In the summer of 1965 the University of Pennsylvania set up a center for the study of the modern Near East. The Center formed a part of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and looked to add a contemporary dimension to Penn’s programs in ancient and medieval studies of the Middle East.
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Today, the Middle East Center's mission remains raising awareness of the unique circumstances of the region through research and instructional programs. The MEC has adopted an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Middle East, and we offer a wide range of educational opportunities to support this endeavor.