The Middle East Center Outreach Program at the University of Pennsylvania is uniquely situated to offer K-12 educators and the wider public in the Greater Philadelphia area access to the multitude of resources available at Penn. Our outreach activities reflect the diverse nature of the Middle East, and cover a wide array of religions, languages, civilizations, countries, and contemporary issues in the Middle East. We are available to cater to the different needs and interests of educators, the media, religious congregations, and the general public. Although the MEC takes no official stance on any controversial topics, we provide a public forum for dialogue on issues related to the region. To be added to our list serve for educators follow this link. Once you become a member you will be keep up to date on upcoming workshops, events, programming, etc, geared specifically for educators.

Services and Resources for Educators and the Public

  • Workshops

The Middle East Center offers a number of workshops for teachers, either independently or in collaboration with other organizations such as the World Affairs Council, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and other National Resource Centers at Penn. All participants receive information packets with such resources as maps, background materials and articles, timelines, and suggested lesson plans.

  • Speakers Bureau

One of Penn's most important assets is our company of outstanding graduate students, who are willing to come to your school or event to talk about the Middle East. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines, with expertise in such fields as politics, culture, religion, and gender issues. With Penn's graduate students, we can tailor a session specifically to your needs in the classroom, place of worship, or organization. In order to facilitate scheduling, please call well in advance to arrange for a speaker to come to your classroom or event.

  • Materials

We have an extensive video lending library, which includes documentaries on a wide range of topics and feature films from nineteen countries. An annotated list is on our web site. We are happy to offer recommendations for films which are appropriate for your class or group; just give us a call. In addition, we have an outstanding collection of books and teaching materials that we can loan or photocopy for you to help supplement your event or classroom teaching on the Middle East.

  • Consulting Services

We are available to consult with K-12 educators and the public on all needs or issues. Our staff can help teachers locate appropriate written and audiovisual materials to strengthen their units on the Middle East, or help provide background information on a particular topic for members of the public who would like to learn more about the Middle East.

  • Listservs

We maintain an email listserv for teachers and the interested public, through which we periodically publicize events and programs. The listserv will notify you of upcoming events on campus and in the Philadelphia area, new and useful resources for the classroom and the community, professional development opportunities for teachers, and other news items of interest. Email to join our listservs.

For more information on our outreach activities, please contact us at (215) 898-6335, or e-mail: