GREETING FROM THE DIRECTOR


The Middle Eastern Studies Program (MESP) at Syracuse University is growing by leaps and bounds. There is a great deal of exciting news to report:

• Four new tenured or tenure-track professors have joined our ranks. These include Professor Miriam F. Elman (Ph.D., Political Science, Columbia University, 1996), Carol Fadda-Conrey (Ph.D., English, Purdue University, 2006), Rania Habib (Ph.D., Linguis- tics, University of Florida, 2008), and Kara Richardson (Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Toronto, 2008).
• The MESP Certificate of Advanced Study in Middle Eastern Affairs for graduate students was approved by the New York State Department of Education in March 2008 and we will start offering this certificate program beginning Fall 2009.

• To improve the quality of the Minor and to take advantage of new courses being offered we revamped the requirements for the Minor in Middle Eastern Studies.
• During the 2007-08 academic year we offered eight new Middle East-related courses and in the 2008-09 academic year we plan to add another ten new courses, including for the first time advanced courses in Arabic language, Arab-American literature, health in the Middle East, and Islamic law.

• We regularized nineteen Middle East-related special topics courses and managed to list a number of our courses as satisfying the “critical reflections” or the “writing intensive” requirement of the College of Arts & Sciences Liberal Arts Core.
• We put together extensive databases for internships and language study programs to help our students (see http://middle- eastern-studies.syr.edu/Internships.htm).

• Our faculty and students received prestigious grants from institutions including the Carnegie Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Institute of Peace.
• Over the last three years, in partnership with the Executive Education Program, we have received excellent support from the State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative for two separate programs to bring Middle Eastern scholars and emerging leaders to Syracuse University.

• We successfully held our inaugural Regional Workshop for the alumni of the Leaders for Democracy Fellows Program in Cairo, Egypt (December 10-12, 2007).
• Many MESP students are traveling abroad to places like Egypt, Iran, Israel, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen to take part in lan- guage programs, conduct field work, or take regular academic courses at peer institutions in the region.

I urge you to visit our web site (http://middle-eastern-studies.syr.edu) to find out more about the program’s expansion and our ambitious plans for the future.

Mehrzad Boroujerdi Director