A New Year, and New Faces, at CCAS

The offices and common areas of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies are once again abuzz with students, faculty and staff now that the 2007-08 academic year is in full swing. CCAS welcomes 31 new MAAS students this fall — the largest-ever incoming class. This academic year also sees the return of Dr. Michael Hudson, Saif Ghobash Professor of Arab Studies, to the CCAS directorship.

CCAS has bid farewell to staff members and welcomed their replacements over the last two months. Dr. Laurie King-Irani stepped into the position of Multimedia and Publications Editor in August as Laila Shereen Sakr left Washington, DC to pursue an innovative graduate degree in multimedia theory and design at UC-Santa Cruz. Formerly an adjunct professor in the MAAS program, King-Irani holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Indiana University-Bloomington (2001). She is a former editor of Middle East Report, and has edited and produced web and print publications in Lebanon, Canada, and the United States.

Ms. Hala Shah joined CCAS as Information Officer in September 2007 following Greg Kruzcek’s departure for Lebanon, where he is pursuing graduate studies in International Relations at the American University of Beirut. Ms. Shah holds a BA in Journalism from New York University, with a Minor in Middle Eastern Studies. She previously served as the president and editor of Aftab Magazine at NYU, and interned at Beliefnet.com.