Institute for Middle East Studies

Founded in 2007, the Institute for Middle East Studies aims to foster research, dialogue and the creation of an intellectual community focused on the modern Middle East, geographically defined as the Arab world, Turkey, Israel, and Iran. To this end, IMES encourages intellectual collaboration among members of the GW community interested in the Middle East, between GW research institutes, and with other organizations in the Washington area. In promoting and publicizing new work on the Middle East, IMES aims to deepen understanding of this critical region among scholars, students, and the broader public. We hope you will join our efforts to examine the forces that have shaped this critical region, how they operate today, and how they may unfold in the future.
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Notice of Limited Summer Office Hours

Until the resumption of classes on 25 August, the offices of the Institute for Middle East Studies will be open for limited weekday hours, depending on faculty and staff schedules. If you need to reach someone in particular, please use email to schedule an appointment. The list of faculty and staff emails is here.

IMES 2014 Conference Video

Video of the introductory remarks and panels at the IMES 2014 Annual Conference is now available here thanks to the great video work of the Project on Middle East Political Science!

Egypt in crisis

To find out what IMES Faculty Associates are saying about the recent events in Egypt, please visit this link which is a compiled list of articles and interviews.



2013 Capstone Projects now posted

The excellent Capstone Projects that IMES students completed in 2013 are now posted on the IMES website and are available for reading. To see the projects, and those from years past, please click here. Congratulations to the authors on this wonderful accomplishment -- all the hard work has certainly paid off!

Don't forget about the IMES Resource Library!

Have some free time this winter? Check out a book or film from the IMES library! You can view a list of all of the library resources here, or click on the image below to see the new Film Guide which contains synopses of the films, and has classroom usage ideas for educators. Enjoy!

IMES in the News

IMES Faculty Associate Shira Robinson wrote two articles for the Middle East Research and Information Project, and is conducting talks for her new book at UMD - College Park, the Palestine Center, and Towson University. She also gave an extended interview with the news website Mondoweiss.

Between December 2013 and Feburary 2014, IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown wrote articles for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Foreign Policy, and New Republic. He has also been featured on NPR and interviewed for The New York Times and the Carnegie Endowment.

Recent MA graduate Sam Khazai (2013) co-wrote a report (with Anthony Cordesman) for the Center for Strategic & International Studies that has been cited in articles in the Huffington Post and Bloomberg.

IMES Associate Director Shana Marshall was interviewed by several publications regarding the United States' military aid to Egypt. You can read the articles from Voice of Russia, Duetsche Welle Radio, AP, and Al Jazeera America.

IMES Faculty Associate Shira Robinson's book, Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of the Liberal Settler State, was reviewed in The National, an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper. Read the review here.

IMES Faculty Associate Edward Gnehm gave an interview to a reporter from Vocativ who was working on a story about how the overtures between Iran and Washington have also shined a spotlight on the shared policy goals of Israel and many Arab states. The story, entitled "Public enemies, private frenemies: Why Israel and the Arab gulf states both hate Iran" and which quotes Ambassador Gnehm at length, can be found here.

IMES Faculty Associate Robert Eisen was invited by the US State Department to give a keynote address to a group of Egyptian educators from Al-Azhar who were visiting the United States in August as part of the State Department's International Visitors Leadership Program. Professor Eisen's topic was "The Impact of Religion on Relations between the West and the Islamic World."
Professor Eisen gave the keynote address at Temple University in Philadelphia to a group of visiting Saudi academics on the topic of "Methods in Religious Studies in Western Universities."
Additionally, Professor Eisen notes that the recently launched MA program in Islam in the Religion Department has six students enrolled this fall, which he calls a "remarkably high number given the fact that the program was announced only in April" of this year. Congratulations!

To read more IMES news, please click on this link!

IMES welcomes new faculty member

The Institute for Middle East Studies is excited to have Professor Attiya Ahmad on the IMES faculty team!

