About Us

Statue with the CMES logo

The CMES promotes the interdisciplinary study of the Middle East on the University of California, Berkeley, campus and beyond, while privileging no single country, topic, or political position. From colloquia and conferences, to grant and research programs, to lecture and film series, we organize a wide variety of academic opportunities and extracurricular activities. Feel free to explore our website and join our mailing list for the latest updates on events and programs. More


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April – May



Negotiating Peace Talks in the Middle East

Apr 24 - Jan 1|7 - 8:30 p.m.| International House

Speaker/Performer: Omar Dajani, Menachem Klein, Professor Peter Bartu

Sponsor: International House, Middle Eastern Studies, Center for, Peace and Conflict Studies, International and Area Studies (IAS)

7pm Reception, 7:30pm Presentation Professor Omar Dajani - former legal adviser to the PLO negotiating team at Camp David and Professor Menachem Klein - former legal adviser to the Israeli negotiating team at Camp David will talk about their Camp David 2000 experience and will also address the current unfolding negotiations scheduled to finish in April 2014. Professor Peter Bartu will moderate...  More



Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron

Lecture|Apr 25 - Jan 1|12 - 1 p.m.|340, Sultan Conference Room Stephens Hall

Speaker/Performer: Prof. Menachem Klein

Sponsor: Middle Eastern Studies, Center for

Prof. Klein will lecture on his new book, which tells the intertwined histories, from street level upwards, of three cities-Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Hebron-and their intermingled Jewish, Muslim and Christian inhabitants, from the nineteenth century to the present. Each of them was and still is a mixed city. Jerusalem and Hebron are holy places, while Jaffa till 1948 was Palestine's principal city...  More



Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism

May 1 - Jan 1|370 Dwinelle Hall

Sponsor: Race and Gender, Center for

In Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism, Nadine Naber tells the stories of second generation Arab American young adults living in the San Francisco Bay Area, most of whom are political activists engaged in two culturalist movements that draw on the conditions of diaspora, a Muslim global justice and a Leftist Arab movement.  More

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Faculty News

See All Faculty News

Nezar AlSayyad

Prof. Nezar AlSayyad, Departments of Architecture and City and Regional Planning and Chair of the CMES, had an active spring semester. In early March, he traveled to the United Arab Emirates to address the Ajman International Conference for Urban Planning, for which he delivered a keynote lecture titled “Fundamentalism and the Arab Spring.” In late March, he traveled to Hawaii, where he co-organized an Islamic Architectural History Ph.D. Dissertation Workshop with the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT. The workshop was sponsored by the Doris Duke Foundation and held at Shangri La, the Doris Duke mansion in Honolulu. In April, Prof. AlSayyad traveled to Doha, Qatar to deliver the closing keynote address at the conference “Navigating the Tides: Urban Transformations in the Arab World,” organized by the Yale Alumni Association and the American University in Beirut. In June, he traveled to Kuwait, where he met officials of Kuwait University, the Kuwait Economic Development fund, and the Abdel Aziz Al-Babtain library to discuss cooperation between Kuwait and UC Berkeley.

Benjamin Brinner

Prof. Benjamin Brinner, Chair, Ethnomusicology, was a 2012–13 distinguished lecturer in Ethnomusicology at the Research Centre for Music, Media and Place at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where he gave a public lecture titled “Perspectives on the ‘inter’ in Intercultural: Israeli/Arab/Palestinian/Jewish Musical Collaborations.” Prof. Brinner also delivered the keynote address at the conference “Common Ground: Dialogue between Jewish and Islamic Worlds through Art” at the University of Virginia in March 2013. In April, he presented a lecture, “Sounding Common Ground: Musicking in Israel,” at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, at a colloquium that was jointly sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies and the Department of Music.

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