Mission Statement

The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is a non-profit association that fosters the study of the Middle East, promotes high standards of scholarship and teaching, and encourages public understanding of the region and its peoples through programs, publications and services that enhance education, further intellectual exchange, recognize professional distinction, and defend academic freedom in accordance with its status as a 501(c)(3) scientific, educational, literary, and charitable organization.

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Annual Meeting  


OCTOBER 2020

#MESA2020

Join us this October for MESA's 54th Annual Meeting Virtual Conference! For health and safety concerns posed by Covid-19, the conference will be held virtually. Program sessions are now scheduled between October 5-17, with the original meeting days of October 10-13 being reserved for MESA plenary events such as the presidential panel and awards ceremony, as well as some late-breaking sessions. You can find an updated program schedule here

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Academic Freedom

CAF logo

The Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF) seeks to foster the free exchange of knowledge as a human right and to inhibit infringements on that right by government restrictions on scholars. The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provide the principal standards by which human rights violations are identified today. Those rights include the right to education and work, freedom of movement and residence, and freedom of association and assembly.

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Become a Member

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Be a part of a community of scholars who are passionate about the pursuit of academic knowledge on the MENA region. Join others in helping MESA defend academic freedom and civil and human rights. Share your research at the annual meeting and submit articles for MESA’s journals. Participate on a MESA committee to help recognize outstanding scholarship or work to advance the field. Join MESA today and be a part of something great!

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Member Announcements

Security Alerts for Researchers and Students

There are two active security alerts issued by MESA’s Board of Directors for those embarking on research in Egypt and UAE

Registering incident of sexual harassment 

If you are a victim of harassment or you witness harassment, please use this form to report the incident.  

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MESA Board Statement in solidarity with the uprisings against systemic racism and anti-Blackness

MESA pledges to oppose anti-Black racist violence by addressing the structural injustice at work in our own organization, in the field of Middle East studies, and among communities in the region. Guided by the principles articulated here, we commit to eradicating anti-Blackness in our organization and in the knowledge we produce.

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Virtual Events Web Posting Form

To be listed in our Virtual Events section in "Resources and Opportunities," complete this Virtual Events Sharing form. We will simply include whatever registration process you already have in place, with the details you provide. This is a complimentary service to the Middle East studies community in support of reaching a broader audience for relevant events.

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    Al-Noor Fall 2020

    Al-Noor Middle Eastern Studies Journal

    Al-Noor, Boston College's Middle Eastern Studies Journal, is currently accepting submissions for their Fall 2020 issue through Sunday, October 11. Students' research papers, senior theses, perspectives pieces, editorials, and photo essays will be considered.

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    Sentencing Bahey eldin Hassan, human rights advocate and founder of Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

    Letter to Egyptian authorities expressing deep concern regarding the verdict against Bahey eldin Hassan, in absentia, on 25 August 2020. Hassan is a leading human rights advocate in Egypt and founder of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS). CAF also urges the authorities to drop all charges against Hassan.

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    PERMES Masthead

    PERMES is a database of programs in Middle East studies, experts on the region, and other valuable resources. 

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    Stay Connected

    MESA offers several ways to stay connected: Twitter and Facebook, as well as listservs and trusty email notifications.
    To find out more, please follow the link below.

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