Institute for Middle East Studies

Opportunities for Teachers

The Institute for Middle East Studies Outreach Program seeks to provide K-12 educators from metropolitan Washington, DC, with access to resources, scholars, and tools on the Middle East. We hope to assist educators in teaching this important region by moving beyond the headlines to provide an in-depth and interdisciplinary look at the Middle East.

For information about upcoming (and past) IMES Outreach Teacher Workshops, please visit this link.

Institute For Middle East Studies: Outreach Program

Washington DC Fall 2014 Area Events

Wendell Phillips Collection
October 11, 2014-June 7, 2015
Museum: Sackler Gallery

Wendell Phillips, a young, dashing paleontologist and geologist, headed the largest archaeological expedition to remote South Arabia (present-day Yemen) from 1949 to 1951. Accompanied by some of the leading scholars, scientists, and technicians of the day, Phillips was on a quest to uncover two ancient cities—Tamna, the capital of the once-prosperous Qataban kingdom, and Marib, the reputed home of the legendary Queen of Sheba—that had flourished along the fabled incense road some 2,500 years earlier.


Nasta'liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy
September 13, 2014- March 22, 2015
Museum: Sackler Gallery

Nasta'liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy is the first exhibition of its kind to focus on nasta'liq, a calligraphic script that developed in the 14th century in Iran and remains one of the most expressive forms of aesthetic refinement in Persian culture to this day. More than 20 works ranging from 1400 to 1600, the height of nasta'liq’s development, tell the story of the script’s transformation from a simple conveyer of the written word into an artistic form on its own. The narrative thread emphasizes the achievements of four of the greatest master calligraphers, whose manuscripts and individual folios were and still are appreciated not only for their content, but also for their technical virtuosity and visual quality.'liq-The-Genius-of-Persian-Calligraphy-5301


Arabian Sights
November 1, 2014 - November 9, 2014

The 19th Annual Arabian Sights Film Festival returns November 1 – November 9 with the best in contemporary cinema from all over the Arab world. Arabian Sights will present two jammed packed weekends of the newest and most captivating films of the year.

Film screenings will take place at the Goethe-Institut. Tickets will be available for purchase at the theater during the festival and conveniently available for presale.

Ongoing Programs

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools
Peace Corps Speakers/Correspondence Match
Speakers Match helps to connect returned Peace Corp Volunteers classrooms that wish to learn about another culture and hear an inspiring story of service.  With Correspondence Match World Wise Schools matches up Peace Corps Volunteers in the field with U.S. classroom teachers. The result? A vibrant two-year exchange of ideas, stories, pictures, and artifacts that helps U.S. students in the classroom learn about the people, geography, environment, and culture of the world from the direct experience of Volunteers living in other countries.

Challenge 20/20
An Internet-based program that pairs classes at any grade level (K-12) from schools in the U.S. with their counterpart classes in schools in other countries; together the teams (of two or three schools) tackle real global problems to find solutions that can be implemented at the local level and in their own communities. Schools do not have to be NAIS members to participate! NAIS accepts private, public, charter schools from the US and any other country.  Schools can also be elementary or secondary.

Freer-Sackler Galleries: Teacher Workshops

Fund for Teachers
Fund for Teachers awards fellowships for self-designed professional growth to PreK-12 teachers who recognize the value of inquiry, the power of knowledge, and their ability to make a difference. Each Fund for Teachers fellowship is as unique as the teacher who designed it, and since 2001, more than 5,000 teachers have been awarded $17.8 million in Fund for Teachers grants-up to $5,000 for individuals or $10,000 for teams.

One World Education
One World Education (OWEd) is a non-profit leader in promoting youth literacy and developing peer-to-peer curriculum that empowers teachers and engages students. OWEd utilizes student-authored writing about culture and global issues as teaching tools for other students.

The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) at Boston University is giving away free issues of Near Eastern Archaeology to teachers!

