This Thursday November 17, the CMES will participate in the campus-wide fundraising effort known as the “Big Give.” We hope you will take a moment to reflect on what the CMES is able to offer our community, and how far we have come.
As those of you who visit us regularly already know, the CMES has developed into a thriving hub for students, faculty, and the engaged public looking for a nuanced understanding of the Middle East and its connection to the global issues that affect us all. We are now the only federally recognized national resource center for Middle Eastern studies in the whole state of California. Students from all walks of life rely on us for support to travel to the region, become proficient in Middle Eastern languages, and acquire the research and professional skills for a lifelong engagement with MES. Our current cohort of visiting scholars – who share one room – comes from Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel; our MENA salon, now in its third year, brings people from all walks of life together on a weekly basis to talk about topical issues in a casual setting. We are especially proud of our graduate student professional development program, which provides both an interdisciplinary forum and supplemental training to students outside of their departments. Beyond the campus, we sponsor teacher workshops and educational trips, helping Bay Area K-12 educators bring the Middle East into their classrooms. This summer we will bring a group of middle and high school teachers from the Oakland Unified School District to Marrakech to research Jewish-Muslim relations.
As we ponder the stubborn persistence of authoritarianism and patriarchy both at home and abroad, the CMES needs your support more than ever. We must meet the call to develop a knowledgeable, competent, and empathetic citizenry at the same time we face ever-diminishing funding from our traditional mainstays—the Department of Education and the State of California.
The staff and students of the CMES