2013 Lecture Series at The Festival

These and other lectures on a variety of topics were presented throughout the festival in 2013. They were intended to give visitors a chance to expand their knowledge of the current issues, history and culture of this land that has been a bridge between East and West for centuries and where many civilizations and religions thrived.

Religion and Science: The Basics

Date & Time: Saturday, May 18 at 01:30pm
Venue: OC Fair&Event Center Administration Building
This lecture is followed by a Booksigning

Philip Clayton - The Executive Vice President Provost of Claremont Lincoln University and Dean of Claremont School of Theology

Bio: Philip Clayton is the Executive Vice President Provost of Claremont Lincoln University, an interreligious consortium of schools, and Dean of Claremont School of Theology. He received the PhD from Yale University and has taught at Williams College and the California State University, as well as holding guest professorships at the University of Munich, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Divinity School. Clayton specializes in constructive theology, the religion-science debate, and comparative religious studies. Clayton has been a leading advocate for the internationalization of the science-religion dialogue. As Principal Investigator for the “Science and the Spiritual Quest” program and as Senior Advisor and judge for “Global Perspectives in Science and Spirituality,” he has worked actively to expand support for this field to Muslim and Jewish scholars, to the Dharma traditions of India, and to the religions of Southeast Asia. The demands of this task have led to his research and writing on a wide variety of topics across the fields of religion and theology, the philosophy of science and neuroscience, philosophy of mind, history of philosophy, philosophy of religion and constructive metaphysics. He has authored or edited 22 books, most recently Adventures in the Spirit (Fortress, 2008) The Predicament of Belief: Science, Philosophy, Faith (Oxford, with Steven Knapp, 2011), and Religion and Science: The Basics (Routledge, 2011).


Anatolian Delights

Date & Time: Saturday, May 18 at 02:00pm
Venue: The Cooking Stage

Faye Levy - Food Writer & Journalist

Bio: Faye Levy is the author of “Feast from the Mideast” and twenty other cookbooks that she wrote in English, French and Hebrew. Faye visited Turkey several times with her husband, Yakir Levy, in order to study its cuisine. Their culinary research trips took them to such delicious destinations as Turkey’s culinary capital--Gaziantep, Urfa, Antakya, Adiyaman and, of course, Istanbul. Levy trained as a chef in Paris, where she spent six years. She is the main culinary columnist of the Jerusalem Post and has written for many other publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and the major cooking magazines.


Greek Minority In Turkey

Date & Time: Saturday, May 18 at 03:00pm
Venue: OC Fair&Event Center Administration Building

Laki Vingas - The President of Greek Foundations in Turkey

Bio: Pandeli Laki Vingas is an enterpreneur managing his own export-inport businesss since 1983. As a member of the Greek Minority of Istanbul he has been very active in social affairs of his community having found Greek Minority’s Cultural Organizations, being member of the admistrative boards of Community’s Foundations and later serving as president for 10 years of the Zographeion High School Alumni Association. During his presidency at the association he was the initiator and organizer of several cultural events such as conferences, concerts, panel discussions etc. all of them dealing with issues concerning the status of minorities in Turkey and promoting the heritage of the Greek Minority. He was appointed as a member of the Advisory Committee of the 2010 Istanbul Cultural Capital of Europe Agency. P. Laki Vingas lives in Istanbul with his wife and three children.


From Turkish Delights to Butterball Turkeys: Bridging the 21st century Divides

Date & Time: Saturday, May 18 at 04:30pm
Venue: OC Fair&Event Center Administration Building

Wajahat Ali - Author/Attorney

Bio: Wajahat Ali is a playwright, attorney, essayist, humorist, consultant and researcher. His award winning play, The Domestic Crusaders, was published by McSweeney's. He is the lead author of the investigative report Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America published by the Center for American Progress. He is the co-editor of the acclaimed anthology All American: 45 Men on Being Muslim. Ali's essays and commentaries have appeared in The Guardian, Salon, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and other outlets. In 2012, Ali was honored by the State Department as a Generation Change Leader and invited to speak alongside Sec of State Clinton at the State Department's Annual Eid Dinner. In 2008, the State Department honored Ali as an “An Influential Muslim American Artist." In 2009, he was named a “Muslim Leader of Tomorrow” for his journalism work and invited to participate in the 2009 “Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow” conference in Doha, Qatar. The same year, he received Muslim Public Affairs Council's prestigious “Emerging Muslim American Artist” recognition and was cited as a "Young American Muslim Leader" by the Center for American Progress.


