News & Events
section1 center image

The Middle East Center at Penn sponsors and supports programs and initiatives across the disciplines and professional schools, and runs a dynamic outreach program in the Delaware Valley. Faculty and students at Penn are also active and prominent in the field of Middle East studies, making significant and highly regarded contributions to scholarly output in their areas of interest. We will continue to update news of the Center's activities and highlight the achievements of our faculty and students here.

Aug
16
Dr. Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher and Dr. Jamal Elias K-12 Educators Islam and Muslims occupy a prominent place in US media and politics today, though much of this attention has been negative. An Islamophobic tenor across the US has resulted in a trend of discriminatory behavior against Muslims: zoning boards that prevent mosques and Muslim community centers from being built, an increase in reported hate crimes, as well as a significant increase in bias-based bullying in schools. This interactive workshop is designed to shed light on issues affecting Muslims (and those perceived to be Muslim) in the US today. The 3 hour workshop is geared towards teachers who are curious about Islam and/or who wish to  better understand bias-based bullying and how to confront Islamophobic bias in the classroom and beyond. RSVP by emailing mec-info@sas.upenn.edu. Facilitators: Dr. Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher is a faculty member in the Penn Graduate School of education. Her research and work in Psychology and Education have focused largely on immigrant populations from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.  Dr. Jamal Elias is a professor in the Religious Studies Department at Penn focusing on Islamic thought, history, Sufism, Islam and modernity, as well as visual and material culture in the Middle East and South Asia.
9:30am
LGBT Center, 3907 Spruce St, Philadelphia PA
Aug
23
Dr. Salam Al Kuntar K-12 Educators At this K-12 teacher training, Dr. Salam Al Kuntar will present the work of Penn Museum’s Cultural Heritage Center on Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq Project (SHOSI), an internationally recognized project which protects Syrian and Iraqi cultural heritage by empowering the Syrians and Iraqis to preserve their own cultural artifacts and sites.  Dr. Al Kuntar was featured as a National Geographic’s Emerging Explorer for her work in protecting Syria’s cultural heritage.   After the talk, teachers will participate in a guided gallery exploration using object-based learning strategies to explore and study real Turkish cultural treasures in The Golden Age of King Midas exhibition.  This event is free and open to K-12 educators. To register click here.
8:30am
Penn Museum 3260 South Street Philadelphia, PA
Aug
26
Dr. Erika Gilson Turkish Language Educators The Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania is planning to bring together faculty teaching Turkish at institutions of higher learning to discuss best practices in Turkish teaching. There will be some presentations but the main objective is to have a pedagogical conversation among the participants. Lunch will be provided. RSVP by emailing mec-info@sas.upenn.edu. About the Facilitator: Dr. Erika Gilson taught Turkish and Ottoman Turkish for the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University for 26 years before retiring in 2014. Committed to teaching Middle Eastern languages, she was a founding member of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) and the American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages. Dr. Gilson is currently working on a database to study the effectiveness of writing as an enabling activity for language learning and on the Turkic Notations in Afanasii Nikitin's Voyage Beyond the Three Seas. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
12:00pm
Fisher - Bennett Hall Room 222, 3340 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
Sep
26
Join the Middle East Center for a lunch workshop on internship and career opportunities in Washington, D.C that utilize a major or minor in Modern Middle East studies (MMES).  Guest Speakers Include: Abigail Denburg, Penn Alum, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Abigail Denburg currently serves as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, handling a variety of portfolios, including political-military affairs, the Middle East and Africa.  Prior to this position, Abigail served as Staff Assistant to the Under Secretary.  Abigail graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude, where she double majored in Diplomatic History and Modern Middle Eastern Studies. Abigail will talk how she utilized her MMES major to get the most out of her time at Penn and how she used it to further a political career. Dr. Martinez, Director of Penn in Washington Dr. Martinez is the executive director of the Penn in Washington program, which offers a semester and a summer program in Washington DC. PIW also hosts events on campus during the academic year that introduce students to alumni working in Washington, and Dr. Martinez is a year-round resource to students interested in internships and careers in Washington. Dr. Martinez teaches the core course in the PIW Semester program. More information can be found at https://piw.sas.upenn.edu/.  Lunch will be provided. 
12:00pm
311 Griski Room, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce St.