January 30, 2017
Since its inception more than four decades ago, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies has remained steadfast in its promotion of well-informed dialogue and mutual understanding between the US and the Arab world. The Center has carried out its educational mission with a known commitment to academic rigor and intellectual integrity, and through factual contributions to the public discourse on Arab affairs. The Center moreover cultivates an inclusive and welcoming environment for students and scholars with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, and voices its strict rejection of all forms of prejudice, censorship, or exclusion.
Recent political developments have struck at the heart of our founding principles, and have sown understandable fear and uncertainty among the members of our community. The noxious political rhetoric of the electoral campaign has invigorated unacceptable patterns of harassment, discrimination, and intolerance. We also witness with great concern rising censorship and encroachments on the basic academic freedoms of our faculty and students, and denounce in no uncertain terms the administration’s appalling ban on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.
We are currently consulting with the Georgetown University administration and other academic institutions to recognize the implications of the new political realities, and to better address the needs and concerns of our community, especially its international members.
We take this opportunity to reiterate our unwavering commitment to the founding principles of the CCAS, and to pledge our support for the individual rights of all members of our broad community, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
We assure our students, scholars, staff, and board members that we will continue to stand together as a community of mutual respect and care, and to oppose those who would question our shared commitment to intellectual freedom, social justice, and human dignity. With your support, the CCAS will remain an all-inclusive academic home, where all enjoy equal opportunity to learn and reflect without restrictions.
Osama Abi-Mershed—Director, CCAS
Fida Adely—Academic Director, MAAS Program
Laurie Fitch—Chair, CCAS Board of Advisors
CCAS Faculty, Visiting Scholars, and Staff