Founded in 1963, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies promotes the interdisciplinary study of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at the University of California, Berkeley, and beyond, raising public awareness of the region’s diverse peoples, languages, cultures and their connection to wider global contexts. CMES is widely recognized as one of the country’s most important sources of knowledge about the Arab world, Iran, Israel, and Turkey. The Center has been a Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center over the course of some three deacdes, and our activities further the national interests of the United States in the following ways:

  • Our Center and its Senior Research Scholars support and teach a range of Area Studies courses, which cover US Foreign Policy in the Middle East, regional politics, Middle East and North Africa history, anthropology, ecology, health and development. 
  • We support the teaching of critical languages (including colloquial dialects) of the region.
  • We engage in outreach to the wider UC Berkeley student, faculty, and adjacent non-student communities through public lectures, events, virtual courses, and engagement with K-14 institutions and teachers.