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NYUAD Institute

NYUAD Institute

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The NYUAD Institute is a center of advanced research, scholarly and creative activity, and public workshops. Institute programs facilitate discussion between academics, students, professionals, and leaders from the UAE and from around the world.
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This talk explores morphogenesis, the fascinating process of form development in biology. It examines how complex 3D organisms evolve from a single fertilized egg, involving intricate cell divisions, movements, and shape changes. The focus is on the mechanical processes that influence cell and tissue transformation and their regulation across space…
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This talk explores the unintended consequences of technology's pursuit of optimization, unveiling how it perpetuates discrimination, compromises privacy, displaces workers, and contaminates information flows. It examines the tension between corporate values driven by big tech and the ideals of a democratic society. The speaker will highlight the pe…
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This talk discusses how it's common to embark on a challenging pursuit without knowing the likelihood of success. As we encounter hurdles and setbacks, we face a crucial decision: to give up or persevere. Optimism about our chances can prevent premature despair. The talk argues that "grit"—persisting in adversity—is rational only if it avoids unrea…
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Faysal Tabbarah, the 2023 NPUAE Curator, leads a compelling exploration into the potential of arid environments at the National Pavilion UAE during the 18th International Architecture Exhibition. His work focuses on unveiling the hidden possibilities within arid landscapes, especially those in the UAE, such as desert plateaus, wadis, and coastal pl…
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Addressing the urgency of climate change and the foundational role of international agreements like the Paris Agreement of 2015, countries are urged to adopt concrete domestic measures. Beyond the realms of international directives, the evolution of 'climate law' encompasses various sectors, including administrative, commercial, human rights, and m…
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This talk explores the rise in greenhouse gas concentrations since 1992, leading to the 2023 declaration that "Climate breakdown has begun." Traditional approaches to address climate change have been ineffective. However, ancient insights from indigenous peoples and overlooked spiritual traditions offer fresh perspectives. With rights of nature now…
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In this talk, the speaker will trace humanity's bond with water, from historical ties to future implications. Despite water's perceived abundance, most is inaccessible in oceans. Addressing these challenges intertwines with key sustainability objectives. In an era marked by climate change, how do we address water issues? The discussion will emphasi…
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Explore the intriguing connections between the realms of physics, cosmology, and quantum physics with the music that defines an era. This talk examines the narrative of cosmic structure, interpreting it through the elements of jazz music, and unveiling the harmonious relationship between these diverse yet unified fields.SpeakersStephon Alexander, P…
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Passport rankings demonstrate that access to visa-free travel is highly stratified globally. How do states ascend these ranks? This talk introduces the concept of mobility diplomacy and argues that neither wealth nor political stability are sufficient conditions for unlocking visa-free travel. To be successful, developing countries must persuade hi…
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In this talk, the speaker will discuss the evolution and importance of advancing competencies in medicine and biotechnology tailored for the UAE's unique needs and aspirations. Through a deep exploration of innovative strategies and practices, the talk will shed light on how the future of healthcare and biotechnological research is being shaped in …
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This talk explores the conventional representations of the Abbasid dynasty, highlighting its perceived trajectory from its rise in the mid-eighth century to its decline in the tenth century. The speaker examines historical and literary sources from the mid-tenth century, elucidating the role and influence of the Abbasid Caliph and Baghdad during a …
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In the challenging climatic conditions of the Middle East, providing clean water has always been a significant concern. Yet, ancient cities like Abbasid Baghdad and Mamluk Cairo effectively supplied water to their populations. This talk explores these historical achievements, shedding light on the often misunderstood institutional strengths in the …
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In the Arab Gulf, air-conditioning consumes about 60% of the domestic consumption of electricity. Yet, the ascendency of this technology is far from simple. Beyond simply providing coolness, air-conditioning transformed life as people knew it. In a remarkably short period of time, this seemingly innocent device reshaped houses, cities, practices of…
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This talk explores the significance of communal efforts in capturing history by focusing on the concept of "community archives," that is, archives created by and for groups within a given community who seek to take a more active role in jointly preserving the documentation of their shared past. Through talks presented by two noted scholars in this …
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Evaluating historical leadership effectiveness poses challenges, particularly when analyzing figures like the blessed Islamic Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, a military leader involved in wars that created new power structures and a prophet who ushered in dramatically original and transformational ways of understanding monotheistic religion and its relationshi…
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Join us for an engaging evening with Francisco Goldman, a distinguished and multi-award-winning author renowned for his remarkable contributions to both fiction and nonfiction literature. In this captivating talk, Goldman delves into the pages of his latest novel, Monkey Boy, a literary masterpiece celebrated by The New Yorker critic James Woods fo…
