Today, more than ever before, the politics of the Middle East play a significant role in America’s activities at home and abroad. The interdisciplinary Middle East and Islamic Studies Program at George Mason provides students with a firm grounding in the history, politics, and culture of this important region.
Under the guidance of internationally recognized faculty, students develop an understanding of the diverse dynamics and complex forces that shape modern Middle East realities. The courses are supplemented by a variety of events, community activities, and study abroad opportunities. The program reflects the vast diversity of this region that includes the Arab world, Israel, Iran, and Turkey.
The Middle East and Islamic Studies Program does not simply imitate existing programs that have proliferated throughout the United States in the past few years. Going beyond security concerns, Mason’s program emphasizes the need for an understanding of the region’s history as a foundation for further in-depth inquiry. It situates the Middle East within a globalized world by exposing students to such topics as the Internet, satellite TV and the new media, and the political economy of business-government networks.
Students have the opportunity to examine new Middle East diasporas and transnational communities in the West, as well as the role of the Middle East in a changing geopolitical environment marked by the rise of China, India, and the re-emergence of Russia.