The “Middle East” was a term that became common during the first half of the twentieth-century in the context of the European competition for empire. Today, the region is increasingly referred to as “West Asia.” The much talked of “Easternization” of international politics stands not only to affect the terminology we use in the in the region, but also our orientations to the world. This talk will examine the scope of emerging relations between the “East” and the “Middle East,” from Middle Eastern perspectives, and with a particular emphasis on highlighting the similarities and differences between the West’s early encounters with the region in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the East’s growing interconnectedness with the region during the first two decades of the twenty-first century, whether it’s One Belt One Road (OBOR), radicalized Muslims eager to fight for the Islamic State, energy interdependence, or the millions of Indian nationals living in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere in the Gulf.
About the Speaker
Brandon Friedman is the Director of Research at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies (MDC) at Tel Aviv University. He is also the Managing Editor of the Dayan Center’s journal, Bustan: The Middle East Book Review. He teaches the history of the Middle East during the modern period in the BA Liberal Arts program, which introduces students to important themes and issues in the region during the last two hundred years. His scholarly research focuses on the political history of the states of the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula, with a particular focus on Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).