-BC. CCSMSC Occasional Lecture Series.
2. Abdullahi An-Naim (Emory), “Human Rights, Universality, and Sovereignty: The Relevance and Irrelevance of Shari’a,” September 27, 2011. CCSMSC Annual Lecture Series.
3. Porochista Khakpour (Berlin) “Tales of a Persian Angelino,” West Vancouver Memorial Library, September 30, 2011. CCSMSC Outreach Lecture.
4. Janet Afary (UC Santa Barbara), “’Gender Reforms and Female Sexuality in the Pahlavi Era” October 7, 2011, SFU Vancouver Campus. 2011 Mirhady Endowed Lecture.
5. Janet Afary (UC Santa Barbara), “Researching Gender in Modern Iran,” October 6, 2011, CCSMSC Colloquia Series, with the Mirhady Endowment.
6. Daromir Rudynyckyj (UVic), “Homo Economicus or Homo Islamicus? Accounting to Allah and the Market in Contemporary Islam,” October 21, 2011, SFU Burnaby. CCSMSC Colloquia Series.
7. George Saliba (Columbia U), “Embedding Arabic/Islamic Science in the Renaissance,” Oct 28, 2011, SFU Vancouver. Islamic History Month and CCSMSC Annual Lecture Series.
8. Emilo Gonzalez Ferrier (University of Seville), “Islam as an Explanation,” Nov. 8, 2011, SFU Burnaby Campus. CCSMSC Colloquium Series.
9. Derryl MacLean (SFU), “Realizing the Muslim Community of Vancouver,” Nov. 24, 2011. Vancouver City 125th Anniversary Lecture.
10. Ken Seigneurie, (SFU), “From Martyrdom to Civic Consciousness in Lebanon and the Middle East Today,” January 26, 2012,, SFU Vancouver. CCSMSC Occasional Lecture series, sponsored with World Literature Program (SFU) and World Lebanese Cultural Association.
11. Maya Yazigi (SFU Scholar in Residence), “A Look at Early Islamic Society through the Lens of Arabic Genealogy,” February 9, 2012, SFU Burnaby. CCSMSC Colloquium Series.
12. Roger Allen (U.Penn), “The Happy Traitor: Tales of a Translator From Arabic,” February 23, 2012, 7pm, SFU Surrey Campus. Annual Lecture Series.
13. Dana Mohammed Olwan (SFU), “They Just Wanted to be Normal: Locating the Strange and the Familiar in the Shafia Honor Killing Trial,” March 8, 2012, SFU Burnaby. CCSMSC Colloquium Series.
14. Micheal Gilsenan (New York U.), “Person, Properties and the Transmission of Goods in an Arab Diaspora,” March 24, 2012, SFU Vancouver. Annual Lecture Series.
15. Michael Gilsenan (New York U.), “Conceptualizing the Indian Ocean as a Region,” March 23, 2011, SFU Burnaby, CCSMSC Colloquium Series.

Film screenings and Workshops

“Sadeq Hedayat Between Two Generations,” followed by Film Premiere and Discussion: From House No. 37. September 29, 2011, 7pm, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Simon Fraser University, Woodward’s Campus. Canadian premiere of “From House No. 37,” directed by Sam Kalantari and Mohsen Shahrnazdar (who were arrested at Tehran on the way from Iran to SFU to attend the premiere) with commentary by Derryl MacLean (SFU), Peyman Vahabzadeh (UVic), Amir Mirfakhraie (Kwantlan), and Porochista Khakpour (Berlin).

Academic Institution and Partnerships 2010 – 2011

Workshops and conferences

1. Middle East and Islamic Studies Consortium of BC Annual Student Conference, March 12, 2011 (academic conference co-sponsored by CCSMSC-SFU, UBC, UVic.

2. BESA: Muslims Who Saved Jews during World War II, June 24 to Oct. 2010, an art exhibit co-sponsored with SFU Vancouver’s Teck Gallery of Norman Gershman’s photographs of Albanian Muslims.

