Middle East Studies

MES Director Beshara Doumani Spring 2018 Message

January 22, 2018

Spring 2018 Message from MES Director Beshara Doumani

Dear Colleagues, Students, and Friends of Middle East Studies,

This semester will conclude my sixth and last year as director of Middle East Studies (MES), and I am very pleased to welcome Shahzad Bashir, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities, as the incoming director starting July 1, 2018. I am confident that under his leadership, MES will enhance the national reputation it has earned for its innovative thematically-driven approach to regional studies, and that it will consolidate its position as one of the top programs in the country.

The Spring 2018 semester also marks a big step forward in our efforts to build a sustainable platform in terms of funding, faculty positions, and institutionalization. Working in tandem with a dedicated team from advancement and with strong support from the senior administration, we have embarked on the final phase of a plan to fully endow MES. We also plan to transition MES from a program into a center at Watson by the end of this semester. And the homestretch phase in the search for a senior anthropologist of the Middle East begins in two weeks. This position will bring us much closer to a critical mass of scholars that can sustain our growing research, teaching, and public outreach profiles.
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