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:

Samer Shehata

Dr. Samer Shehata, Assistant Professor in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, responded to questions in a May 28 live dial

Dr. Samer Shehata, Assistant Professor in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, responded to questions in a May 28 live dialogue on IslamOnline.net. The subject of the dialogue, "The Syria-Israel Peace Talks: Breaking the Iran-led Block?", prompted many provocative questions, and Dr. Shehata answered queries on such topics as Turkey's role as mediator, the "marriage of convenience" between Syria and Iran, why the talks occurred when they did, and what might be their outcome. ...
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CCAS Mourns the Loss of Dr. George Atiyeh, Dr. Andrew Vincent, Dr. Louis Cantori, and Ambassador Lucius Battle

Dr. George Atiyeh, a respected member of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies' Advisory Board from the early 1980s until 1997, passed away in April after a long illness. Dr. Atiyeh was born in Amioun, Lebanon, and received a B.A. and an M.A. from the American University of Beirut. In 1951, he moved to the U.S. to attend the University of Chicago, where he earned a Ph.D. in Oriental languages and literature. After teaching at the University of Puerto Rico for 13 years, Dr. Atiyeh was offered the eminent position of head of the Library of Congress's Near East Section. He occupied the position for nearly thirty years, until his retirement in 1996. During his tenure at the Library, Dr. Atiyeh expanded the Near East collection from 15,000 to more than 250,000 volumes and worked tirelessly to promote greater understanding of the Arab world in the West. His efforts to do so earned him the National Order of the Cedar, one of the highest honors given by the Lebanese government. Dr. Atiyeh also published a number of books and edited volumes, including Al-Kindi: Philosopher of the Arabs (Oxford University Press, 1968) and The Book in the Islamic World: The Written Word and Communication in the Middle East (The Library of Congress and the State University of New York Press, 1995). CCAS Director Dr. Michael C ...
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Israeli and Palestinian Histories Explored in Spring Outreach Workshop

Thirty-two area educators gathered April 28 for a CCAS outreach workshop entitled "Israelis and Palestinians: Shared History, Entangled Narratives." Zeina Seikaly, CCAS Director of Educational Outreach, welcomed the attendees and introduced the day's agenda. Four presenters spoke about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as its social and political dimensions. Ms. Seikaly also screened the documentary Encounter Point, which focuses on the work of Israelis and Palestinians toward dialogue and reconciliation. Dr. Sherene Seikaly, Qatar Postdoctoral Fellow at CCAS, gave a presentation entitled "Beyond What Went Wrong: Palestine Before 1948." She began with a discussion of Palestine under Ottoman rule in the 1870s, when its residents included a majority of Sunni Arab Palestinians, a minority of Palestinian Christians, and a small minority of indigenous Jews. Dr. Seikaly then covered the policies of the British Mandate (1918-1948), which was committed to the facilitation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. She traced the various waves of European Jewish immigration to Palestine beginning in the 1890s in response to the rise of Zionism and growing European anti-Semitism. Finally, Dr. Seikaly pointed out that while the categories of Arab and Jew are today mutually exclusive, they have not always been so and were in fact made such by Zionism and Arab nationalism. Thus, the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not an age-old religious struggle, but ...
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CCAS Scholarship Program Featured in Qatar Newspapers

Al-Arab's article, entitled "Americans Compete to Study Arabic at Qatar University," discusses the cooperative relationship between CCAS and Qatar University (QU) that enables American students to study Arabic in Doha. The piece describes the Arabic for Non-Native Speakers Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at QU, of which Dr. Abdullah Abdel Rahman is the Director. At Georgetown, Dr. Samer Shehata heads the CCAS scholarship program for study at QU, which has awarded 20 scholarships to American students over the past four years. The article also discusses the increased demand for Arabic study in the West and in the U.S. in particular over the last few years. It quotes Dr. Shehata as describing the program as important for increasing the understanding of the Arab world in the U.S. The photo includes three American students currently studying Arabic at QU as well as Dr. Abdel Rahman and Dr. Shehata. Those pictured are (from left to right): Macey Stapleton (B.A. Duke University, 2007), Dr. Abdullah Abdel Rahman, Kate Eyerman (B.A. Northwestern University, 2006, Georgetown M.A. student), Dr. Samer Shehata, Tyson Patros (B.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2007.) Al-Sharq’s article is entitled "Dr. Abdullah is Appointed Director of the Arabic Language Program.” Dr. Abdullah Abdel Rahman was recently appointed Director of the Arabic for Non-Native Speakers Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Qatar University ...