• Middle East Center

Middle East Center

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Welcome to the Middle East Center (MEC) at Florida State University. Created in 2006, the MEC's main objective is to provide an academic environment for students from a multitude of disciplines to develop a deeper understanding of the Middle East. The MEC also administers FSU's Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies, as well as minors in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies.




Fall 2021 Advising Hours and General Questions

We are here to help advise our MES students during Fall 2021. Dr. Zeina Schlenoff (zschlenoff@fsu.edu) is available Wednesdays 11:30-12:30 or by appointment. Dr. Zafer Lababidi (zlababidi@fsu.edu) is available Mondays 1:00-2:00, Tuesdays 10:00-11:00 and by appointment.

Weekly Conversation Tables

Come practice Arabic with us! Arabic conversation tables take place every Tuesday (1:30-2:30) and Thursday (2:30-3:30) in the Kellogg (KRB) building room 317. Conversation tables are open to all students learning Arabic!

 MEC Open House

MEC will be hosting an open house for students and faculty to gather to discuss the Middle East and give students a chance to learn about Middle Eastern Studies at FSU. The date and time will be announced shortly. 


Upcoming Events


Recent Events

Friday November 5, 5:00-6:30
Thank you for joining the Middle East Center at the Globe! We had a wonderful evening sharing Middle Eastern desserts and drinks while learning more about the fascinating region. Special thanks to the FSU Belly Dancer club for a great performance. 
November 11 & 12
This two day event explored the relationship between gender and representation in the Maghreb through the work of four women from different fields: Franco-Moroccan author and French diplomat Leïla Slimani, Tunisian director Raja Amari, Moroccan rapper Khtek, and Moroccan artist Merieme Mesfioui. This two-day event, co-sponsored by the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and the Winthrop-King Institute, was accompanied by two films by Raja Amari through the FSU library: She Had a Dream and Foreign Body
November 17
Chef Jesse led the FSU Arabic Program in a virtual cooking session in honor of International Education Month. We followed along to make fattet jaal, a dish from the time of pharoahs that incorporates layers of spiced meat, yogurt, and toasted pita. 
Cooking at Dr. Zeina Schlenoff's House
Students from Dr. Zeina Schlenoff's Arabic Conversation class gathered at her house on a Saturday afternoon to cook traditional Arab dishes. Students made hummus, kafta, curried couscous salad, and nammoorah. This was a great opportunity to learn more about Arab culture and traditions while enjoying a delicious meal!
Tabling on Landis Green
Throughout November Middle Eastern Studies students tabled on Landis Green to talk with other students about Middle Eastern Studies at FSU and studying Arabic. This was a great chance to engage with interested students and encourage others to study Arabic!

Student Highlights

Madelyn Johnson is a double major in Middle Eastern Studies and International Affairs with a minor in History. As a sophomore, Maddy received the Boren Scholarship to travel to Jordan and study Arabic at the University of Jordan. While in Jordan, she was also able to intern at Al Hadaf, a locally-run NGO assisting Iraqi refugees. Madelyn's Boren experience strengthened her love for the language and the region and opened so many doors to future internships and study abroad opportunities.

Payton Parkin is a senior studying Middle Eastern Studies and Public Administration through Florida State's Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS) program. Being connected with her peers, professors,  and academics within the Middle Eastern Studies Program has been an instrumental factor in Payton's success at Florida State University. In Fall 2020, Payton became the Founder of Florida State's Arabic Honor Society (AHS), the first collegiate Arabic honor society in the United States. With this organization, Payton aims to promote excellent scholarship by providing an atmosphere for academic and professional mobility. She hopes AHS will leave a lasting legacy at FSU and expand to other universities nationwide. 

Ariana Richter is a double major in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies. She is currently working on a thesis paper that discusses regional conflicts and their effects on humanitarian crises, specifically focusing on the Civil War in Yemen and rising rates of child marriage. She hopes to one day become a refugee lawyer and assist individuals who are fleeing persecution in their home country. Using her Arabic skills, she is interested in assisting women and children located in the Middle Eastern successfully seek asylum in the United States.


MEC Launches 12th Middle East Film Festival

Mon 2/22/2021- 12pm

The MEC and FSU's Student Life Cinema are delighted to announce the 12th Middle East Film Festival at FSU. The festival starts on Sunday, February 21 and ends on Sunday, March 21. There will be a total of 5 films over 5 Sundays. We hope you will join us by watching these films virtually from the comfort of your home. The event is free and open to anyone from the public who wants to watch the films. 

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