In summer 2015, the two-week program took place in Cappadocia, Turkey, on the theme “The Power of Images: Truth, Manipulation and Intolerance” with a series of lectures by eminent scholars in the field. Through team projects and group discussions groups, the program enabled students to develop their communication, listening and interaction skills with people of different cultural backgrounds.

The theme of the 2015 summer university was selected by the academic committee of the Aladdin Project. With the advent of mass media and the internet, the modern world has shifted from a print culture to a visual culture: a new age of image-centered communication has begun. In this transition, the use of analogical thinking has also shifted from verbal metaphors to visual ones. This shift is particularly evident in the use of intercultural communication. This year’s program explored the power of images as a basic and indispensable tool of cultural interaction: how images are processed, how they function in relation to our innermost beings, and how they form the psychological fabric of our political, social, and economic environment. A focus was put on the role of the various media in creating the images which impact our lives: how visual images create a language with profound psychological meaning, and how print, television, film and the newly-arrived social media manipulate images to create desired emotional effects. We looked at the most controversial areas of image persuasiveness today — advertising, politics, and entertainment. Cutting across many disciplines (psychology, politics, history, sociology, law, religious studies, journalism…), the course was done in the form of a lecture series combined with active participation by students in the form of project presentations and discussion groups.

What students said:

  • “I have (…) learnt that there is always a common ground among humans no matter how different they are.”
    Souhaila Khamlichi
    Mohammed V University, Morocco
  • “I have been able to devise some insightful thoughts from almost all the lectures that I attended as a part of the summer course (…) I think all of them were thought provoking and engaging. The value in this, according to me, was that anyone could relate and get ideas about interesting avenues of future work from their lectures. Another axis of learning was the numerous interactions-- both in formal space of group-work in the afternoons and in the informal spaces of hotels, hamams and cafes. I consider these moments, stretched across the summer school, to be tremendously valuable as they helped me participate in a truly ‘intercultural’ dialogue”.
    Rishav Kumar
    Graduate Institute for International Studies and Development, Switzerland
  • “The most rewarding part of the program was meeting students from places that I do not often get the opportunity to meet. I learned a number of things about their particular cultures, languages, religions, etc.”
    Thomas Just
    Florida International University, USA
  • “I intend to share my experience with as many people as possible, by talking about it and promoting the experience to those who might be able to participate next year. I also hope to remain in touch with the other participants of the summer school, to meet them and collaborate with them in the future”.
    Ecem Saricayir
    Kadir Has University, Turkey
  • “I would definitively recommend the program to other students and to friends because I think it was a great opportunity to get to know a lot of new people from different cultures, religions and countries. These intense two weeks created a small community between all the participants and allowed me to gain some knowledge that cannot be learned from books”.
    Kathrin Meissner
    Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • "The international summer University for Intercultural Leadership provided the students with a brief and inter-disciplinary overview of intercultural studies. The lectures all tackled the issue of images and their impact on intercultural relations, albeit through different lenses. The programme also brought together students from different nationalities and backgrounds, thus obliging them to tackle intercultural relations in a very direct and practical manner. (…) Another aspect of the course that was much appreciated was the location, in the heart of Cappadocia, and the ‘Turkish’ learning environment. Several of the professors were either Turkish or of Turkish origin, and the extracurricular activities all emphasised the rich cultural heritage of ancient and modern Turkey. The echoes between the theme of the summer school and the historical surroundings, with their rich endowment of images from Byzantine and Islamic periods, were particularly illustrative"
    Edwin Gaarder from Norway/Brazil
    Sciences-Po, France
  • “I learned how to better cooperate and work in a multilingual, multicultural environment while understanding more deeply the power of images to create and alter perceived reality”.
    Chen Reuveni
  • “The thing I learned the most about was about our shared humanity and all the conflicts going on in various parts of the world. To understand that many are living under harsh conditions and to discover so many similarities in our stories is comforting, saddening, and sobering. I also got more insight into images. Although it’s a subject I have explored on various levels, I definitely learned some new aspects, particularly regarding how images have been manipulated and used to manipulate in various contexts”.
    Funlayo E.Wood from the United States
    Harvard, USA
  • “I had serious misunderstandings about certain other cultures, but this program helped me changed my views and now I look at the whole world from a different perspective.”
    Sarwan S.Hasan from Iraq
    Salahaddin Univesrity-Erbil, Iraq
  • “These two weeks were a great opportunity to learn about many various cultures, places, opinions and just facts I didn't know about. For me, it really was the program of first times. First time out of my home country, first time living with so many people in such a reduced space, first time attending intercultural leadership "classes" and so on. All I discovered and learnt during these two weeks gave me food for thought for the next months at the very least.”
    Issa Laye
    Université Polytechniqe de l’Ouest Africain –UPOA, Senegal
  • “I am planning to be more involved in intercultural dialogue and civil society, I look forward to play a role in cultural exchanges between my country and the world, and to build a bridge for equal respect between Muslims, Christians and Jews”.
    Zafer Sabbah
    Al Quds University, Palestinian Authority

