Students visit the Middle East

Message from the Director

Dear Global Middle East Studies community,

Welcome back for our second full year of operation! We have an exciting year ahead, beginning with what will surely prove to be one of the most important and fascinating talks all year. A young historian from Mosul, Iraq who remained in his hometown for several years while it was under Islamic State rule, risking his life to chronicle life in the most desperate and dangerous times imaginable, will be giving at talk at UCI on October 25, as part of the campus's celebrated Illuminations series. Space for Omar Mohammed's talk, "Hiding in Plain Sight: An Iraqi Historian's Two Years Cheating Death to Documents ISIS Rule" is sure to fill up fast, so please rsvp to asap to ensure you have a seat. There will be a reception after the talk, which is free and open to the public.

Other talks this quarter include:

September 29, 6-8pm HG 1030: A Reception featuring the leading scholars of Armenian Studies, where the past, present and future of the discipline will be discussed. Students and community members are encouraged to attend! No doubt there will be some amazing Armenian food there, so leave room for some delicious dzhash!

October 23, several talks by the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in preparation for their performance at the Barclay. More information at the Jewish studies website, here.

The GMES major is growing fast. We are also working hard to establish a secure base of funding and students for our language programs, including Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Armenian, which is just beginning to be taught for the first time this fall thanks to the tireless efforts of Prof. Houri Berberian. The minor in Armenian Studies is also being finalized, and UCI is primed to become one of the premier campuses in the nation for Armenian Studies. Profs. Lehmann, Gross and LeVine are also working to revise the Hebrew curriculum to add a focus on Biblical Hebrew integrated with the modern Hebrew usually taught at the beginning level in order to make the class useful for students focusing on biblical studies. If you are interested in studying of these languages, please let us know immediately. We are also working with community members to build support for scholarship for students to attempt EAP programs in the region and hope to have more word on this soon.

Finally, the proposal for a GMES graduate emphasis is being prepared for submission to the campus for approval. We are very excited that next year graduate students from across the campus will be able to work with our GMES faculty to create and fulfill a GMES approved curriculum that will prepare them to specialize in our region as part of their research and teaching, both while a student and in their subsequent careers. This endeavor is part of our ongoing efforts to build a comprehensive program that brings students from through UCI's many distinguished graduate programs into dialog and mutual learning.

All in all, an exciting time for Global Middle East Studies at UCI. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you in the coming year.

Mark LeVine
Dept. of History
Director, GMES Program