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Suez at Sixty: Remembering the Suez Crisis and War of 1956

October 20, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - October 21, 2016 @ 5:30 pm


This fall marks the 60th anniversary of the Suez War of 1956, a pivotal moment in Egyptian, Middle Eastern, and international history. In response to Egypt’s nationalization of the Suez Canal Company, Britain, France, and Israel launched a coordinated military assault against Egypt. The United States, the Soviet Union, and much of the international community strongly opposed this move, eventually compelling the aggressors to withdraw their forces from Egypt. These events signaled a new complexity in the Cold War and hastened the decline of British and French empire in the Arab world, permitting the United States and the Soviet Union to increase their own involvement in the region while also accelerating the broader decolonization movement.

Smoke rises from oil tanks beside the Suez Canal; November 1956

To bring out these areas of significance and connection, members of the UCSB community will host a two-day program of events:

On THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, at 7:30 PM in HSSB 6020, we will screen the BBC documentary film “The Other Side of Suez,” a riveting reconstruction of the Suez Crisis and War that brings out the perspectives of numerous international actors: Egypt, Israel, Britain, France, the United States, the Soviet Union, and other nations. Following the documentary, which runs for one hour, Professor Joel Gordon of the University of Arkansas will lead a discussion of the issues raised by the film.

On FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, from 1:30 to 5:30 PM in the UNIVERSITY CENTER HARBOR ROOM, we will host a series of insightful academic talks by a diverse array of scholars, from UCSB and elsewhere, each focusing on a different aspect of the Suez Crisis and its legacy. The speakers include:

  • Jennifer Derr, Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Muriam Haleh Davis, Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Joel Gordon, Professor of History and Director of the King Fahd Center at the University of Arkansas
  • Dwight Reynolds, Professor of Religious Studies, UCSB
  • Sherene Seikaly, Associate Professor of History, UCSB
  • Salim Yaqub, Professor of History, UCSB

A more detailed schedule of the Friday talks is available here

Both events are free and open to the public. Delicious refreshments, also free of charge, will be served.


October 20, 2016 @ 7:30 pm
October 21, 2016 @ 5:30 pm
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HSSB 6020 (McCune Room)
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106 United States
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Department of History
(805) 893-4505
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