Archaeological discoveries continually enrich our understanding of the people, culture, history, and literature of the Middle East. The heritage of its peoples -- from urban civilization to the Bible -- both inspires and fascinates. Near Eastern Archaeology brings to life the ancient world from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean with vibrant images and authoritative analyses. NEA is published four times each year in March, June, September, and December.

Let ASOR know what class you teach and what topics you would be interested in receiving issues about at Please feel free to share this post with fellow teachers!

For more information, please visit the ASOR Facebook page:

ARCHIVE - DC Area Events

Spring 2013 Events

Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration
Date: Saturday, March 8, 11 am–5 pm
Freer Gallery, Sackler Gallery, and Ripley Center

Dance, play, and feast your way into the Persian New Year at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. The museums’ sixth annual Nowruz celebration features free attractions for all ages—including Haft Sin table displays, “fire” jumping, chess and backgammon, cartoons from Iran, musical performances, stories by Xanthe Gresham, hands-on activities, and traditional Persian food. Made possible by a generous grant from Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar.

More info

Cartoons from Iran
Saturday, March 8, 11 am–3 pm
Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery

Drop into the Meyer Auditorium during the Nowruz celebration at the Freer and Sackler Galleries to see a selection of beautiful, charming, and amusing animated films from Iran.

More info

Music of Reza Vali: Carpe Diem Quartet*
Guest artist, Dariush Saghafi, santur
Saturday, March 8, 7:30 pm
Pre-concert tour, “Arts of the Islamic World,” 6:45 pm
Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery

Hear the adventuresome Carpe Diem Quartet perform Vali’s Calligraphy No. 12, for santur and strings, along with his latest set of Folk Songs. 

More info

Persian Traditional Music: Theory and Practice
Sunday, March 23, 3 pm
Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery

Ethnomusicologist and composer Hormoz Farhat discusses his new insights on the range of elements that comprised Persian traditional music. A reception follows. Sponsored by the Foundation for Iranian Studies.


Fall 2013 DC Resources

Fall Events

Arabian Sights Film Festival - Contemporary Arab Cinema
A yearly festival of modern Arab films, featuring discussion and dialogue
October 25 - November 3, 2013

This is a wonderful opportunity to see the latest films from the Arab world. All screenings take place at the AMC Mazza Gallerie at 5300 Wisconsin Ave., NW (Friendship Heights Metro station on the Red Line.)
Tickets for each screening are $12.00
For a full listing of the films, dates and times, please visit the official Arabian Sights website.

Capital Area Regional Model Arab League
Presented by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations
November 9-10, 2013

You are invited to bring a delegation to the 2012 Capital Area Regional Model Arab League, an academic, diplomatic simulation of the League of Arab States for university students. The conference will be held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on November 9-10, 2013.

This academic year, over 2,000 students will participate in Model Arab Leagues located across the country. Participants in the program gain practical knowledge of international diplomacy and policymaking in an interactive and engaging environment. Delegates also build critical leadership skills such as improved public speaking, the art of negotiation, coalition-building and argumentation, applied research, and intercultural understanding by approaching global issues through new lenses.

Forming a team for the Model Arab League is simple. Any size group of students may form a team and register online to receive a country assignment. Your team will then research its country's policies on the most important issues facing the Arab world and Middle East today which can be found on the MAL Agenda. Finally, you will practice the rules of debate found in the MAL Handbook before attending the conference over the weekend.

**You can find conference details, country assignments, and more here.**

Please feel free to contact the National Council (call or email Josh Hilbrand at 1-202-293-6466 / if you have any questions.


Summer Events

The Jerusalem Fund - Summer 2013 Film Series
Voices ON Palestine
Fridays: May 24- June 21 6:30PM
"Voices ON Palestine" features films that explore the social, cultural, and political complexities of Palestinian life and identity. RSVP is required:

The Jerusalem Fund - Upcoming Events
Hopes and Dreams: Paintings by Vian Shamounki Borchert
May 31- July 12, 2013
On Friday May 31 from 6:00-9:00PM Vian will paint live to oud music starting promptly at 8PM. The exhibit will feature a number of landscapes and cityscapes depicting the city of Jerusalem along with expressionistic figurative artwork.

