Campus Advisories

GW classes canceled; administrative and academic offices closed on March 21

04:27am, Wednesday, March 21, 2018

GW classes are canceled, administrative and academic offices are closed, and activities and events will not take place on Wednesday, March 21 at all of our Washington metropolitan area campuses and locations because of inclement weather.

Visit for more information and changes to university services. 

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

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel and of the Nakba, the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinian people that was part of this establishment. Our conferencetakes the occasion of the anniversary to reflect on the continuing effects of this experience. Panels will explore new directions in scholarship on 1948, the multiplicity of ways that Palestinians and Israelis remember and reckon with these events, and ongoing resonances of the Nakba in people’s lives today.

RSVP Here:

Preliminary Schedule


2018 conf


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

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

Marc Lynch: What kind of deal is Trump making with Saudi Arabia?

Last week Professor Marc Lynch authored an article on President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, analyzing the ramifications of the deal he made with the Saudis and the shifting focus of U.S. policy in the region.  

Geneive Abdo: The Fabric of Arab Society is in Tatters

Geneive Abdo, a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council who teaches graduate-level coursework through IMES, wrote a feature for The National Interest titled "The Fabric of Arab Society is in Tatters." In the article, she makes the case that, in the years following the Arab uprisings, governments across the Middle East have taken steps to undermine civil society and discriminate against religious minorities.

Marc Lynch: All Quiet in the Eastern Palaces

In a recent article for Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Diwan blog, POMEPS Director Marc Lynch describes the divergent reactions of regimes in the Middle East and the Arab public following the January 27 executive order on immigration. Despite considerable opprobrium in the Arab public spheres, many leaders remained silent toward the policies, mirroring pre-2011 efforts to highlight the regimes' roles as security partners of the US.

Marc Lynch: In Uncharted Waters - Islamist Parties beyond Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

POMEPS Director Marc Lynch's paper for the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace analyzes how Islamist parties in the Arab world have responded to the current political climate they are facing in their respective countries. Dr. Lynch writes that these movements have generally adapted to their local contexts, and therefore should be understood as rational actors that can change their strategies to respond to political realities. In the current context of increasing restrictions on Islamist movements in the region and the emergence of ISIS, state responses to Islamist political aspirations may help determine the future trajectory of these constituencies.