Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at the University of California, Berkeley was founded in 1963 with a mandate to promote excellence in Middle Eastern Studies on the Berkeley campus and beyond.

The CMES facilitates the interdisciplinary study of the Middle East while recognizing the interconnectedness of its peoples and cultures to the wider global context in which it exists. The Center's programming encompasses the Arab World, Turkey, Israel, and Iran, yet no single country, topic, academic discipline, or political position dominates the landscape of Middle Eastern Studies at Berkeley. Rather, we are equally engaged and concerned with issues in contemporary Iran as we are with medieval Persian literature; with the impact of structural adjustments in Egypt and Turkey as with the history of the Ottoman Empire.

In addition to our efforts to facilitate coverage of the Middle East in the University curricula, the CMES also organizes a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, including a rich interdisciplinary lecture and film series, faculty-driven colloquia and conferences, grant competitions, and several post-doctoral research programs.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at the University of California at Berkeley enhances awareness of the Middle East and of its diverse peoples and cultures. The center promotes both specialized knowledge and public understanding of this crucial area of the world, which includes the Arab states, Turkey, Iran, and Israel.

For many years the U.S. Department of Education has recognized UC Berkeley as one of the most significant universities in the United States in terms of Middle East area offerings. Drawing on all the resources of the Berkeley campus, CMES has become the most important sources of information about the Middle East and the Islamic World in the Western United States.