DENVER - The University of Denver's Center for Middle East Studies kicked off its official launch with a lecture by Middle East expert and dean of the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, Vali Nasr.
Nasr's lecture focused on current events in the Middle East, including the Arab Spring—a grassroots uprising Nasr referred to as "one of the most historical developments of our time."
"It is a huge honor for us to have Dean Vali Nasr take part in our official launch," said Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an assistant professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School. "Not only is he one of the preeminent scholars of the Middle East but he has been a key participant in shaping US foreign policy."
From 2009 to 2011, Nasr served as special adviser to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the President's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Nasr is best known for his influential books The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future and The Rise of Islamic Capitalism: Why the New Muslim Middle Class is the Key to Defeating Extremism. His forthcoming book, The Dispensable Nation, will be released on April 23, 2013.