Origin of the students (Class of 2015)

The Middle East - 42 %
America - 22 %
Europe - 21%
Africa - 15 %

The opening ceremony

Teaching staff

Tulin Erdem joined New York University Stern School of Business as a Leonard N. Stern School Professor of Business and Professor of Marketing in July 2006.
Before joining Stern in 2006, Tulin Erdem has also been the E.T. Grether Professor of Business Administration and Marketing at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, where she served also as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Marketing Group Chair, and the Ph.D. Director at the Haas School of Business.
Her research interests include advertising, brand management and equity, consumer choice, customer relationship management, decision-making under uncertainty, econometric modeling and pricing. She has published several papers in top field journals. She has received best paper awards, as well major research grants, including two major National Science Foundation grants. She served as an AE at Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Research and Quantitative Marketing and Economics. She was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Marketing Research (2009-2012). She is currently serving on the advisory council of Journal of Marketing Research and on the editorial boards of International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Marketing Letters and Marketing Science.Tulin Erdem also served as the President of INFORMS Marketing Society (ISMS).
Tulin Erdem has a BA (Bogazici University) and MA in Economics and Ph.D. in Business Administration (University of Alberta. Major: marketing; Minors: economics, statistics).
Yilmaz Esmer is a Professor of Political Science at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul. He is the vice president of the Scientific Advisory Board of the World Values Survey Association and is the country director of for Turkey of the European Values Study. He is the founding director of the UNDP Human Development Centre at Bogazici University, and he has also been involved in the preparation of Turkey Human Development Report. He was a visiting faculty member at Stanford and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He served as Provost between 1996-1998. He holds a BA from Yale and a PhD from Stanford Universities. He has conducted various national and international surveys:

* 2007 Transformation Research Initiative (study of elite values in seven countries)
* 2007 European Social Survey, Round 4
* 2005-06 European Social Survey, Round 2
* 2003 Survey of the values of the economic elites
* 2002 Turkish post-election survey including the international CSES module.

Nilufer Göle is a professor of sociology at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Socialesin Paris, and the chair of the Aladdin Project Academic Committee. She has taught in Istanbul at Boğaziçi University and has been regularly invited as a visiting scholar to the MIT in Massachusetts and New School in New York as well as the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Her research themes include Islam, public sphere, gender, secularism and multiple modernities. Her work focuses on the ways Islam becomes visible in European public spaces and engenders a series of debates on religious and cultural difference. Her sociological approach aims to open up a new reading of modernity from a nonawestern perspective that in turn produces a broader critique of Eurocentrism in the definitions of secular modernity.

She is currently directing a research project on the Islamic visibilities and the transformation of the European public sphere. The project, funded by ERC, is an outcome of investigation engaged in the graduate seminars given at EHESS since 2001 on the modes of public appearance of Islamic piety. Focusing on the notion of public sphere, her work emphasizes the importance of the cultural realm and the mediation between the personal and the political. The categories of intimate, corporal, sexual, spatial, as well as the esthetic forms are privileged to study the manifestations and configurations of Islamic visibility. She is currently conducting a European scale research project entitled “Islam in the Making of a European Public Sphere”, EUROPUBLICISLAM, awarded by the ERC Advanced Grant and funded by the European Research Council.

Riva Kastoryano is a research director at the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), and Professor at SciencesPo. Paris. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS). She was a lecturer at Harvard University 1984-1987, a former research fellow at the Princeton University Institute for Advanced Studies (1997), the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin (1998) and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard (2003-2004). She has been teaching at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris (SciencesPo.) since 1988 and at the New School for Social Research since 2005. Her work focuses on Europe, nationalism, identity and minority issues and more specifically to their relations to states in France, Germany, the United States.
Professor David S. Katz (D.Phil., Oxon.) is Director of the Lessing Institute for European History and Civilization at Tel Aviv University in Israel, where he has taught since 1978. He also holds the Abraham Horodisch Chair for the History of Books. His area of research is the history of ideas in the long early modern period (1500-1900), and he has published three books about the Jews in early modern England, and three books about Christianity and radical Christian thought, same time and place. Among these are The Jews in the History of England, 1485-1850 (Oxford University Press, 1994); God’s Last Words: Reading the English Bible from the Reformation to Fundamentalism (Yale University Press, 2004); and The Occult Tradition from the Renaissance to the Present Day (Random House, 2005). He has now completed a cultural history of Anglo-Turkish relations from 1776 to 1923. Professor Katz is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, England.
Özcan Mutlu is a Turkish-German Green Party politician and Member of the Bundestag. Trained as a communication and electronics engineer, he joined the Green Party in 1990, and was elected into the district assembly of Kreuzberg. He entered the regional parliament Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin in 1999 representing the district Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. He was re-elected in 2006 and 2011. During this period, he served in a number of parliamentary commissions, responsible particularly for policies of education, integration and migration as well as policies for Europe and Turkey. He was nominated from his party for the 2009 federal election, missed however the entry into the Bundestag. Following the 2013 federal election, Mutlu won a seat in the Bundestag. He is one of the eleven politicians of Turkish descent, who entered the federal parliament including seven women.
Nilüfer Narli holds a degree in Education with a major in Philosophy and minor in Sociology; and MSc in Humanities with a major in Logic, the Philosophy of Science and Philosophy from Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara. She holds a PhD in Social Sciences with a major in Political Sociology from the School of Comparative Social Sciences, University Sains Malaysia. Prof. Narli was selected as an Eisenhower Fellow from Turkey in 1993.

