2017 Middle East Studies MA Capstone Presentations

April 21, 2017

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.

Friday, April 28

10:00-10:50 “Countering A Public Health Crisis: How Tribes, States, and International Organizations are Addressing Yemen's Collapsing Healthcare System”
Monica Ward and Stephanie Sieczkarek
Advisor: Abdulwahab Alkebsi, Deputy Director for Programs at the Center for International Private Enterprise

11:00-11:50 “Engaging Young Citizens or Perpetuating Disillusionment? Student Body Politics in Kuwaiti Universities”
Rawan Alkhatib and Elissa Adams
Advisor: Dr. Kristin Diwan, Senior Resident Scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington

4:00-4:50 “Horsh Beirut and the Politics of Public Space”
Madelaine Assi & Starling Carter
Advisor: Dr. Mona Atia, Associate Professor of Geography and International Affairs & Middle East Studies Program Director at the George Washington University

Monday, May 1

11:00-11:50 “Liberalization Meets Resource Nationalism: The Passing and Revocation of Algeria's 2005 Hydrocarbons Law”
Tyler Overfelt and Mischa Benoit-Lavelle
Advisor: Dr. Robert Weiner, Professor of Business, Public Policy & Public Administration, and International Affairs at the George Washington University

12:00-12:50 “Can NGOs Advance ‘Regional Marginalization’ as the Basis for a Collective Right within a Transitional Justice Process?”
Sumaya Almajdoub and Eric Eikenberry
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Yerkes, Middle East Program Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

2:00-2:50 “Who Guards the Ashes: The Threat of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units after the Fall of ISIS”
Jhordanne Williamson-Rhoden, Andrew Hilleary, Jackson Doering
Advisor: Dr. Judith Yaphe, Professorial Lecturer at the George Washington University

3:00-3:50 “Overcoming Failure: How Extremist Organizations Leverage Setbacks with Powerful Propaganda”
Mattisan Rowan and Rachel Ridley
Advisor: Rhea Siers, Scholar in Residence at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at the George Washington University

4:00-4:50 “Exile Politics of the Syrian Interim Government”
Amira Loutfi
Advisor: Ambassador (ret.) Frederic C. Hof, Director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council


The MES Capstone project is a policy-based research project designed to turn students into producers (as opposed to consumers) of original research. The capstone is typically a small-group project that addresses a discrete policy issue. Students work with an adviser to develop a research question and then pursue that line of inquiry independently, often conducting fieldwork overseas. During these oral presentations, the teams will present their findings and respond to feedback and questions from their advisers, IMES faculty, and other attendees.