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Center for the Study of the Middle East Panel
Welcome CSME
A Message from the Director
Photo of Director Ambassador Istrabadi

Welcome to the Indiana University Center for the Study of the Middle East (CSME), a Title VI Comprehensive National Resource Center. This is a particularly prestigious designation, conferred by the US Department of Education, and shared by CSME and only 14 other Middle East centers at universities across the United States. With some 100 members of the IUB faculty located in the College of Arts and Sciences and six professional schools, CSME promotes multi- and inter-disciplinary knowledge of the Middle East by supporting academic programs, scholarship, public outreach, and support for educators and students at all levels. The Middle East has long been a center of political, cultural, religious and linguistic fascination. It is of tremendous importance to the vital strategic interests of the U.S., and never more so than at this moment of unrest and turmoil across the region.

Understanding of the Middle East cannot occur without a solid grounding in the modern languages of the region. Thus, CSME supports the study of modern Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and Persian. Using NRC funds, we are also developing the country’s first communicative curriculum in Kurdish. We expect a pilot course to begin in the Summer Term in 2015, through our partner institution, IU’s Summer Language Workshop. With other partners across the Bloomington Campus, CSME also sponsors and supports degree and non-degree programs enhancing scholarly understanding of the Middle East. CSME does this, in part, by facilitating close academic collaboration between our flagship departments, Borns Jewish Studies Program, Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS), and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC), and the professional schools that are also constituents of CSME.

CSME plans to continue to strengthen understanding of the Middle East. We will accomplish this through teacher training in cooperation with the existing NRCs and the School of Education, as well as through outreach programs to teachers in K-16 programs in the State of Indiana. To do so, CSME will emphasize historically underserved populations. In addition, CSME develops curricula, enhances library collections that reflect our current breadth of teaching, expands faculty, builds capacity, and engages in outreach to local schools and the broader community regarding the Middle East. We are convinced that nurturing area expertise in K-12 teachers and thus students, as well as our broader community, promotes a better-informed citizenry across our State, especially providing opportunities to expand the horizons of Indiana’s pre-collegiate students. We are committed to this mission.


-Amb. Feisal al-Istrabadi

Foudning Director,
Center for the Study of the Middle East
Upcoming Events

Thursday, February 26, 7:30p

Palestine and Israel: Rights, Movements, Divisions, and Mutual Understanding

Hosted by J STREET, the Muslim Student Union, the Undergraduate Policy Student Organization, and the Arab Student Association.

Location: Hodge Hall


Thursday, February 26, 12-1p

Forum discussion with University of Pittsburgh School of Law's Prof. Haider Ala Hamoudi

Location: Maurer School of Law, Room 124


Monday, March 2, 12-1p

Lunch and a Lecture:"Gender Ideology in North Africa and the Middle East "

Graduate Student Tamara van der Does, Department of Sociology and Department of Statistics, IUB

Location: CSME, 1105 E Atwater


Thursday, March 12, 6 - 8:30p

"Jumping Over Fire: Writers on Iran and Identity "

Location: Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

*Sponsored by IU Creative Writing Program


More Events


Volunteers Needed!
CSME is currently looking for volunteers to help with our Activity and Calligraphy tables at Lotus Blossoms Bazaar, March 27 and 28. Please email, if interested.
More details


Regional News

















Spotlight Videos


"States of Palestine at the International Arena: A Discussion on Current Events in Palestine" - A Lecture by Dr. Riyad H. Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations


Jan. 20, 2015






Congratulations to CSME affiliate faculty Dr. Jamsheed Choksy for being promoted to Distinguished Professor by Indiana University!

As noted in the press release: "The distinguished professorship recognizes faculty who have transformed their fields of study and received international recognition for their work... Choksy, a professor in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, is an authority of Iran, the Indian subcontinent, Zoroastrianism and Islam. His success in studying the Near East and South Asia stems from his unparalleled knowledge of primary language skills over more than 20 dialects."


Registration open for Institute for Curriculum and Campus Internationalization

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Global Change, School of Global and International Studies

Why Attend ICCI?

This unique institute facilitates the internationalization of your campus or unit, curriculum, and/or individual course, to better prepare students, faculty, and staff to be effective scholars, practitioners, and citizens of the 21st century. Program dates are May 17-20, 2015 (in Bloomington, Indiana).

Deadline to Apply: April 15, 2015

For questions, contact: