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

Nathan Brown (co-author): Arguing about Family Law in Jordan, Disconnected Spheres?

IMES Director Nathan Brown co-authored a paper for the International Journal of Middle East Studies with Lamis El Muhtaseb and Abdul-Wahab Kayyali titled "Arguing about Family Law in Jordan: Disconnected Spheres?" The essay examines whether activist groups with differing ideologies are brought together or cleaved apart by public policy debates, using three contentious family law issues in Jordan as case studies.

Nathan Brown (co-author): A Palestinian Succession Story

Professor Nathan Brown and Carnegie Junior Fellow Caroline Zullo co-wrote an article for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Diwan blog. The article outlines the repeated delays of the Palestinian municipal elections and argues that successful elections will depend in part on a series of political compromises that are highly unlikely given the parties currently involved.

Firas Maksad: Lebanon's New Hezbollah-Led Political Order

IMES adjunct professor Firas Maksad wrote a commentary for the National Interest last week on Lebanon's new president, Michel Aoun. The feature provides the parliamentary context in which Aoun was selected and discusses the political ramifications of Aoun's presidency, which Dr. Maksad argues could further the interests of Iran and Hezbollah in the region.

Geneive Abdo & Nathan Brown: Religion, Identity, and Countering Violent Extremism

IMES Director Nathan Brown co-authored a report with Geneive Abdo for the Atlantic Council titled Religion, Identity, and Countering Violent Extremism. This report assesses the debates within Islamic societies and how the combination of shifting identities, demographic and social changes, and religious debates are entwined with sectarian conflicts and other breakdowns in the Middle East's political order. The report ultimately makes the case that Western governments should be aware of the debates, but cannot be parties to them.