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.


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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Launch of IMES Book Club

The Institute for Middle East Studies is starting a book club to give students an opportunity to practice their Arabic and be exposed to Arabic literary culture. This year's first book will be an abridged copy of Sayyidi wa Habibi by Hoda Barakat, with the expectation that the abridged version would be more accessible to non-native readers of Arabic.

2016 Capstone Projects Posted

Our class of 2016's Capstone Research Projects are now posted online! Congratulations to all our capstone cohort, who covered several of the region's countries including Egypt, Qatar, Lebanon, and Israel. All our students' Capstone projects can be seen online on our site. A very special congratulations to Amanda Sass and William Schulte, whose capstone Understanding the Viability of the Arab Peace Initiative, was chosen by the institute's faculty directors as this year's most outstanding project.

Nowruz Week 2016

The George Washington University Language Center and the George Washington University Persian Program have organized their first annual Persian Culture Week to coincide with Nowruz, the Persian New Year. From Monday, March 21st through early April, there will be a series of events and opportunities to learn more about Persian culture as practised in Iran, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.

A full schedule for Nowruz Week 2016 can be found here.

Expanding Opportunities for Exchange with Kuwait

Recently, Ambassador Gnehm along with several other faculty and administrators from George Washington University came to an understanding with Kuwaiti officials to promote greater exchanges between GW and Kuwait. The understanding will help facilitate more scholarship focused on the Gulf within the Institute for Middle East Studies, including hosting a visiting scholar from Kuwait and providing more expert lectures on Kuwaiti and Gulf issues. In addition, the understanding helps pave the way for more opportunities for GW students to study abroad in Kuwait.

Recent Publications

Marc Lynch: Tunisia may be Lost in Transition

Marc Lynch published a critical view of Tunisia's Economic Reconciliation Law, and discusses the ways in which the law conflicts with core political grievances that fuelled that country's revolution. In the piece, he explains the development of Tunisia's groundbreaking transitional justice efforts, Ennahda members' personal and political stake in the process, and the prospects for prosecution of those guilty of abuse under the former regime.

Nathan Brown: Moving on from the French Peace Initiative

IMES Director Nathan Brown co-authored an article in Al-Jazeera criticizing French efforts this summer to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Although the new initiative corrects some flaws made apparent during the Oslo process, it does not fundamentally alter the bilateral nature of earlier negotiations which has provided Israel with a strong negotiating position.

Harris Mylonas: Ballad of Reading Gaol

IMES professor Harris Mylonas wrote a brief article for the series "Greece is Burning" in Cultural Anthropology. The article describes the ways in which Greece's current austerity program and economic situation is reflected in the theatrical concept album "Ballad of Reading Gaol" performed by the rock band KollektivA.

Michael Barnett: What really unites and divides American and Israeli Jews

Professor of International Affairs Michael Barnett wrote an article discussing the recently released Pew survey of Israeli Jews and the limitations of using surveys to gauge public attitudes. While surveys have shown a deep connection between these two Jewish communities, there is also a strong indication of ambivalence toward Israel in the American Jewish community. Dr. Barnett considers whether this ambivalence may be a longer-held attitude that has previously been masked by the questions asked by the interviews themselves.