|►||Other Middle East Centers|
|►||Department of Near Eastern Languages|
|►||UW Libraries Near East Section|
The Middle East Studies program and the Middle East Center seek to strengthen an understanding of the Middle East in all sectors of American society through training and research at the University of Washington, as well as through delivery of outreach programming across the nation.
About Middle East Studies
The Middle East Studies program offers an undergraduate minor as well as graduate and professional school training culminating in a Masters degree. The emphasis of the program is on the contemporary Middle East, and depending on students' own research interests, may include North Africa, Turkey, the Levant, the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. The program's faculty from the Jackson School is complemented by faculty from across the disciplinary departments, with particularly notable contributions from Political Science, History, Anthropology, Sociology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Law, and Ethnomusicology. Students also have the opportunity to work with eminent diplomats and government officials, as well as visiting foreign scholars.
Students interested in an M.A. degree emphasizing literature and other humanistic aspects of the Middle East should inquire about the program in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization. Additionally, the University of Washington Library's Near Eastern Section contains a wide body of literary and reference materials.
Spanning the region of the world from North Africa to Afghanistan, faculty research at the UW pertaining to the Middle East is rich and varied. Current faculty expertise and research includes: Arab political identity, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, women's rights in Iran, Israeli legal system, nascent legal systems in Afghanistan, water issues in the Middle East, international law and the Middle East, Indo-Iranian Sufism, the Turkish Republic, North African musical traditions, and Egyptian labor law.
In fulfilling the requirements for a Masters degree in Middle East Studies, students have produced theses on issues of critical importance in preparation for entering careers in high-demand fields seeking Middle East expertise. Recent thesis topics have included: Hezbollah's success in Lebanon, censorship and legitimacy in Iran, state responses to Iraqi refugees, competition for power in post-Saddam Iraq, Moroccan family law, democratization in Yemen, contemporary Turkish foreign policy, Iran's deviation from international human rights, the United Nations in the Western Sahara, and reproductive rights in Israel.
The Middle East Center
The Middle East Center is a comprehensive National Resource Center (NRC) funded by the United States Department of Education. It is the oldest, continuously funded National Resource Center at the University of Washington, and currently ranks first in funding to public institutions competing for Middle East NRCs. As a comprehensive NRC, the Center dispenses significant funds to support graduate-level foreign language training in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. Since 2001, the Center has made 128 graduate student awards totaling nearly $1.6 million. The Center, which encourages academic training and research, also serves as the conduit for partnerships beyond the University that enhance and strengthen Americans' understanding of the Middle East.
Beyond the University
The Center partners with the Seattle non-profit OneWorld Now! to offer Arabic language and global leadership training to minority and disadvantaged high school students in the Seattle public schools. For younger students, each summer the Center supports a two-week Arabic language day-camp in partnership with the Seattle Public Schools and American Cultural Exchange.
In an effort to train high school teachers, the Center conducts annual Summer Institutes that focus in-depth on important topics related to the Middle East. Recent institutes have been on the themes of: Iraq, oil and the Middle East, and U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East.
The Center is also active in securing outside grants, which recently have included a project funded by the United States Institute of Peace that brought front-line caregivers from Palestine and Israel together to work on strategies to confront Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by violent conflict; and a project funded by the U.S. Department of State to create a Middle East informational portal to increase news available from the Arab world.
The quality of the Center's outreach programming was recognized when it was named a semi-finalist in the 2006 Goldman Sachs Excellence in International Education Competition.
HISTORY OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES AT THE UW, ONE OF THE OLDEST MIDDLE EAST PROGRAMS IN THE NATION
1909: Middle Eastern languages first taught at the UW at what would become the Jackson School
1967: Middle Eastern historian position established
1968: Department of Near Eastern Studies established
1974: U.S. Department of Education funds first National Resource Center-Middle East
1991: Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Near & Middle Eastern Studies established
2006: Largest award to a public institution from the U.S. Dept. of Education to a National Resource Center- Middle East
WHAT DO MIDDLE EAST STUDIES STUDENTS DO AFTER GRADUATION? (LAST TEN YEARS)
43% pursue careers in the U.S. government
21% continue their studies at the Ph.D. level
18% pursue careers in domestic or international non-profits
5% pursue law degrees
5% pursue careers in journalism
WHERE DO MIDDLE EAST STUDENTS STUDY ABROAD?
Al Akhawayn University, Morocco
American University in Beirut
American University in Cairo
Bogazici University, Turkey
Center for Arabic Study Abroad, Egypt
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Tel Aviv University, Israel
University of Damascus, Syria
BENEFICIARIES OF THE MIDDLE EAST CENTER OUTREACH PROGRAM (SINCE 2003)
700 minority and disadvantaged high school students trained in Arabic
150 elementary school students trained in Arabic
40 master teachers of Middle East studies trained through summer institutes