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.




Upcoming Events

Florida State University’s Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics and the FSU Middle East Center will host the 15th annual Middle East Film Festival, showcasing films that provide insight into international cinema and share perspectives rarely seen in mainstream media. The festival, which runs Feb. 1 through February 22, is sponsored by the FSU Middle East Center and the Student Life Cinema and features four films screening over the course of four Thursdays. Click here for more details and to learn more about our films lineup for this year. 

The Middle East Center and the Music School would like to invite you to a lecture titled 'Musical Cultures on the Silk Road' by Latif Bolat, a Turkish Music Sufi Scholar. The lecture will be on Thursday, December 7th at 1 PM in HMU 229.

What is the secret behind the name "Egypt"? Why are the pyramids among the world’s seven wonders? Do Egyptians still speak the ancient Egyptian Language? Are there other secrets behind the temples, the tombs, the mummies, etc.? Join us on Wednesday, November 8th, at 6 p.m. at The Globe Auditorium to hear Dr. Farida Badr unpack Egypt's secrets. Participants will sample an Egyptian dessert, Om Ali, at the end of the lecture. 

Middle East Center's Chapman Endowed Lecture: Americans and the Middle East: Where do We Go From Here?

The Middle East Center at FSU invites to attend the 2023 Jeannette B. Chapman Endowed Lecture on Thursday, April 13th at 5:30pm at the Claude Pepper Center (636 W. Call Street). This year's speaker is Steven A. Cook who will give a talk titled:  "Americans and the Middle East: Where do We Go From Here?"

The 14th Middle East Film Festival starts on Friday, February 10th at 6 pm. This year all films will be screened in person at the Student Life Cinema. 
A reception with middle eastern food catered by the Sweet Shop and entertainment provided by the" FSU Belly dancers group" and" Aziza Middle East Ensemble" from the Music School will be held at 7:45pm after the screening of Arab Blues on Feb 10th.
Click here for more information about the films.
April 18, 5:00pm, Virtual

Join Diplomat in Residence C.B. Toney on Monday, April 18 at 5:00pm EDT as he celebrates Arab American Heritage Month. You’ll hear from Dr. Zeina Tamer Schlenoff and Ms.Nicole Schlichter as they discuss their Foreign Service experiences.

Register at: http://ow.ly/ICkW50IGQpa


Recent Events 

Arabic Honor Night

The Middle East Center recognized students who have excelled in Arabic classes this semester. Thank you to our students for all of your hard work!


Jeanette B. Chapman Endowed Lecture Series for Middle Eastern Studies

April 7, 12:00pm, Virtual
Dr. Nadje Al-Ali presented a lecture on "Gender, Violence and Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Transnational Feminist Perspectives." Nadje Al-Ali is the Robert Family Professor of International Studies and Professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies at Brown University. She also directs the Center for Middle East Studies. Her research interests revolve around feminist activism and gendered mobilization, mainly concerning Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and the Kurdish political movement. 

February 25- April 2, Virtual
The FSU Middle East Center presents the 13th annual film festival! The festival features five film screenings over the course of five weekends this spring. The festival is free but participants must register. Please click here to register. 
The Culture of Coffee in the Arab World
Wednesday February 16, 5:00pm, The Globe
The Middle East Center partnered with The Globe to co-host Culture of Coffee in the Arab World. The event featured a special performance by the Middle East Ensemble, a presentation on coffee culture and etiquette, plus a coffee brewing demonstration and tasting. 
Pizza Night
Wednesday February 2, 5:30pm
Arabic students gathered at the Middle East Center for pizza and to learn more about Middle Eastern Studies at FSU.
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

The College of Arts and Sciences has featured our recent Fall 2022 graduate Caroline Sizemore (MES) from among more than 700 A&S bachelor students graduating this fall. Click here to read more about Caroline's accomplishments. 

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.