In Spring 2009, we witnessed the graduation of the first student (Sean Ferris) with a MES major. Meanwhile, three graduate students (Kilic Kanat, Jennifer Sanderson and Jeremy Vecchi) completed the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in MES. On behalf of the MES faculty and staff, I congratulate all of our graduating students.

This year the Middle Eastern Studies Program augmented its connections in the region. In December 2008 we helped the Executive Education Program hold its alumni event in Marrakech, Morocco. In March 2009 we met with the ambassadors and cultural attaches of Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman in Washington, DC. In April, I and William Sullivan, As- sociate Dean for External Relations at the Maxwell School, traveled to Lebanon to explore cooperation with the American University of Beirut. And in June we will travel to Bahrain, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates to meet with alumni and friends of Syracuse University.

The most delightful highlight of this past year was the standup comedy show entitled “Arabs Gone Wild” which was held on April 3. Four Arab-American comedians entertained a crowd of 450 students and members of the community.

So, both serious and lighthearted work continues under what is now the big tent of the MES Program. Help us grow and improve by sharing your ideas and suggestions. You can now even find us on Facebook!

-Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Director