Report on Conference of the Commission on Anthropology of the Middle East

Identity, Separation, and Belonging

6-8th of September 2023

Institut Francais d’Etudes Anatolienne

Istanbul, Turkey 

Our Conference started on the 6th of September, registration from 9 AM, and program from 9:30. Our schedule was very tight this year, as a result we had short lunches and coffee breaks and we passed 17:00 second and third day. All the sessions were prepared and presented in a scientific atmosphere of seriousness and cordiality. Very few lectures were presented through Zoom, and the facilities allowed for the presentation of PowerPoints, slides and so on.

This year as is our yearly habit, we had a Commission Business Meeting in which topics for next year were discussed, and there was also a vote for the next executive secretary of the Commission. Dr. Farniyaz Zaker had informed me that she would not be present at the Conference due to her personal and academic reasons, and so I had announced the matter and had informed scholars about volunteering themselves for the task. Dr. Magdanela Rodziewicz from the University of Warsaw in Poland, who has been with our Commission from before Covid, she volunteered and won the approval of those present that she would become the Executive Secretary of the Commission.

This year, we had 12 sessions with 62 scholars from 16 countries, from Japan to California. Some of the sessions were presented with a few participants already prepared for the session by the Convenor. The program is attached for your information. Two participants have been asked to write at the Conference, and all were asked to send in their views so that we could ameliorate our work for next year. The title of the Conference and the sessions will be announced soon.

Soheila Shahshahani

Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

Chair of the Commission on Anthropology of the Middle East

IUAES, Commission on Anthropology of the Middle East Identity, Separation, and Belonging

IUAES, Commission on Anthropology of the Middle East
Identity, Separation, and Belonging

September 6-8th, 2023, I. F. E. A., Istanbul

Dear Colleagues,

The Commission of Anthropology of the Middle East will hold its annual Conference Identity, Separation and Belonging in September.

Please send the title of the paper you would like to propose to the convenor (see below), or to Farniyaz Zaker (, or Soheila Shahshahani ( by June 30th. We expect to receive your abstracts (150-250 words) by July 15th. The CFPs of most of our panels have already reached us, so we ask all Convenors who have not yet sent their CFPs, to please send them immediately.

Best Regards, S.Shahshahani

The Title of our Panels are:

1.    Changing Gender Roles in the Middle East (Convenor: Soraya Tremayne)

2.    Local Interpretations of Global Innovations (Convenor: Christian Bromberger)

3.    Urban Displacement: Space, Place, and Belonging in “Cities of Refuge” (Convenor: Are John Knudsen)

4.    The Middle Eastern Diaspora in East Asia (Convenor: Sachiko Hosoya)

5.    Remigration in the ME (Convenor: Danila Mayer)

6.    Women and Violence (Convenor: Esther Hertzog)

7.    Polygamy, Religion, and Gender in Central Asia: Social and Economic Implications (Rano Turaeva)

8.    Consequences of Environmental Crises in the ME (Convenor: Sahar Faequi)

9.    Camels, Horses, and Cars: Means of Transportation or Status Symbols (Convenors: Mary Hegland & AbdolReza Hosseini),  

10. Religious Charisma in ME and its Diaspora (Convenors: Liza Dumovich & Gisele Fonseca Chagas),

11. “The Seven Sleepers/Ashabe al Kahaf” in the Mediterranean and Silk-Road    Areas (Convenor: Anna Tozzi)

12. Gift-Giving (Convenor: Anne Betteridge)

13. Visual Anthropology in the ME (Convenor: Nacim Pak-Shirazi)

14. Conditions of Exercise of Social Sciences in the ME (Convenor: Mehrdad Arabestani)

15. Ethnohistory of the ME (Convenor: Fakhri Haghani)

16. Research in Progress (Convenor: Soheila Shahshahani)

Call for Abstracts

Our Commission panel entitled “Women and Violence” has been accepted for the 19th IUAES-WAU World Anthropology Congress 2023 to be held at the University of Delhi, New Delhi, India, from 14th to 20th October 2023.

The exact date of our panel will be announced later. Please send us your abstracts by July 15th

Esther Hertzog

Soheila Shahshahani

Dear Colleagues

Please find here the Call for Panels, Round Tables, and Workshops 

for the 19th IUAES -WAU World Anthropology Congress to be held in Delhi,

India from 14 to 20 October 2023.

Kindly post it on different social networking sites for broader outreach.

Looking forward to your active participation.

All good wishes 


Best Regards,

Prof. S.M. Patnaik
1. Professor of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi2. Former Vice Chancellor, Utkal University3. Former Vice Chancellor, Odisha University of Agriculture and  Technology

4. President, Indian Anthropological Association, New Delhi

5. Vice President, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES).

6. Chair, IUAES Commission on Anthropology, Public Policy and Development Practice

7. Founder, Anthropology without Borders, Brazil (India Chapter)

Suggested Titles as of January 2023

Suggestions for Panels, 5-7th of September 2023, Istanbul

1- Local interpretations of the global innovations (Christian Bromberger)

2- Gender role reversals in the Middle East (Soraya Tremayne)

3- Impact of Media, including social media on everyday life in the ME (Roxanne Varzi)

4- Nostalgia (Azim Malikof)

5- ReMigration from different kinds of disaster situations to return to original locations and re-adaptation involved in settling back home (Danila Mayer)

6- Women and Violence (Esther Herzgog)

7- Gift-Giving (Anne Betteridge)

8- Visual Anthropology (Nacim Pak-Shirazi

9- Conditions of exercise of social sciences in the ME, (Mehrdad Arabestani)

10- Ethno-history of the Middle East (Fakhri Haghani)

11- Religious charisma in the Middle East and its diasporas: Authority, succession, and devotion (Liza Dumovich & Gisele Fonseca Chagas)

12- Religion and Business (Bozens Gierek)

13- Urban Anthropology of the ME (Are Knudsen)

14- Camels, Horses, and Cars: Means of Transportation or status symbols (Mary Hegland)

15- Research in Progress (Soheila Shahshahani)

16- Polygamy, Women, and Kinship (Rano Turaeva)


Dr. Soheila Shahshahani:

Dr. Farniyaz Zaker: