News & Upcoming Events

Read about the April 10th USC Dornsife Middle East Studies Program Inaugural Farhang Foundation Iranian Studies Initiative Conference here!

If you missed the Iranian Studies Initiative Conference, watch the morning and afternoon panels featuring our esteemed participants Amy Malek, Nasrin Rahimieh, Kurosh ValaNejad, Linda Komaroff, Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Hamid Naficy, and Neda Maghbouleh.

USC Dornsife Middle East Studies Program and the Farhang Foundation Present the Inaugural Farhang Foundation Iranian Studies Initiative Conference

Friday, April 10th

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP IS CLOSED to the Scriptorium luncheon and performance and evening reception in Town and Gown.

For RSVP to the morning or afternoon panels, please email

Academic Open House and Faculty Meet & Greet

Thursday, March 26th, at 11:30 a.m. in SOS

Join us for a faculty meet and greet, free Persian food, and handy, informative brochures on all Fall 2015 course offerings! 

Visit us on Facebook here!

Iran Roundtable Discussion

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Join us for the second installment in the USC Middle East Studies Program Spotlight Series! Iranian nuclear development experts Muhammad Sahimi and Najdemin Meshkati of USC Viterbi School of Engineering will be discussing the history of Iranian nuclear development as well as recent negotiations with the West. Food will be served!

Visit us on Facebook here!


Tuesday, March 3rd 2015 at 7PM (Doors open at 6:30pm)

IT'S BETTTER TO JUMP! A Special Film Screening and Discussion with filmmakers Patrick A. Stewart, Gina M. Mangelone, and Mouna M. Stewart.

Synopsis: The ancient city of Akka, along the northern coast of Israel, is the home to a melting pot of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Baha’i. For centuries, its surrounding forty-foot sea wall has protected its citizens and repelled invaders. As the Old City endures harsh economic pressures and vast social changes, Palestinian families who have lived here for generations are being pressured to leave. Despite the daily challenges they face, the city’s youth – sons and daughters of fishermen, school teachers, and artists – continue a perilous inter-generational rite of passage expressing individuality and the right to control their destiny: jumping from the high wall into the tempestuous sea below.

Co-sponsored by the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

For more information, please go to:

Or visit us on Facebook!


Past Events: 

Monday, November 10, 2014  4-6pm, SOS 250 

Migration and "illegality" in Tangiers, or Who is Afraid of Africans?  A lecture by professer Majid Hannoum 




Thursday, October 23, 2014 12 to 2pm TCC 450

Spotlight on Egypt: Presentations and discussion with Professor Paul Amar, Professor Sherene Seikaly, and Ph.D. candidate Laila Sakr


Monday, September 29, 2014 12 to 1pm Doheney Memorial Library Room 244
A Middle East with No Minorities?  Asking the Tough Questions

Dr. Paul Haidostian, President of Beirut's Haigazian University in conversation with Dr. Laurie Brand, Director of USC Middle East Studies Program



Wednesday, September 17, 2014  4:30-6:00pm  SOS 250

MDES Welcome Back & Book Presentation

Meet Middle East Studies Program faculty members and fellow Trojans passionate about the study of the Middle East.  Find out about what the program has to offer and hear about Director Laurie Brand's new book, "Official Stories:  Politics and National Narratives in Egypt and Algeria," now out with Stanford University Press. 


Wednesday, September 3, 2014  12:00-2:00pm  TCC 351


Presentations and discussion with Professor Sarah Gualtieri & Professor Fayez Hammad.

First in the "Spotlight On" series, this presentation and following discussion will focus on the political and historical context of the war.  Professor Sarah Gualtieri, Departments of History and American Studies and Ethnicity, will explore the legacy of occupation and the economics of de-development in Gaza.  Professor Fayez Hammad, Department of Political Science and School of International Relations, will discuss the political and strategic causes of the repeated escalation of the conflict.


MDES Students Receive Honors Recognition

Congratulations to USC Global Scholar - Nora Pearl Snyder, Spring 2014 graduate (Middle East Studies/International Relations)

Congratulations to USC Renaissance Scholar - Adeel Mohammadi, Spring 2014 graduate (Biological Sciences/Religion; Economics/Middle East Studies)


Photo Contest Winners!


Emma Katz won First Prize with the 2 photos below:

1st Photo:

While I studied abroad in Amman, Jordan, I took this picture of a staircase I discovered while exploring one of my favorite neighborhoods.  The staircase led up a a steep hill (Amman was originally built on seven hills) and cut between two halves of a famous art gallery.  I'm not sure who painted it, but it was a beautiful, vibrant discovery- the kind Amman is full of.


2nd Photo:

One of the most memorable trips I took while in Jordan was a journey north of Amman, to the Roman ruins at Umm Qais.  The ruins themselves were impressive, but the view from the hilly top of Umm Qais was spectacular.  From this site, I stood in Jordan while looking out on Israel, the Golan Heights, and Syria simultaneously.  It was an extraordinary experience to see the countries I have spent time studying become physically present. 



Nesma Tawil won Second Prize for her photo below:


"Gezi Park Protest". Istanbul. (Summer 2013)                                                      


Recently added: "Photo of a boy in Al Za'atari Syrian refugee camp" (Mafraq, Jordan).                               




Congratulations to the 5 Middle East Studies students who participated in the Model Arab League! 

On March 14-16, five delegates from the Middle East Studies Program participated in the Model Arab League in La Verne, California. They represented the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Delegate Adela Jones received an "honorable award for representation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the Council on Palestinian Affairs and Crisis Committee." Congratulations to all our delegates!



Professor Robert Springborg on "The Field Marshal and the Future of Civil and Military Relations in Egypt"

Click here to read the Daily Trojan article covering the lecture.

 Click here to read the USC News article covering the lecture.


  • USC Middle East Studies Program
  • Taper Hall 449
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0151
  • Images courtesy of Ed Ou Photography and USC Dornsife Office of Overseas Studies