Letters and Statements from the Board

House Committee on Education and Labor expresses concern and requests information from the DoE regarding Duke-UNC Consortium investigation

House Committee on Education and Labor requests documents and further information from the Department of Education and expresses deep concern over the implications for academic freedom of its public threats to the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies over its Title VI funding as a National Resource Center for area studies.

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18 major scholarly societies join MESA in expressing concern about the Department of Education’s interpretation of Title VI

MESA and 18 other academic associations, representing over 100,000 concerned members, issue letter in response to allegations made by the DoE against the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, calling attention to the overly narrow and partisan conception of international studies contained in the letter, and pointing to past successes of Title VI programs in educating students and training experts with the needed depth and breadth in languages and regional and international studies.

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MESA endorses the Statement from AHA on Domestic Terrorism, Bigotry, and History

MESA has endorsed the Statement from AHA on Domestic Terrorism, Bigotry, and History. The AHA expects the statement to “stimulate more questions than answers, with hopes these questions make their way into classrooms, libraries, museums, city council meetings, community centers, and even coffee shops, wherever people are trying to connect with each other to make historical sense of our current moment.”

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    Turkish Court rules in favor of academics’ rights who signed Peace Petition

    In a narrow vote (8-8 with the Chief Justice casting a tie breaking vote) the Turkish Constitutional Court found that the rights of the Peace Petitioners had been violated. The decision should have precedential effect that will impact all the trials of petition signatories, bringing great relief to hundreds of Turkish academics. MESA’s joint letter of 24 July 2019 to the Constitutional Court of Turkey expressed support of the signatories’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly. MESA’s Committee on Academic Freedom has written numerous letters regarding the persecution of the Peace Petition signatories.

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    MESA Statement on the mass execution and continuing suppression of free speech in Saudi Arabia

    MESA deplores the most recent mass execution of 37 detainees in Saudi Arabia on 23 April 2019. It has noted with deep concern that among those executed were an academic and at least one student.  

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    MESA’s Board of Directors and Committee on Academic Freedom Express Concern Over Deteriorating Condition of Academic and Personal Freedom in Sudan

    February 27, 2019 – The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and its Committee on Academic Freedom strongly condemn the Sudanese government’s violent suppression of peaceful public protests since December 2018, and the arbitrary detention of protestors, including many academics.

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