Dream Palaces: Twenty Years After 9/11

ASMEA hosted a Roundtable discussion honoring Fouad Ajami's legacy titled, "Dream Palaces: Twenty Years After 9/11" at the Fourteenth Annual ASMEA Conference.

This Roundtable was introduced by Ms. Michelle Ajami and had notable participants Prof. Russell BermanCOL Joel Rayburn, and Prof. Franck Salameh. Watch the recording below.


For more on Fouad Ajami's legacy, read his memoir, When Magic Failed: A Lebanese Childhood Caught Between Tradition and Modernity, due to be released in March 2022.

 Russell Berman is the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution where he directs the Working Group on the Middle East and the Islamic World. He formerly served as Senior Advisor on the Policy Planning Staff of the United States Department of State and was a member of the Commission on Inalienable Rights. In addition, he is a member of the National Humanities Council. Berman has been awarded a Mellon Faculty Fellowship at Harvard and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for research in Berlin; he has also been honored with the Federal Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany. 

Joel Rayburn is a retired U.S. Army officer, former diplomat, and historian. During his career of more than three decades in public service, he has combined military, academic, and diplomatic roles in a variety of assignments related mainly to the Middle East and South Asia. Most recently, from January to July, 2021, he served as a special advisor for Middle East affairs to Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. From July 2018 to January 2021, Rayburn was the U.S. Special Envoy for Syria, overseeing U.S. diplomatic activities concerning Syria and supervising more than 100 diplomats and civil servants across the Middle East and Europe. Until November 2020, Rayburn was also Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs, responsible for implementing U.S. policy concerning Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Franck Salameh is a member of the ASMEA Academic Council and Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Boston College. He holds a Ph.D in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, an M.A. in International Relations from Boston University, and a B.A from the University of Central Florida. Salameh's areas of specialization focus on Minorities in the Middle East, Contemporary Near Eastern History, History of Ideas and Political Thought and the Cultural, Linguistic, and Intellectual Traditions of the States of the Levant. His interests include Linguistic Nationalism, Arabism, Zionism, Francophonie, and the History of the French Language and French Missionaries in the Eastern Mediterranean. Salameh is also a memoirist, anthologist, biographer, and translator of poetry and prose from and into Arabic, French, English, Vernacular Lebanese, and Hebrew.