Narlı is a Full professor of Political Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Bahçesehir University. Currently, she is teaching in the Sociology Department she founded in 2005. She was Vice Rector of the university till September 2006. Before being appointed as Vice-rector on September 1, 2005, she was the founding Dean to the Faculty of Communication at Kadir Has University (October 2003-August 2005). Before that, she had been the founder and department head of Sociology Department at Marmara University, where she also chaired the Sociology and Anthropology Department of the Middle East Studies Institute. She also taught at Istanbul University Women Studies Institute (1995-1999). She was visiting scholar at Maryland University (in the summer of 2007).

Narli’s topics of research and teaching interest include: civil-military relations and military and good governance in Turkey, Islamist movements in Southeast Asia and Middle East, political participation of Muslim women, irregular migration in the Balkans, and political memory. Narli has experiences in distant learning with CUNY and Shangai TV University of China (2004).

Lucy Nusseibeh is the Director of the Institute of Modern Media (IMM), the media arm of Al-Quds University. In addition to a BA granting media department, the Institute of Modern Media comprises Al-Quds Educational Television and Honaalquds, a multi-media online news network focussing on Jerusalem. Also at Al-Quds University she has initiated the program “Language and Thinking” for incoming undergraduates. She is the founder and Chairperson of Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND) based in East Jerusalem, which has since 1998 been pioneering the promotion of awareness about the power of nonviolence, especially in the Israeli-Palestinian context. MEND promotes the principles and practice of active nonviolence among all sectors of Palestinian society, especially activists, youth, and those working in education, and especially using innovative media techniques. Educated at Oxford and Harvard, Ms. Nusseibeh spent a year as a senior research fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, in their program on Women and Public Policy. From 2010 – 2014, she was a member of the Humanities Advisory Council at the Fetzer Institute. She is on the International Board of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, is a founding member of the Middle East and North Africa Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, and is on the editorial board of the Palestine-Israel journal. In 2010 she was a guest on TEDx Holy Land and spoke on “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to Nonviolence”. She has recently published a chapter on “The Power of Media in Peacebuilding” in a book on Formative Childhoods and also a chapter on Human security in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Tudor Parfitt is the honorary chair of the Academic Advisory Board of the Projet Aladin. He is Distinguished Professor at Florida International University, the President Navon Professor of Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies, Director of Jewish Studies and Founding Director of the Center for Global Jewish Communities at FIU. He is corresponding fellow of the Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer and Emeritus Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, non-resident fellow of the W.E.B. du Bois Institute, Harvard University and associate fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. After VSO in Israel where he worked with handicapped children and was engaged with a number of Anglican projects in the Holy City, he studied Hebrew and Arabic at Oxford and after a year as Goodenday Fellow at the Hebrew University, completed a D.Phil at Oxford on the history of the Jews in Palestine and their relations with their Muslim neighbours. In 1972 he was appointed lecturer in Hebrew at the University of Toronto and in 1974 Parkes Fellow at the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non Jewish Relations in the University of Southampton and junior associate at the Centre of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Oxford. Shortly afterwards he became lecturer in Hebrew at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He was successively, senior lecturer, reader and professor (Professor of Modern Jewish Studies) at SOAS where he founded the Centre of Jewish Studies and was its director from 1993 to 2006 and from 2010-11. He was also Chair of the Middle East Centre at SOAS. In 2012 he was Distinguished Visiting Scholar, (Global Engagement Program) at the University of Pennsylvania, Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow (Spring Term) at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Harvard University (where he gave the Huggins Lectures in 2011) and Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, Cape Town, South Africa. He is Honorary President of the International Society for the Study of African Jewry.

Over his career his chief academic interests have included Jews in Asia and Africa, the Sephardi/Mizrahi communities of the Muslim world, Jewish-Muslim relations, Hebrew and Hebrew Literature, Judaising Movements, Jewish genetic discourses and issues around race in modern times and the role played by the workings of the myth of the Lost Tribes of Israel throughout history. He has authored or edited 26 books and presented 10 documentaries for the BBC, PBS, Channel Four and the History Channel among others. His latest books are Black Zion ed. with Edith Bruder (Cambridge Scholars’ Press 2012); Black Jews in Africa and the Americas (Harvard University Press, 2013); ed. with Dario Miccolli and E. Trevisan-Semi, Memory and Ethnicity: Ethnic Museums in Israel and the Diaspora, (Cambridge Scholars’ Press 2013) and with Annette Fromm Gogodala: Transition and Revival, (Patricia and Philip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University 2014.)

Professor Sisman majored in Psychology at Bogazici University in Istanbul and earned his M.A. in Islamic and Jewish Studies at Temple University. He earned another M.A. in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, where he also completed his dissertation, entitled “A Jewish Messiah in the Ottoman Court: Sabbatai Sevi and the Emergence of a Judeo-Islamic Community (1666-1720).” During his doctoral research, Sisman spent a year at Hebrew University as a special student. After receiving his Ph.D, he returned to Turkey to teach at Bogazici, Koc, and Bilkent Universities. He later returned to the United States as a post-doc fellow at Harvard University and became a visiting Assistant Professor at Brandeis University. Since 2009, Sisman has been serving as Assistant Professor of History at Furman University. During his sabbatical in 2012-2013, Sisman completed his book manuscript on the Sabbatean movement and its aftermath and worked on American missionary activities in the nineteenth-century Middle East as a visiting fellow at Bogazici, Koc, and Oxford universities respectively. His work is connected by his deep interest in the history of religions, religious conversion, irreligion, messianism, mysticism, crypto-double identities, and religion and modernity. He is Assistant Professor of History at University of Houston-Clear Lake
Dr. Selcuk R. Sirin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology in New York University’s Steinhardt School. Dr. Sirin’s research focuses on the lives of immigrant and minority children and their families and ways to increase professionals’ ability to better serve them. Dr. Sirin conducted a major meta-analytical review of research on socioeconomic status and he co-produced the Racial and Ethical Sensitivity Test (REST) and accompanying training program for school professionals. He served as the Research Coordinator for the Partnership for Teacher Excellence project at NYU in collaboration with New York City School of Education. Dr. Sirin’s book with Dr. Michelle Fine, entitled “Muslim American Youth: Understanding Hyphenated Identities through Multiple Methods” was published in 2008 by the NYU Press. He is the recipient of Teaching Excellence Award from Boston College, Young Scholar Award from the Foundation for Child Development for his project on immigrant children, and Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) given in recognition of an outstanding article published in education. Sirin’s work has been published in several scholarly journals including Journal of Developmental Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Review of Educational Research, and Youth & Society. He recently co-edited, with Aida Balsano, a special issue of Applied Developmental Science focusing on immigrant Muslim youth in the West.
Dr. Ali Akay: Prof. Dr. Ali Akay was born in Istanbul in 1957. He studied sociology, philosophy and politics at Paris VIII University, and graduated in 1979. He completed his doctoral degree in philosophy at his alma mater in 1986. Akay has taught at the Sociology Department of Mimar Sinan University. He received a title of Associate Professor in 1992, and became a Professor in 1998. He has published many articles and books on art-sociology and philosophy in Turkish, French, German and English magazines, books and catalogues. Dr. Akay has organized and curated numerous art exhibitions in national and international galleries and museums. He is an art curator and art adviser of Istanbul Modern and Akbank Culture and Art Center.


WEEK ONE (June 19 to July 25, 2015)
WEEK TWO (July 25 to August, 2015)
Lecture 1 (A): The power of images: Media, Myths and Stereotypes (Prof. Lucy Nusseibeh)
Lecture 1 (B): The power of images: Media, Myths and Stereotypes (Prof. Lucy Nusseibeh)
Lecture 2 (A): Representation of the Other in print and social Media (Prof. Nilufer Narli)
Lecture 2 (B): Representation of the Other in print and social Media (Prof. Nilufer Narli)
Lecture 3 : The image and Muslim tradition (Prof. Nilufer Narli)
Lecture 4 : Complexity, Enlightenment and Resistance (Prof. Lucy Nussaibeh)
Lecture 5 : Images in Marketing and Advertising (Prof. Tülin Erdem)
Lecture 6 : Moving images (Ali Akay)
Lecture 7 : Use and misuse of images in politics (Özcan Mutlu, member of Bundestag)