Middle East and North Africa Studies, Minor

Director: Enaya Othman, Ph.D.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) encompasses the region from Mauritania in the west to Iran and Central Asia in the east, the Mediterranean in the north and Saharan and Sahelian Africa in the south. The MENA Studies program engages one of the most strategic regions of the world and its diasporas linguistically, culturally, historically, theologically, politically, socially and economically. The program utilizes interdisciplinary approaches to provide students with holistic knowledge about the home of the three Abrahamic religions and the world's oldest civilizations. Students majoring or minoring in MENA Studies will acquire the skills to employ their learning in many careers including public policy, diplomacy, international business, national security, journalism, law, humanitarian work, public health or social work. Its learning objectives include:

  • Develop critical and analytical research skills to investigate topics about the region from an interdisciplinary perspective applying quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method approaches.
  • Gain knowledge of the region's geography, cultures, populations, and languages.
  • Develop functional proficiency in Arabic.
  • Understand theoretical approaches that informs historical, cultural, political, and cultural discourses.
  • Understand the transaction of cross-cultural exchange toward developing appreciation of cultures.
  • Explore the cultural intersections of gender and race.
  • Raise awareness of and interest in global and religious diversity, human well-being, and social justice thereby helping to develop students as global citizens for the future.

Students majoring or minoring in MENA are encouraged to minor in the Arabic Language and Culture Studies.