Roadmap to a Meaningful Armeno - Turkish Reconciliation

Date & Time: Saturday, May 18 at 05:30pm
Venue: OC Fair&Event Center Administration Building

Levon Marashlian - Professor of History and Political Science at Glendale Community College

Bio: Levon Marashlian is Professor of History at Glendale Community College where he teaches courses on Armenian history and the diaspora, as well as Middle Eastern, Russian, and US history and politics. He has also taught at UCI, UCLA, CSUN, and AUA as a Fulbright Scholar. He lectured extensively in Armenia and in Stepanakert, where he analyzed news coverage of the Karabakh conflict for government staff. He testified in the US Congress in 1996. In 1990, TürkTarih Kurumu [Turkish Historical Society] invited him to Ankara to participate in its 11th Congress of Turkish History. Among his many publications is the Turkish version of the paper he delivered in Ankara, a book printed in Istanbul in 2000: Ermeni Sorunu ve Türk-Amerikan Iliskileri, 1919-1923 [The Armenian Question and Turkish-American Relations].


Jews in Turkey: Past and Future

Date & Time: Sunday, May 19 at 12:30pm
Venue: OC Fair&Event Center Administration Building
Ishak Ibrahimzade - The President of Turkish Jewish Community

Bio: Ishak Ibrahimzade was born in Istanbul in 1963. He graduated from Chemical Engineering Department of Bogazici University in 1986. He did an MA on Jewish Teaching at Philadelphia Gratz College. He has been an active participant in Turkish Jewish Community and took leading roles in Jewish Community’s Youth Association between 1975 – 1991. Then he served as the advisor of Chief Rabbi between 1991 – 2010. In 2010 he was appointed as the Represantative of The Head of Turkish Jewish Community. In 2013 he was elected as the Head of Turkish Jewish Community. Ishak Ibrahimzadeh can fluently speak English, French, and Turkish. He is married and has two kids.


Istanbul and Turkish Food under the Ottomans

Date & Time: Sunday, May 19 at 02:00pm
Venue: The Cooking Stage

Clifford A. Wright - Food Writer and Culinary Historian

Bio: Clifford A. Wright won the James Beard/KitchenAid Cookbook of the Year award and the James Beard Award for the Best Writing on Food in 2000 for A Mediterranean Feast (William Morrow), which was also a finalist for the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ (IACP) cookbook of the year award that same year. He is the author of sixteen books, fourteen of which are cookbooks, including his latest three One-Pot Wonders (coming in 2013), Hot & Cheesy and The Best Soups in the World. Wright’s articles on food and cuisine have appeared in Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Saveur, and other magazines. He is a contributing editor to ZesterDaily.Com.


Armenian Life In Modern Turkey

Date & Time: Sunday, May 19 at 02:30pm
Venue: OC Fair&Event Center Administration Building

Sahak Masalyan - Bishop/The Director of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul

Bio: His Eminence Bishop Sahak Mashalian was born in Istanbul in 1962, ordained as a priest in1992 and as a bishop in 2008. He holds academic degrees of a Licence in Philosophy(Istanbul University), BD in Theology(Louvein University) and MA in Sprituality(Dublin Milltown Institute) He worked in Istanbul as a priest and itenary preacher, in Jerusalem as a monk, a religious teacher and a principal of the local Secondary School Tarkmanchats, and in Armenia as a lecturer and a dean of the Theological University of the Holy Etchmiadzin. Now He is the Director of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul. Bishop Sahak has programmes on Armenian TVs on a regular basis and the writer of a historical novel called ‘Two Pilgrims’.


Ottoman Music and Minority Composers

Date & Time: Sunday, May 19 at 04:15pm
Venue: OC Fair&Event Center Administration Building

Munir Beken - Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at UCLA/Ud virtuoso and Composer

Bio: Münir Nurettin Beken, ud virtuoso, scholar and composer, began his musical life at age 11 at the ITÜ State Conservatory of Istanbul as a student of Mutlu Torun, a famous pedagogue. He studied composition with Cemal Resit Rey, Yalçin Tura, and Stuart Smith, and participated in composition workshops with such luminaries as George Crumb, Lukas Foss, Philip Glass, Roger Reynolds, Steve Reich, and Charles Wuorinen. Mr. Beken studied composition, conducting and world music and earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland.

Münir Beken is currently Assistant Professor of theory and composition in at the Herb Alpert School of Music, Ethnomusicology Department at University of California Los Angeles. In addition to theory and composition, his scholarly interests include the phenomenology of music, cognitive musicology, and melodic modal systems of the Middle East and Central Asia. He has written several articles for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and other scholarly publications.


Turkey and the Kurdish Question: A New Beginning

Date & Time: Sunday, May 19 at 05:30pm
Venue: OC Fair&Event Center Administration Building

Omer Taspinar - Professor of National Security Strategy at the U.S. National War College and the Director of the Turkey Program at the Brookings Institution.

Bio: Ömer Taşpınar is an expert on Turkey, the European Union, Muslims in Europe, political Islam, the Middle East and Kurdish nationalism. He is a professor at the National War College and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Here is a quick look at the 2011 Lecture Speakers and themes.