Outreach Programs
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The Middle East Center Outreach Program offers K-12 educators and the wider public in the Greater Philadelphia area access to a 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 region. We are available to cater to the different needs and interests of educators, the media, religious congregations, and the general public.

If you are interested in using our resources, scheduling a workshop or have a guest speaker come to your institution please reach out for our Program Coordinator, Anna Viden or call (215) 898-6335.

Services and Resources for Educators and the Public

  • Workshops and Teacher Trainings

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. To stay informed on upcoming workshops and teachers trainings visit our events calendar or join our listserv.

  • Speakers Bureau

The Speakers Bureau provides K-12 schools in the greater Philadelphia area with the opportunity to receive free lectures from advanced graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania. Our speakers come from a wide variety disciplines and offer expertise in such fields as politics, culture, religion, art and gender issues related to the Middle East and North Africa. The Middle East Center is happy to work with educators to tailor a session that meets the needs of your classroom or organization. On average, we are able to arrange up to 10 Speakers Bureau lectures each school year. 

If you are a K-12 teacher who would like to book a speaker to come to your school, please email us at mec-info@sas.upenn.edu. In your email please include your name, school, the age group you serve and subjects you are looking to cover. Requests are filled pending availability of resources. Access to this program is limited so please inquire today.

The Middle East Center reserves the right to approve or reject any request based on availability of resources and speakers, and it makes no guarantee regarding the approval or timing of request.

  • Materials

We have an extensive video lending library, which includes documentaries and fiction films on a wide range of topics in countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Film can be barrowed form out Media Library for a two week period and must be picked up in person. Additionally, we have an outstanding collection of books and teaching materials that we can loan out to instructors to supplement teaching material on the Middle East. For more information our Library. For inquires or requests people contact our Program Coordinator, Anna Viden, at aviden@sas.upenn.edu

  • 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 aviden@sas.upenn.edu