Attiya Ahmad is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at GW. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, MA degrees in Anthropology from Duke University and the University of Toronto, and a BA Hons in International Development Studies from the University of Toronto. In 2009-2010 she was a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University's Center for International and Regional Studies in Doha, Qatar. Prior to joining GWU, Professor Ahmad taught at Wesleyan University, and worked with social justice movements and NGOs in Toronto, Pakistan and Palestine. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Gulf Cooperation Council States, South Asia, the Middle East and more recently, Central Asia.

Prof. Ahmad's monograph 'Limits of Conversation: Islamic Da'wa, Domestic Work and South Asian Foreign Resident Women in Kuwait,' currently under revision for publication, is based on 29 months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Kuwait, Pakistan and Nepal. Her research focuses on female South Asian migrant domestic worker in Kuwait City who are converting to Islam and the controversies that surround their newfound pieties. By tracing the experiences of these women, most notably their work within Kuwaiti households and their participation in classes organized by Kuwait's Islamic da'wa movement, her research foregrounds the importance of the household as a site through which globalizing Islamic movements and the increasing feminization of transnational labor migration in the region are reshaping subjectivities, social belonging and political possibilities in our contemporary world. Her work brings together scholarship on transnationalism, globalization and cosmopolitanism; diaspora and migration studies; religion, secularism, and ethics; Islamic studies; economic and anthropology and political economy; Middle East and South Asia studies; and an array of feminist, marxist and critical theories reexamining the household as a site of biopolitics, affective and immaterial labor, and the production and reproduction of gendered subjects.

Aramex Partnership Continues to Grow

Established in 2011, The Aramex Student Fund is an Elliott School of International Affairs program that combines language training and social entrepreneurship. Provided by a generous gift of $50,000 donated by Aramex International, a global transportation and logistics services company, this fund allows students to study Arabic abroad while simultaneously interning for a local NGO. Through their internship, students are able to invest in the development of their host country and support the activities of local NGOs, help them build relationships and gain experience in the NGO sector, and give them a deeper exposure to the local culture beyond the academic realm. Each grantee is funded up to $3000 to defray tuition, housing, and food costs.This summer, 8 students are participating in the program, traveling to Egypt, Jordan and the West Bank.

In its inaugural year, during the summer of 2011, the program had 7 Aramex/GW students who went to Lebanon, the West Bank and Jordan. They reported a tremendously positive experience. One student, who interned in Jordan, calls the Aramex program a "life-changing opportunity." Another student volunteered with the Sustainable Democracy Center in Beirut while studying at the Lebanese American University, and assisted with their youth club activities. Another student spent some 80 hours teaching English in Nablus and Ramallah through the Sharek Youth Forum while studying Arabic at Birzeit University. Yet another student, who interned with the Ruwwad Foundation in Amman, describes becoming close to many of the students and families she met there. She also learned a tremendous amount about the realities of sustainable development, incorporating her experience into an independent research project at the Elliott School. A selection of pictures from summer 2011 are below:

Jordan

West Bank

IMES Designated Title VI National Resource Center

The U.S. Department of Education has designated The Institute for Middle East Studies a Title VI National Resource Center, awarding IMES nearly $1 million over four years to enrich its programs in research and teaching on the Middle East.

The grant will enable IMES to build its Persian, Arabic and Turkish language programs, support faculty and student research, and offer a wider variety of events. It will provide funds to significantly expand the University's Middle East and North Africa Resource Center within Gelman Library. It will also help support the Project on Middle East Political Science, a major national network successfully launched last year to strengthen the impact of Middle East specialists on public discourse and the academic field. It will also allow GW to launch three innovative outreach initiatives, including an Iraq War veteran's outreach initiative, a journalist training initiative, and a K-12 teacher training initiative.
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Upcoming Events

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Contact Us

Phone: 202.994.9249
Fax: 202.994.4055
Email: imes@gwu.edu
Twitter: @IMESatGWU
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/16rVnjX

Address:
Institute for Middle East Studies
1957 E Street, N.W., Suite 512
Washington, D.C. 20052