The Jerusalem Fund- Sounds of the Qanun
An Evening of Music with Ali Amr & Antoine Katz
June 29, 2013

Hirshhorn Museum
Re-Think Assessment
June 1, 2013 10AM-1:30PM
Do you want more alternatives to multiple-choice assessment in your classroom? Learn to use audio and video technology creatively to assess content mastery. This workshop explores how project-based learning and new technologies can be integrated to provide authentic assessment. Wait List Only.

Embassy of Israel to the United States- Various Events
All Summer

The Smithsonian Associates
The Future is Here Conference
June 1, 2013 9:30AM-5:30PM
Join world-renowned experts for entertaining presentations on the subjects of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Ticketing information available online.

Teaching With Documents and Works of Art:
An Integrated Approach Focus on Photography as Art and Documents
National Archives and the National Council for the Social Studies
July 22-July 24, 2013
Are you interested in learning new approaches to using both visual images and primary source documents as teaching tools in your classroom? Do you already incorporate photography as art and document into your lessons? Join outside experts, curators, and educators from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Archives to explore ways in which photographs can be examined to uncover the social, political, and historical contexts in which - and about which - these forms of visual evidence are created.

Concordia Language Villages: Programs for Educators
Concordia Language Villages offers a variety of professional development programs year-round at two sites in Minnesota. Concordia will also travel to schools to provide professional development customized to the interests of the teachers and students at the school. Additionally, they offer consulting services related to best practices in world language curriculum design, instruction, and assessment. Summer language programs are available for students as well.

Middle East Institute's Summer Languages Courses
Arabic, Dari, Hebrew, Pashto, Persian, Turkish

Primary Source: Summer Institutes for Educators
Primary Source summer institutes provide a rich introduction to a course topic. Held at local educational institutions, they are the most comprehensive of Primary Source's course offerings, and last from 3 to 10 days, beginning with a program orientation and concluding with a follow-up session providing teachers continued guidance in teaching new content.

STARTALK 2013: For Teachers of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs)
STARTALK's mission is to increase the number of Americans learning, speaking, and teaching critical need foreign languages by offering students (K-16) and teachers of these languages creative and engaging summer experiences that strive to exemplify best practices in language education and in language teacher development.

Have questions or need help with any of the opportunities for teachers listed above? Email Ms. Alexandra Perrotti, Education & Outreach Coordinator, at, and she would be happy to help you out!


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Upcoming Events

GW History Department
American and Ottoman Civil Wars and the Question of Sovereignty in the Middle East
Featuring Dr. Ussama Makdisi
Thursday, October 1st, 2015
4:00 PM
Gelman Library, 7th Floor

Institute for Middle East Studies
Transnational Movements in the Gulf and the Making of the Dhufar Revolution, 1956-1976
Featuring Dr. Abdel Razzaq Takriti
Tuesday, October 13th, 2015
3:30 PM
Room 505, Elliott School of International Affairs
» RSVP here

Project on Middle East Political Science
Islam and Politics in the Middle East
Featuring Dr. Mark Tessler
Monday, October 19th, 2015
12:00 PM
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, Elliott School of International Affairs
» RSVP here

Institute for Middle East Studies
“An Emotion Like in Kind”: Necropolitics and the Uses of Psychology in British-Occupied Iraq, 1914-32
Featuring Dr. Sarah Pursley
Wednesday, October 21st, 2015
4:00 PM
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, Elliott School of International Affairs
» RSVP here

Project on Middle East Political Science
The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform
Featuring Dr. Jason Brownlee, Dr. Tarek Masoud, and Dr. Andrew Reynolds
Thursday, October 29th, 2015
12:00 PM
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, Elliott School of International Affairs
» RSVP here

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Contact Us

Phone: 202.994.9249
Fax: 202.994.4055
Twitter: @IMESatGWU

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