Useful links, lesson plans, language learning resources, and much more on the Middle East and North Africa.
At the Middle East Center we recognize our position as a meeting point of different disciplines, departments, and constituents, which allows us to facilitate learning and research opportunities.
Media Library
MEC offers an extensive collection of videos and DVDs for free use by schools, groups, and individuals in Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley region.
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The Middle East Center's (MEC) mission is to raise awareness about the unique circumstances of the Middle East and North Africa through implementing K-14 educational outreach programming, special events and academic lectures relating to the region.

The MMES Degree Program

The interdisciplinary MMES degree program is designed to allow students, both majors and minors, to specialize in the Modern Middle East as a region of the world by combining course work using both social, scientific, and humanistic approaches, underpinned by relevant language skills.


NOTE: For all students looking to declare a major or minor in MMES during this period of remote learning due to Covid-19, please fill in the attached electronic Major/Minor declaration form and email it to Interim Director Dr. John Ghazvinian at Electronic signatures will be accepted.

Alumni on the Major

“The Modern Middle Eastern Studies major provided me an exciting, multifaceted lens through which to view a region that has interested me throughout my college career. The interdisciplinary approach offered me the unique opportunity to think about the contemporary Middle East in a nuanced fashion...  More >


The Modern Middle East Studies (MMES) is an interdisciplinary major and provides an education that can lead to various exciting and prestigious careers. MMES alumni have joined and pioneered the government and private sectors, and they have also excelled in the arts and medicine... More >

The MEC provides K-12 teachers, as well as the wider public, access to the multitude of resources on the Middle East available through the University of Pennsylvania. The Midde East Center has an incredible wealth of films in its film library, free to rent for all Philadelphia area educators.

For example, the 2011 Golden Globe-winning Iranian film "A Separation" can show us the universality of family stresses no matter where we live across the globe.  Here are three sets of questions that teachers can use for students' (grades 6-12) viewing of "A Separation":

1) How does the possibility of divoce affect Simrin's and Nader's lives? How does their situation help me to think about divorce in my family's life?

2) How has Nader's family's coming to live in the hosue affected day-to-day life? What would if be like if my grandparent came to live with my family? Or, what is it like?

3) How has religion affected the idea of divorce for Simrin and Nader? Does my religion make a difference in my everyday life? How?



Rethinking Narratives of China and the Middle East

The Silk Roads...

Congratulations to Mina E. Khalil and Gareth Smail, the recipients of this year's Janet Lee Stevens Award for Arabic and Islamic Studies!

The Janet Lee Stevens Award is...

Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship Recipients!

Academic Year FLAS:


Star Saudi comedian Hisham Fageeh, best known for his YouTube channel (especially the video No Women No Drive) and for the 2016 film Barakah Meets Barakah, now available on Netflix, ...