Director's Welcome

I would like to welcome you to the Middle East Studies Center (MESC) at Portland State University. We are located in the new Karl Miller Center and serve as an interdisciplinary institution that brings together faculty and students from across campus and other institutions of higher education throughout the US and the Middle East. The mission of the MESC is to promote and facilitate research, teaching, faculty training and development, and public awareness on all regions of the Middle East.

Our Center started in 1959 as the first federally supported undergraduate program for Arabic language and Middle East area studies in the nation. Over the years, the MESC expanded to include all the major languages and other disciplines of the region. Today, Portland State’s Middle East studies curriculum includes foreign language courses in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish as well as area studies courses in a number of disciplines. The Middle East studies program boasts a distinguished faculty and vast library resources. The Center serves as a resource on issues pertaining to the Middle East through activities that reach students and scholars, as well as businesses, educators, and the media. Our Center supports academic conferences, workshops, cultural events, lectures, and a resource library.

Please take a look at the various activities of our center on our website and consider becoming a friend of the MESC. You can contact us through our contact page or call us at (503)725-5467.

We encourage you to be involved with current MESC announcements and events by subscribing to our listserv HERE.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.


Lindsay J. Benstead, Ph.D.