Center for Contemporary Arab Studies - Center for Contemporary Arab Studies | Georgetown University

Center for Contemporary Arab Studies

The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University directs the nation’s only Master of Arts in Arab Studies (MAAS) program. Our rigorous Arabic language training and multidisciplinary approach draw on the expertise of an academically diverse faculty. CCAS also hosts a rich calendar of public events, a Department of Education Title VI-supported outreach program for K-14 educators, and a growing multimedia and publications program.

CCAS News:

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CCAS Announces Winners of its Oxtoby Essay Prize

CCAS is pleased to announce the co-winners of the Willard J. Oxtoby essay prize for outstanding essays by a Georgetown graduate student on the question of Palestine and Middle East peace. Congratulations goes to Ashley Bowen of the program in Communication, Culture, & Technology, and Chrystie Flournoy Swiney of the Department of Government. Dr. Willard Oxtoby was Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Toronto's Trinity College and served as founding director of its Centre for the Study of Religion from 1976 to 1981. Throughout his life, he was deeply concerned with the situation of the Palestinians and was a strong advocate of a peaceful and just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This award is given in his memory by his family and friends. Ms. Bowen's paper is entitled "Bomb the Wall: Graffiti as Resistance in Palestine." For an abstract of the paper, please see below. Ms. Bowen is in her second year in the Communication, Culture, & Technology program at Georgetown. She obtained her undergraduate degree in art history from Reed College, where she focused on overtly political art. Her current research interests emphasize understanding how individuals use non-traditional media to create and register their identity. Additionally, she serves on the editorial staff for the CCT journal gnovis and volunteers at the Newseum. Ms. Swiney's paper is entitled "The Socialization and De-Socialization of ...
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Former CCAS Visiting Scholar Publishes Paper on U.S. Democracy Promotion in the Middle East

Zoé Nautré, a Ph.D. candidate at the Freie Universität Berlin and a visiting scholar at CCAS during the 2007-2008 academic year, recently published a paper with the German political foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung entitled "U.S. Interests in the Arab World: Democracy Promotion by American NGOs." ...
MAAS Student Makes Film About Life in Doha

MAAS Student Makes Film About Life in Doha

MAAS student Kate Eyerman wanted to properly document the 2007-2008 academic year she spent studying Arabic at Qatar University (QU) in Doha, so she and her roommate, Macey Stapleton, recently created a short film about their experience as students at the university and as residents of the country's capital city. Please see below for Kate's introduction to the film, then click the link at the bottom of the page to view it. To learn more about the CCAS-administered 10-month scholarship program at QU, click here. Zain, by Kate Eyerman My roommate and fellow scholarship student, Macey Stapleton, and I created this short film, entitled Zain, during our last week in Doha for our graduation ceremony at the Arabic for Non-Native Speakers Program at Qatar University. We attempted to portray our experiences at the university, but we also aimed to depict characteristics of life specific to the city, such as the falcon shop. I also garnered a certain level of fame and new friends in the souq as a result of my donkey-riding escapade. Each viewing of Zain reminds me of the hilarity of that situation as well as all my collective experiences in Doha. The film's title is a word from the Qatari dialect meaning "good" or "okay," though it comes from an Arabic root meaning "beautiful." It's heard everywhere in Qatar. My year in ...
CCAS Organizes Teacher Trip to Morocco

CCAS Organizes Teacher Trip to Morocco

From July 27 to August 11, 2008, twelve educators got the experience of a lifetime by touring six cities and towns in Morocco: Casablanca, Marrakech, Fez, Chefchouen, Asilah, and Tangiers. Highlights of the trip included a tour of the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, a visit to the famed Djemaa el-Fna square in Marrakech, a homestay experience in Fez, an herbal/medicinal workshop in Chefchouen, and attending the international culture festival in Asilah. Zeina Azzam Seikaly, Director of Educational Outreach at CCAS, and Alex Safos, a MAAS alum and director of the Middle East and North Africa programs at Global Learning Across Borders (Global LAB) led the trip. Global LAB is an organization that aims to educate and inspire people to become “responsible and committed global citizens” via global travel. It accomplishes this through such endeavors as cultural immersion and community service programs for young adults as well as global studies professional development programs for educators ...
MAAS Students' Art Displayed at American University's Katzen Arts Center

MAAS Students’ Art Displayed at American University’s Katzen Arts Center

MAAS student Jessica Devaney and 2008 MAAS graduate Natalia Sancha Garcia were featured in a summer art exhibit, "Multiplicitocracy," at American University's Katzen Arts Center May 31 through July 27. Jessica's documentary film with Mary Andreolli, Beauty in the Uprising: Israeli and Palestinian Art as Resistance, was on display, as was Natalia's photography of the Middle East and the Maghreb. Descriptions of their work are below. Jessica Devaney/Mary Andreolli The documentary Beauty in the Uprising: Israeli and Palestinian Art as Resistance was filmed in the winter of 2005 and 2006 while Devaney was living in East Jerusalem conducting fieldwork for her graduate thesis on feminist peacebuilding efforts in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The film explores the ways art can function as resistance in a context of conflict. Palestinian and Israeli artists discuss their work, their motivation/inspiration, and possibilities they envision for intersections between art and resistance. The film asks questions such as: Can art affect change? Do the arts possess any unique tools for resistance, reconciliation, and peacebuilding? Incorporating mediums from ceramics to traditional dance to theater to poetry to painting, Beauty in the Uprising puts a variety of artists, art therapists, and directors of arts organizations in dialogue with each other, begins to answer some of these difficult questions, and leaves the viewer with yet more questions to ponder. Natalia Sancha Garcia ...