Welcome to CCAS

The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies is the only academic center in the United States focusing exclusively on the Arab world, and it has been doing so with distinction since 1975.

The Master of Arts in Arab Studies (MAAS) offers a comprehensive interdisciplinary study of the region.

CCAS hosts a rich calendar of public lectures, film screenings, and cultural events.

CCAS provides workshops, curriculum support, and other resources on the MENA for K-14 educators.


picture of Washington Islamic Center

The Legacy of A. Joseph Howar

CCAS benefactor A. Joseph Howar was the catalyst behind the Washington Islamic Center, the first mosque in the nation’s capital. Read his remarkable story here.

Syrian composer and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh performs at the Kennedy Center

For the Love of Music

For more than twenty years, MAAS alum David Chambers has been using his Arabic language skills and experience in the entertainment industry to bring Arab musicians to Washington audiences.

Flanagan and his dog Daphne show off one of Flanagan's latest quilts.

Quilting the Arabesque

Read about how MAAS grad Tighe Flanagan takes inspiration from ancient Islamic designs to quilt kaleidoscopic works of art.

Collage of three posters from the PPPA

Preserving a Genre Under Duress

An Arabic-translation assignment 30 years ago ignited a lifelong passion for MAAS alum Dan Walsh, now curator of the world’s largest archive of posters on Palestine.