About Us

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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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MENA Salon: Islamophobia and its Effects in the Popular Sphere

Workshop|Oct 17 - Jan 1|340, Sultan Conference Room Stephens Hall

Sponsor: Middle Eastern Studies, Center for

The MENA Salon is an informal weekly coffee hour and guided discussion of current events in the Middle East and North Africa, open to all and free of charge. This week's topic: Islamophobia and its Effects in the Popular Sphere In a recent heated debate between Bill Maher and actor Ben Affleck on Maher’s HBO show, "Real Time," the two argued over the relationship between...  More



The Sectarian Apocalypse Online

Lecture|Oct 23 - Jan 1|5 - 6:30 p.m.|340, Sultan Conference Room Stephens Hall

Speaker/Performer: Dr. Will McCants

Sponsor: Middle Eastern Studies, Center for

To make sense of the cataclysmic violence shaking Syria today, Sunnis and Shi`is have turned to early Islamic prophecies of the final days leading up to the Day of Judgment. Although most of those prophecies are about Muslims fighting against infidel forces, Sunnis and Shi`is have adopted sectarian readings, casting one another in the role of villain. Most of these conversations are happening...  More



MENA Salon

Workshop|Oct 24 - May 15|340, Sultan Conference Room Stephens Hall

Sponsor: Middle Eastern Studies, Center for

The CMES hosts an informal weekly coffee hour and guided discussion of current events in the Middle East and North Africa, open to all and free of charge. Check the calendar a few days before the Salon for the current week's topic.  More

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Faculty News

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Wali Ahmadi
Prof. Wali Ahmadi, Department of Near Eastern Studies, was on sabbatical leave last year, completing the monograph of his third book in the field of Persian literary and cultural studies. In December 2013, he presented a lecture entitled “Between the Residual and the Emergent” at the University of California, Los Angeles, as a tribute to the late Amin Banani, an emeritus professor of Persian and History.
Asad Ahmed
In October 2013, Prof. Asad AhmedDepartment of Near Eastern Studies, delivered a lecture at UT Austin on “Fadl-i Haqq Khayrabadi and the Finality of Muhammad.” In December, he participated in a conference in Istanbul on the legacy of Maragha, presenting a paper titled “Alternatives to the Tusi Couple and ‘Urdi’s Lemma.” He coedited, with Prof. Margaret Larkin, a thematic edition of Oriens on “The Hashiya and Islamic Intellectual History,” contributing his own articles on “Post-Classical Philosophical Commentaries/Glosses” and “The Hashiya.” He published an article, “The Shifa’ in India: Reflections on the Evidence of the Manuscripts,” in the preceding issue of Oriens, and contributed an entry on Mulla Mahmud Jawnpuri to the Encyclopedia of Islam III. He additionally contributed articles to the Oxford Handbook of Islamic History, “The Last Text in Traditional Physics: The Hadiyya Sa’idiyya of Fadl-i Haqq Khayrabadi”; The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Philosophy, “Productive Paradoxes: The Sullam al-’ulum of Muhibballah al-Bihari”; The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology, “Muslim Theology in India” (with Reza Pourjavady); and Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought, “Logic in the Khayrabadi School of India.” Finally, Prof. Ahmed contributed articles on “Islam’s Invented Golden Age” and “Lunch with Asma Jahangir” to Opendemocracy and the Express Tribune, respectively. This spring he taught a graduate course on Islamic Philosophy.

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