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Spring 2020 Alumni Newsletter

From the Director

Dear MESP Alumni and Friends:

Both the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) and the Middle East Studies Program have had a big year. For starters, we welcomed the Middle East Studies Association to GW. To have a leading academic and professional area studies organization with an international footprint housed in IMES is a major boost. We hope that this will help build out our scholarly network further and brighten the spotlight on our already prominent Middle East Studies program.


IMES’s slate of talks this term featured terrific lectures by scholars doing cutting edge research in the humanities and social sciences. We’ve also continued our workshops for graduate students and faculty to present their research to a growing cohort of Middle East Studies specialists on campus. This is one key way that IMES facilitates the sort of research that puts GW on the map of major Middle East research centers.


We welcomed eleven new MA students in Fall 2019. These highly qualified applicants will follow in the footsteps of current students; our second-year cohort is now engaged in capstone projects on topics ranging from refugee decisions on repatriation to the formation of national identity in border regions. Our 2019 graduates continue to launch careers in diverse settings from the Department of State to leading international development and education organizations like IREX. After a long hiatus, MESP students are starting to return to Egypt, this time as part of a formal short-term class led by Program Director Nathan Brown. A very special thank you goes to Martin Baum, CCAS BA ‘82 and parent of current Elliott senior Alexander Baum, for his generous donation that provided financial support to MESP MA students to help make this trip possible.


As our academic family grows, we hope to build on previous alumni engagement and mentoring programs. This includes another networking event for current students and alumni slated for February 5, 2020. Check your inbox for details – we hope to see you there! Check out the rest of the newsletter for profiles on new faculty, spotlights on fellow alumni, reviews of recent faculty publications, highlights of our current visiting scholars, and much more.