Welcome to the very first issue of the Middle Eastern Studies Program newsletter! Since its launch in 2003, the Middle Eastern Studies Program (MESP) has managed to firmly establish itself on campus. In four short years, the number of students pursuing a minor in Middle Eastern Studies has quadrupled, enrollment in Arabic language classes has steadily risen, new courses have been developed, and solid ties have been formed with the local community as well as with other Middle Eastern Studies programs in colleges and univer- sities in Upstate New York. MESP has played host to many scholars and speakers from the Middle East, organized a highly successful international conference on Islam and the Theory of Statecraft, and managed to receive its first set of major gifts.

Yet this is all just the beginning. We intend to further augment our course offerings, estab- lish a certificate of advanced study in Middle Eastern Affairs for graduate students, provide support to students wishing to do field work in the Middle East, enhance the SU library’s collection of Middle East Studies materials, and form new exchange relationships with universities in the Middle East.

I thank the College of Arts and Sciences, the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs at the Maxwell School, and our donors for their continued support, and I urge others to support MESP in any form they see fit.