Dear CMENAS community,

We are delighted to welcome all new and returning students for the 2020‒2021 academic year!

2020 has been a tough year for everyone. We wish that the conditions were better and recognize that students, faculty, and staff across the university are facing many new challenges this year because of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the ongoing struggle for racial and social justice across the US and around the world. We wish to extend our best wishes to everyone for their safety, health, and well-being in the months ahead, and also offer our gratitude to all staff whose commitment, service, and sacrifices is keeping the university thriving in these challenging times. 

We also wish to express our solidarity with the brave residents of Beirut in the aftermath of the explosion a few weeks ago. Our hearts and hope go out to all affected by the explosion, and especially the families and loved ones of the dozens killed and thousands injured in this horrendous accident. 

As we look to the future, we are excited for the events of the upcoming year!

  • CMENAS is pleased to welcome two new MIRS graduate students specializing in the MENA region: Jenna Chami and Maya Zreik 
  • We are in the third year of a four-year Title VI grant cycle and will continue to prioritize outreach and support for K-14 education. 
  • The center continues to facilitate FLAS Fellowships to fund the study of all MENA languages. Look out for info sessions this fall and remember that both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible (Application deadline: January 15, 2021). 
  • We are excited to announce the 2020 CMENAS Zoom colloquium, which will be focused on the topic, “The Arab Spring, Ten Years Later.” A full list of speakers and titles can be found here. All are invited to tune in and participate!

CMENAS at U-M continues to be a leader in Middle Eastern and North African studies, with world-class degree programs, public outreach, faculty research, and a vibrant student life. If you would like to invest in our work with moral and material support, please reach out to us. To everyone in CMENAS and across the university community, welcome back, and Go Blue!

Warm Regards,

Samer M. Ali, PhD

Ryan Szpiech, PhD
Associate Director