Contours of the Middle East and North Africa

Investigate the opportunities and challenges of a dynamic region.

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New for the 2018-2019 academic year!

Contours of the Middle East and North Africa seeks to expose students to a broad and balanced range of the socio-economic, political, and cultural developments that are transforming the region today. Change is vibrant, but uneven across the region. Issues that framed the debate in the past such as the Arab-Israeli Dispute, while no less important, are frequently being replaced on the agenda by issues more important to the new power centers that have emerged in the Gulf of Arabia. As well, the growing role of Russia, Turkey, and Iran, and the disengagement by the U.S. in the broader region will be explored.

Contours will present a series of topical discussions, which will feature presentations by practitioners with expertise in their fields. Students will be asked to read background articles and studies for each session, as well as volunteer to help organize and shape the debate. A culminating project will consist of writing a background paper/briefing meant to inform and advise a new U.S. President and his/her team on opportunities and risks the new Administration faces in dealing with this region.

The program is led by Danny Sebright, an expert in Middle Eastern affairs who has served for decades in the public and private sectors.

2018-2019 Program Schedule