3. The United Nations and the Politics of Partition, June 24-25, 2010, a conference co-sponsored by Hellenic Studies and including Palestine and Kashmir.

4. Religion and Bioethics: Values, Cultures, and Faith Traditions in the Human Sciences, Feb. 25, 2011, co-sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Religion and Society (Victoria).

5. New Faces of the Middle East: A Workshop, March 17, 2011, a roundtable with SFU faculty Tamir Moustafa, Thomas Kuehn, Andre Gerolymatos, John Harriss, and Graham Fuller.

6. Medieval Studies Workshop, co-sponsored with UBC, October 14-16, 2010.

7. Muslim Spaces of Vancouver, a tour with architects Bruno Freschi and Sharif Sunbel, followed by a symposium, July 24, 2010.

International Summer Program

1. Expressions of Diversity: An Introduction to Muslim Cultures, July 19-30, 2010, co-sponsered with Aga Khan University and held in Vancouver. This public program brought together 17 academics over two weeks to discuss issues concerned with Muslim cultures and societies.

1. Tariq Ramadan (Oxford), “The Quest for Meaning and Pluralism,” Feb. 3, 2011.

2. Graham Fuller (SFU), “Reflections on a World without Islam,” Feb. 22, 2011.

3. Homa Katouzian (Oxford), “Iranian Concepts of Liberty and Islam,” a Mirhady Endowment lecture organized by the CCSMSC.

4. Sadia Abbas (Rutgers), “The Echo Chamber of Freedom: Muslim Women and the Pretext of Agency,” March 16, 2011.

5. Nelofer Pazira, “The Changing Conditions of Women in Afghanistan,” March 30, 2011.

7. Steven Wasserstrom (Reed College), “The Rise of the Term Abrahamic Religions,” June 24, 2010.

8. Zayn Kassam (Pomona College), “Gender, Scripture, and Society in Islam,” July 27, 2010.

Film Screenings and Discussions

1. Safar Barlek, March 5, 2011, in cooperation with the World Lebanese Culture Union.
2. Act of Dishonour, March 29, 2011, in cooperation with Hellenic Studies and the Vancouver International Film Festival.

3. An Evening in Honour of Ezattolah Entezami, June 25, 2010, in cooperation with the Iranian Canadian Cultural Association.


Community 2013 – 2015

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Sacred Web Conference 2014

April 26th and 27th, 2014, Segal Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia. The traditionalist journal, Sacred Web, held a conference on the theme of Rediscovering the Sacred in our Lives and in our Times. In honor of Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s 80th birthday, and to celebrate his life’s work, the Conference devoted a full day symposium to: The Centrality of the Sacred in the Teachings of Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

Dr. Walid Fitaihi Lecture (Arabic)

May 5,  2014, Simon Fraser University. Sponsored by the Vancouver Muslim Community Centre, Dr. Walid Fitaihi is the founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer of the International Medical Center (IMC) based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Fitaihi completed his B.S. in Systems Engineering and received his medical degree (M.D.) from The George Washington University, U.S.A. Dr. Fitaihi also has a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health, U.S.A.

Peace Labyrinth Inauguration, Simon Fraser University, June 21, 2014.

Sacred Spaces Tours 2013 – Present


Apparel Industry


Fashion Show Production, Events, and Fundraising for institutions, private organizations and non-profits including;

• Van City Community Foundation
• Vancouver Community College
• Green Grass Foundation
• Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club
• Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
• Eaton’s Pacific Centre

Consultant on person perception for the following national institutions;

• Bull Housser and Tupper • Whitelaw Twining • Stikeman Elliot
• Blake Cassels and Graydon • Borden Ladner Gervais • McCarthy Tetrault
• Lang Michener Lawrence & Shaw • Simon Fraser University

Course Instructor and Developer

• Vancouver Community College
• John Casablanca’s

Designer and Manufacturer

• Club Monaco
• Club Mondiale
• BabySport