University of Pittsburgh
March 28, 2011

Pitt to Present a March 30 Lecture Titled “The Unpredictable Present: Insight From Cairo”

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh will present a lecture on revolt and reform in Egypt and Western intervention in Libya at 2:30 p.m. March 30 in 4130 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland. The lecture, titled “The Unpredictable Present: Insight From Cairo,” will be given by Mohammed Bamyeh, Pitt associate professor of sociology, via live video stream only blocks from Tahrir Square, Cairo, where he is on sabbatical. Bamyeh will share his firsthand insights on Egypt’s Jan. 25 revolution, word on the streets of Cairo about civil war in Libya, and how the social fabric of Egyptians has been affected by the recent events. 

Also participating in the lecture will be Moataz Herzawi, UCIS Visiting Professor for Contemporary Issues at Pitt. He will present his views on the role of the military and the obstacles and glimmers of hope for a successful transition to democracy. Herzawi returned to the University last week from Cairo, where he had been working with activists and postrevolution decision makers on the course of postrevolution Egypt. 

Bamyeh’s research and teaching interests focus on cultural and political globalization, Islamic studies, sociology of religion, civil society, and comparative political cultures. He is the author of Social Origins of Islam: Mind, Economy, Discourse (University of Minnesota Press, 1999), Anarchy as Order: The History and Future of Civic Humanity (World Social Change) (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2010), and the forthcoming Intellectuals and Civil Society in the Middle East: Liberalism, Modernity and Political Discourse (Tauris Academic Studies, 2011). 

Herzawi’s work focuses on the intersection of Islam and democracy and the political culture of Muslim countries. His most recent work, titled Democratic Values in the Muslim World (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006), is an investigation of Muslim beliefs about democracy across 34 diverse Islamic societies. 

Herzawi currently holds appointments with Cairo University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. His current work focuses on the Obama administration’s policy toward the Middle East, as well as the United States’ image in Arab states. 

The event is sponsored by Pitt’s Global Studies Center at the University Center for International Studies. For more information, contact the Global Studies Center at or 412-648-5085. 




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