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Key figures involved in The Arts Center’s creation explore the significance and meaning of arts documentation while reflecting on their collaborative journey capturing seven years of The Arts Center’s history. They offer unique perspectives on their approaches and their individual and collective contributions toward this effort.SpeakersWaleed Shah,…
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This talk explores the groundbreaking achievements of our ancestors in ancient Abu Dhabi, highlighting the complexity and significance of their pioneering innovations in archaeology. Discover the techniques and methods employed by ancient societies to craft stone axes, domesticate animals, transport goods over long distances, and develop bronze, hu…
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This talk explores the profound insights of Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi, an intellectual luminary who connected Aristotle's teachings with the emerging scientific method. Al-Baghdadi's meticulous observations of Egypt from eight centuries ago illuminate its diverse flora, fauna, and cultural intricacies. At the same time, they chronicle the challenges…
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Presenting two captivating works by director Ursula Biemann, explore the profound connections of Indigenous communities to their natural environments.In the enthralling oceanic journey titled "Acoustic Ocean," we are transported to the Arctic Islands of Lofoten. Here, a scientist delves into the realm of acoustic ecology, probing the mysteries of t…
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The explosion at Beirut's port in 2020 wreaked havoc on the American University of Beirut (AUB) Archaeological Museum, shattering 72 valuable glass artifacts. This talk reveals the story of these vessels' journey from Beirut to the British Museum in London, through their recovery, conservation, and exhibition phases. And it underscores the pivotal …
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Dr. Raja Al Gurg is one of the most successful businesswomen in the Arab world. Discover the insights behind her latest book, The Power of Authenticity: Three Principles of Leadership Success, as she unveils the challenges and triumphs that paved her path to becoming a prominent Emirati businesswoman. With a legacy as Chairperson and Managing Direc…
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Al-Andalus is often depicted as a site of particular religious tolerance, and the twelfth century as its denouement, with foreign interlopers locked in holy war. Ibn Mardanīsh (r. 1147-72), known as the Wolf King, complicates narratives of religious enmity and of al-Andalus' distinct culture. This talk, based on the recently published book The Wolf…
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The life of a marine turtle is a struggle for survival from the day they hatch, facing obstacles, natural predators, and various anthropogenic threats. Climate change exposes marine turtles to even more significant existential threats. Our warming climate may be driving marine turtles into extinction. But what does this mean for turtles along the w…
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This talk focuses on the issue of urban mobility and the associated traffic congestion that is a concern in cities worldwide. With the increasing urban population and motorization rates, it is expected that congestion levels will continue to rise, along with negative externalities. The talk explores whether it is possible to predict how congestion …
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By 1535, the Ottoman Empire gained control of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from mountain to sea. This talk discusses the ramifications of this drastic political transition in the history of the longest rivers in West Asia. Above all, the unification of the Tigris and Euphrates allowed the Ottomans to rebalance a deep natural resource disparity a…
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This talk explores the fascinating world of crystals and their role in biology and medicine. Crystals have always been admired for their beauty and value, and many believe they have powerful, magic properties. They play critical roles in various biological processes, such as supporting bones, grinding food, protecting shells, and more. However, cry…
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Living in a land situated in one of the edges of the Islamic world, the inhabitants of al-Andalus saw themselves as somewhat isolated, an island surrounded both by the sea and the Christians. Their scholars exerted themselves to keep contact with the central lands of Islam by performing the travel of study (riḥla fī ṭalab al-ʽilm), bringing back bo…
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This panel delves into the 20th century architectural production in the modernization era of the Arabian Gulf and its impact on the notions of locality, cosmopolitanism, and modernity. The speakers will examine the initiatives that have re-engaged with the ville moderne and reflect on the role of the urban fabric in narrating social growth, East–We…
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The role of Internet and Communication Technology (ICT) in bringing about a revolution in almost all aspects of human life needs no introduction. It is indeed a well-known fact that the transmission of the information at a rapid pace has transformed all spheres of human life such as economy, education, and health to name a few. In this context, thi…
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This talk will examine the question of whether life existed on Mars and its transformation from a warm, wet planet to a cold, dry desert world. The speaker will discuss the Emirates Mars Mission, also known as the "Hope" probe, which is providing insight into the surface and atmospheric processes of Mars. The Mars research group at NYU Abu Dhabi's …
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Recent research has yielded a much better understanding of how aging happens and how it leads to the ills of old age. There is now a lot of interest in tackling human aging to prevent, delay, or compress the unhealthy period at the end of life. In laboratory animals it turns out to be possible to target aging with diet and with existing drugs to pr…
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This talk charts out an oceanic microhistory, grounded in the voyages of the dhow called The Crooked from the port of Kuwait, captained by the Nakhoda ‘Abdulmajeed Al-Failakawi. It anchors itself in Al-Failakawi’s logbook and looks out from the deck of the dhow onto a world of texts, letters, accounts, and other writings by Nakhodas. From these wri…
