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. 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.

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.

We invite you to join our community of donors. Your support will help us remain committed to access, diversity, and excellence in Middle Eastern studies. Please consider donating to one of the following funds.

Center for Middle Eastern Studies Fund

Your support helps us offer accessible public programs related to the Middle East, including open lectures, book talks, film series, art exhibits, workshops, and creative outreach programming with local educational and non-profit partners.

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Program Fund

This program honors the memory of Berkeley alumnus Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who died in Libya on September 11, 2012. Partner with us to inspire a new generation of committed public servants, engaged scholars, and compassionate, understanding individuals, in the United States and in the Middle East. Your support allows UC Berkeley students to travel to the region, become proficient in Middle Eastern languages, and acquire the research and professional skills for a lifelong engagement with MENA.

Program for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations

This initiative will make UC Berkeley the foremost location for for the research on inter-communal relations in the Middle East. It will have a deep and lasting impact on how the region as a whole and the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular are studied, and dramatically enhance the existing scholarship on ethnic strife and divided cities. Your support promotes innovative research by faculty and scholars across academic disciplines.

Kurdish Studies 

In response to significant interest, we are currently working to fill a major gap in our country’s academic landscape by developing a program in Kurdish Studies. In partnership with our colleagues at the Institute for European Studies, we have held the first ever UC Berkeley course dedicated solely to Kurdish history, cultures, and politics as well as two semesters of Kurdish language study. Your support will help us develop a long-term commitment to Kurdish studies.

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Fund for Middle Eastern Studies 

This endowed fund allows us to make a lasting tribute to Stevens’ legacy at Cal. The payout is designated to provide financial resources to students who demonstrate a high level of distinction in Middle Eastern studies at UC Berkeley. Note that gifts made to this fund cannot be used immediately; only the interest of the donation can be used once a year. For gifts intended for immediate support of programming related to the memory of Chris Stevens, including student support in the current academic year, please contribute to the Stevens Program instead (see details above) .