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Director's Welcome

The Middle East Studies Center is a unique enterprise with an illustrious history. As the first federally supported undergraduate program for Arabic language and Middle East area studies, Portland State University has engaged over 21,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students through courses in Middle East studies over more than fifty years. Hundreds of students have received degrees with a Middle East concentration.

Within the context of Portland State’s urban campus, the Middle East Studies Center serves an important role in the international experiences of our diverse student body. Thousands of Middle Eastern students have studied at Portland State. Alumni, current students, and visiting scholars from the Middle East are all important to the University campus and larger community.

As a National Resource Center for Middle East Studies under the Department of Education’s Title VI program, the Middle East Studies Center distinguishes itself through the strength of its faculty and the quality of its academic programing and educational and community outreach. The Center’s role as a resource on the Middle East for scholars and community members with an interest in the region is crucial.

I was elected Director of the Middle East Studies Center in 2010, following service as a founding member of the Center’ Faculty Advisory Committee. As an Associate Professor of History, I’ve taught at Portland State since 2005. I am humbled to follow the leadership of our previous Directors, Grant Farr, Peter Bechtold, John Damis, Jon Mandaville and Fred Cox.

Thank you for visiting the Middle East Studies Center’s website. We welcome your feedback and input.


James P Grehan