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The Cairo Genizah is a collection of Jewish manuscripts from the Middle Ages found in an ancient synagogue in Al-Fustat, Egypt. It is a valuable resource for understanding the history, culture, and everyday life of Jews in the medieval Islamic world. Recently, it has been recognized for its significance in the study of Arabic literature and culture…
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This talk analyzes the different representations of the Moriscos’ history in Spanish and Arab thought from the early modern era to today. First, it examines the evolution of the presence of this history in the literature and historic texts of the Spanish golden age (XVIe-XVIIe centuries). Secondly, it studies Spanish and Arab treatment of the subje…
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نحاول من خلال هذه المحاضرة تحليل مُختلف التمثلات الإسبانية والعربية للتاريخ الموريسكي منذ بداية الفترة الحديثة إلى اليوم. بدايةً، سنحاول البحث في تطور حضور هذا التاريخ في النصوص الأدبية والإخبارية الإسبانية للعصر الذهبي (القرنين 16 و 17). ثانياً، سندرس التناول الإسباني والعربي للمسألة في القرنين الثامن عشر والتاسع عشر، أي من خلال النصوص ذات الطبيعة…
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Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins traces Palestinians’ experiences of waste to explore what their improvisations for mitigating the effects of what she calls a “waste siege” can tell us about Palestinians’ approaches to time and collectivity today. She describes a series of conditions: from smelling wastes to negotiating military infrastructures, from b…
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“Old” and “new” Dubai represent the city’s dual cosmopolitan context. The almost drastic stylistic evolution from “old” Dubai’s areesh, coral stone, and palm frond houses to “new” clean-cut whitewashed modernist buildings highlights a significant polar shift from tradition to modernism, not only as a mode of building, but also as a way of life. To …
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For decades now, the “universal museum,” an institution invented in Western Europe, has been challenged, and its decolonization has become a subject of debate within the institution itself. Yet, Françoise Vergès argues that the decolonization of the Western museum is impossible if we adopt Frantz Fanon’s remark that "Decolonization is a program of …
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Yasmine Seale presents The Dove’s Necklace, a fascinating text on the nature of love from 11th-century Cordoba, and reads from her translation in progress. A masterpiece of Arabic prose and poetry, a jewel of observation, and a window into the intimate life of Muslim Spain, The Dove’s Necklace was composed by the young Ibn Hazm before he became the…
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July 4, 2012 marked the discovery of the Higgs Boson (also known as the "God Particle") after its prediction almost 50 years prior. With a ten-year retrospective, this talk tells the inside story of one of the most significant discoveries made by humanity ever. What is the Higgs Boson, and what is its role in our existence? How do we search for the…
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Published on the occasion of the UAE's 50th anniversary, 50U tells the story of the UAE in 50 portraits of people, plants and places. Acclaimed royal photographer Ramesh Shukla, who took some of the most iconic photographs of the union of the seven emirates in the 1970s, and contemporary photographer Charlie Koolhaas, who was commissioned to shoot …
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The wildly successful world premiere of Iranian-American Sanaz Toossi’s award-winning play and production English (2022) captivated audiences who had never before seen their story captured in live performance. Set in a TOEFL classroom in Karaj, Iran in 2008, English occurs during a period of political transformation resulting in travel restrictions…
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We live in a world in which extremism is said to be on the rise. The 20th century was scarred by extremist movements and ideologies, and extremism continues to be a problem in the 21st century. But what exactly is extremism, and what is wrong with it? Martin Luther King Jr. famously asked whether we will be extremists for the preservation of injust…
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Pandemic, war, rising oil prices, food shortages, … there is no uncertainty about how uncertain these times are. Yet, we have to make decisions at all scales—from individuals trying to decide how to financially invest to policy-makers trying to curb epidemics with sound public health interventions. Faced with many decision-making complexities, we l…
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For almost eight centuries the Arabs dominated much of the territory of the Iberian Peninsula (711-1492 C.E.). They called that region al-Andalus and, although its territorial extension varied over the years, Arabic was its predominant language and Islam its majoritarian religion. Until the beginning of the 17th century, numerous Muslims or people …
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This talk addresses the lasting legacies of past plagues, in particular the Black Death, because they continue to shape the way we think about new pandemics. We must recognize pandemics as long-term processes and shift our focus beyond epidemic episodes of disruption to better understand how past societies learned to live with diseases. The talk al…
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Traveling from Canton to Lisbon and back via Aden and Jiddah, Hormuz and the Straights of Malaka, this talk connects China, India, and the Philippines and the 16th century Indian Ocean in a tale of espionage, adventure, war and religion.SpeakerZvi Ben-Dor Benite, Professor of History, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NYU…
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Recent research in the social sciences suggests that families’ past experiences of violence –notably, war and displacement – shape descendants’ preferences and behaviors for generations and influence economic, political, and social decisions within these families over decades and, at times, centuries. This talk provides an overview of the cutting-e…
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Prophet Muhammad has made a prodigious impact on the history of the world and continues to impact the contemporary world. How exactly did he manage to make a difference, and why are his enlightening teachings still germane today? In answering these questions, this talk counteracts the centuries-long Christian polemics demonizing the prophet. It off…
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