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About Us

The Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies (CMENAS) at the University of Michigan provides a venue for faculty, students, and the community to learn and share knowledge through an active lecture series and various educational and research programs, and by partnering with a host of units across campus on projects of mutual interest.

CMENAS works to:

  • Support dialogue between U-M faculty, students, and the broader community by organizing and supporting conferences, lectures, and performances
  • Produce outstanding scholars in a supportive environment where students have the opportunity to study current and historical events related to the Middle East
  • Invite scholars from the region and elsewhere in the world to U-M to teach, collaborate, and take advantage of our outstanding libraries and research facilities

Mission Statement

As a designated comprehensive National Resource Center (NRC), CMENAS is dedicated to promoting a broader and deeper understanding of the region – its histories, cultures, languages, and peoples—through research, education, and outreach programs.


Study of the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region began at the university in 1889. Since the inception of the program in 1961, U-M has been committed to area studies and language training.  In 1993, CMENAS became a member of the new U-M International Institute, which seeks to stimulate research and teaching on critical areas of the world and to foster cooperation among the university’s departments, schools, and colleges.