Middle East expert speaks on campus


Kristofer Loy

Eren Tasar engaged with Guilford College students during a Jan. 25 lecture about the Islamic Revolution and the Soviet-Afghan War.

On Jan. 25, Eren Tasar, an associate professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, delivered a lecture in association with Guilford’s Peace and Conflict Studies Department. Tasar is an expert in Soviet-era central Asia and modern Islamic history. In 2010, he received his doctorate from Harvard.

Tasar’s talk primarily focused on the Afghan Islamic revolution and the subsequent Soviet-Afghan War. Speaking broadly about this time of turmoil, Tasar related how the Islamic revolution brought the mid-century modernization of Afghanistan to a halt. He also outlined how Afghanistan became a nation that is still in crisis today, nearly a half-century later.

Tasar spoke about how U.S. involvement in supporting the mujahedeen led directly to the emergence of global Islam. His presentation later moved into how an alliance between the CIA and Osama Bin Laden led to the formation of Al Qaeda.