World History

Exploring International Conflicts

“By his own admission he sold uranium enrichment technology to Iran, to North Korea, to Libya, and we think possibly to others as well.”

Ambassador John Bolton, United States National Security Advisor and formerly the United States Ambassador to the United Nations

“And that took us into Iran – Iran-gate, you know, we never buy hostages or pay terrorists, yes, we do. And that turned into Iran-Contra.”

Judith Yaphe, CIA, Iran Desk during the 1979 Revolution in Iran, the American Hostage Crisis, and Iran Contras

“I don’t want the American people to forget that we just don’t have men that went through what World War I, World War II, Vietnam, we have all these conflicts that military people are in everyday.  And it didn’t just have to be Beirut, we’ve got other military that are in hostile fire every day and don’t forget about them. Remember them. Include them.”

Mark Nevells, US Marine (Ret.) Survivor of the 1983 Marine Barracks Bombing

“So if they found any drug user, they pushed them to those mandatory rehabilitation camps, and for 20 years they had this kind of policy.”

Kamiar Alaei, Public Service Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Albany, Founding Director of the Global Institute for Health and Human Rights



“It’s a hugely controversial and interesting and topical thing, but more often than not it – the discussion about Iran is so superficial, and lacks any kind of substance or context, so I wanted to join this project because it was an opportunity to kind of take the time to really think about Iran, think about its history, think about its culture, and give people the context within which to understand what’s going on today. So, the fact that somebody wants to take the time and travel to do that is definitely something I would encourage and want to be part of.”

-Roham Alvandi

“When we look at the Middle East, we try to explain things through one filter, because we almost talk down to people. The media tends to talk down to people. They want to not complicate the issue. They want to make it very simplistic. In order for us to understand what’s happening there, we have to understand what people want and how people interact. It’s a complicated society like every society is complicated. So, instead of us, you know, reducing that to the lowest common denominator, we should embrace that complexity.”

-Najam Haider

Expanding Academic Horizons

“People know of horror stories about mafia, oligarchs, corruption, bureaucracy, old stereotypes about the mystical Russian soul,” but “the most interesting and striking thing in the Soviet experience is this parallel culture that had its readers and buyers with a sophisticated and secretive system of dissemination of knowledge, and in my opinion, it is this unique experience that is not yet described and widely understood.” 

Irina Prokharova, Publisher of the New Literary ReviewThe Emergency Ration, and The Journal of Dress, Body, and Culture in Russia. 

“We felt that we shouldn’t avoid it, as dissidents who denied it as absolute evil …We wanted to decide for ourselves how we should live face to face with this monster. I started to consider the phenomenon of the Soviet empire as a continuation of all world empires. Grisha set a task to describe the empire. He decided to divide it into parts, to describe literally like an encyclopedia. He made an encyclopedia of the Soviet empire in visual images.”

Boris Orlov, Russian Based Contemporary Artist


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