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Janna Aladdin

Janna AladdinGraduation Year: 2016

Major: Middle Eastern Studies

Graduated with honors

1. Why did you choose Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers?

I was always interested in the history of the Middle East, particularly Ottoman history and was sold on the major after taking both introductory courses - the History of the Modern Middle East with Dr. Toby Jones and Introduction to the Middle East. Furthermore, I knew that I wanted to spend my college career learning different classes and traveling which is a prominent part of the MESP.

2. What did you learn/find valuable from doing the MES program?

One of the most important features of the MES program is its emphasis on language whether that language be Turkish, Arabic, or Farsi. This offers students the an opportunity to learn about another culture and different histories, access to a whole of world of books and archives, and the ability to travel to new places. The program is truly interdisciplinary and allows students to have a focus regionally while delving into different disciplines including religion, history, anthropology, critical theory, and women's and gender studies.

3. What were some of your favorite aspects of MES at Rutgers (favorite course; favorite professor, favorite project/trip, etc.)?

I absolutely loved the ability to work on research outside of the classroom whether for a particular professor or for my own thesis it allowed me to build a deeper connection with my studies. My favorite experience was being able to attend the Middle Eastern Studies Association annual meeting in Denver, with support from the CMES, which allowed me to meet renowned scholars and to present my research at a prominent conference.

4. Why do you think that studying the Middle East region is important in today's world?

Given the drastically changing politics and landscape of the region, it is integral to study, in depth, the complex history and current events in a multifaceted fashion. Historically and in the current moment, the region has been analyzed through misinformation and prevailing orientalism, therefore it is even more pressing to study the Middle East through a critical and interdisciplinary approach.

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Yasin Bennane

Yasin Bennane

Graduation Year: 2018

Major: Middle Eastern Studies & Political Science

Minor: Arabic

Interests: The Refugee Crisis, Western-Sahara Conflict, Middle East and North African Politics and Culture

Read more: Yasin Bennane

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Majoring in Middle Eastern Studies can take you where you want to go!

The Middle Eastern Studies Program (MESP) is an interdisciplinary area studies program, comprising faculty members drawn from the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences within the School of Arts and Sciences. It offers a major and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies, as well as courses on the history, politics, cultures and religions of the Middle East. The MESP also organizes and sponsors a range of social, cultural, and educational events related to the Middle East, in conjunction with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), ensuring an informative and immersive environment at Rutgers to study the region.

Students majoring or minoring in the program will benefit from a wide array of Middle Eastern Studies resources at Rutgers. There are 91 core courses which fulfill non-language credit for the major and minor, which are regularly offered by MESP itself, the Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL), Art History, History, Jewish Studies, Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion. In addition, MESP also cooperates closely with AMESALL, the Department of Jewish Studies, and the Armenian Studies Program to offer instruction up to the advanced level in a number of languages of the region, such as Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. In total, Rutgers-New Brunswick regularly offers a total of 152 courses of interest to students of the Middle East, including 32 language courses.

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The Middle Eastern Studies Program is part of the School of Arts and Sciences

As a Middle Eastern Studies major in the School of Arts and Sciences, you’ll have full access to a liberal arts education that spans 34 programs for undergraduates. You will acquire both the specialized knowledge of the field you choose to study in depth, and broad knowledge of the world from the renowned scholar-teachers at Rutgers. You’ll graduate ready to meet contemporary challenges in your workplace, in your hometown, and in the global community.

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Contact Us

Lucy Stone Hall, Rooms B316
54 Joyce Kilmer Avenue
Piscataway, NJ 08854


P  (848) 445-8444/5
F  (848) 445-8446
mesp@rci.rutgers.edu