On November 14, football in the Middle East took center stage at FSF. The conversation focused on a special issue of the journal Soccer and Society, edited by Alon Raab and Issam Khalidi. It began by noting that while football has been a critical force in broader political and cultural developments in the region, there is little institutional support for studying the game in the Middle East.
The ensuing 90-minute discussion demonstrated the value of qualitative scholarly work on football. The group explored a dizzying number of topics and territories, including football as a source of unity and hope and as a site of political and ideological conflict; the 2022 World Cup in Qatar; soccerpolitics in Turkey; sport and Islamism; Palestinian and Iraqi Kurdish women’s teams; and football films and poetry.
Participants via Skype from around the world were: Alon Raab, James Dorsey, Andrew Guest, Orli Bass, Hikabwa Chipande, David Kilpatrick, Lindsay Krasnoff, Steven Apostolov, Raj Raman, and Derek Catsam. Liz Timbs, Dave Glovsky, and Peter Alegi participated from Michigan State University.
The audio recording of the session is available here.