Alumni updates

Alumni of programs conducted by the Institute for Middle East Studies can keep IMES and other alumni updated on their careers after graduation by completing the IMES alumni update form.

Media Inquiries

Journalists seeking the expertise of our faculty are encouraged to contact them directly or refer to the Elliott School Media Guide.

2018 IMES Annual Conference: Nakba, Past and Present

On April 13, 2018, IMES held its annual conference entitled "Nakba, Past and Present." Over 100 attendees listened to presentations by fourteen leading scholars on new directions in scholarship on 1948, forms of reckoning with the Nakba, and resonances of the Nakba today. A documentary film screening and discussion with the director also accompanied the conference, which was funded by a generous grant from the US Department of Education.


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Founded in 2007, the Institute for Middle East Studies aims to foster research, dialogue and the creation of an intellectual community focused on the modern Middle East, geographically defined as the Arab world, Turkey, Israel, and Iran. To this end, IMES encourages intellectual collaboration among members of the GW community interested in the Middle East, between GW research institutes, and with other organizations in the Washington area.

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Middle East Studies Graduate Capstone Project Cited by The Economist

The July 22, 2017 edition of The Economist featured an article on the growth of Captagon sales in the Gulf states, and featured capstone research by Middle East Studies students Max Kravitz and Will Nichols. The students' capstone project, "Soldiers of Abu Hilalain: An Investigation into Captagon Trafficking by Syrian War Militias and What it Means for US Foreign Policy," examined drug seizure data and conducted interviews with drug enforcement officials in the region to measure militias relative levels of involvement in the Captagon trade. Their research has subsequently been cited numerous times, including in a 2016 article in the French edition of Vanity Fair. This is just one example of how IMES is able to enable students to carry out timely and innovative research projects in the region.

If you are a graduate who has been able to use your capstone research post-graduation, we would love to hear your story. Please reach out to us at [email protected].

2017 Middle East Studies MA Capstone Presentations

The Middle East Studies program is pleased to announce the 2017 MA capstone presentations. This year's capstone presentations are open to the public and will be held on Friday, April 28 and Monday, May 1. MES MA students are especially encouraged to attend to support their classmates and brainstorm topics for their own capstone projects.

Ilana Feldman Recognized with GW Distinguished Scholar Award

IMES would like to congratulate Dr. Ilana Feldman, Professor of Anthropology, History and International Affairs, on her receipt of the 2017 Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) Distinguished Scholar Award. 

IMES Book Clubs + Arabic Lecture Series

Mitchell Ford, IMES's Senior Arabic Advisor, will host a second series of our Arabic Book Club this upcoming spring semester. Participants will have the opportunity to build their speaking and reading skills by meeting to discuss either Rijal fi al Shams by Ghassan Kanafani or an abridged copy of Sayyidi wa Habibi by Hoda Barakat. In addition to the regular book club meetings, we will host an Arabic-language instructional lecture series.

Recent Publications

Firas Maksad: In Syria, President Trump must strike and stay

Firas Maksad recently authored an article for The Hill examining possible actions Trump could take in Syria.

Nathan Brown: Hamas: Constrained or Nimble?

Professor Nathan Brown recently co-authored an article for the Carnegie Endowment looking at Hamas's internal dynamics and how the organization is preparing for an uncertain future.

Marc Lynch quoted in New York Times article on Syria

Professor Marc Lynch was quoted in a New York Times article "America's Three Bad Options in Syria," commenting on the President's actions in Syria.

Said the Prophet of God: Hadith Commentary across a Millennium

Although scholars have long studied how Musli