Category: News

Global Fridays – Fall 2014 Film Series

September 12th, 2014 in Events, News

Promoting Cultural Understanding Through Film

This Film Series is cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Europe, Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, Middle East and North African Studies, Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, and the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature.

Fall 2014 Film Series

First event of the Year! Afghanistan Reconstruction

August 28th, 2014 in Events, News

Please join us for our first event of the year, “Preserving Gains in Afghanistan: What Will Happen to the $100 Billion in U.S. Investment in Reconstruction?.” We are pleased to invite Deputy Inspector General Gene Aloise of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to talk about U.S. aid efforts in Afghanistan and SIGAR’s efforts to combat waste and corruption.

This event is sponsored by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies, the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies, and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations at Boston University.

Free and open to the public. Click flyer below for details.

SIGAR flyer Final


The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Report Published

April 8th, 2014 in News

The Institute for Iraqi Studies at Boston University (IIS) is pleased to announce the completion of the January 2014 workshop report, “The Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Contiguous States.” The workshop, of the same name, was sponsored by IIS and the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies (BCARS), with support from SMSC and the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs (CURA). The January 31, 2014 workshop focused on the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on the contiguous states, including Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.  In addition, there were presentations on international law, sexual violence and the implications for Palestinian refugees.

The workshop report has been published on Amazon. Alternatively, you may download the report here.

Upcoming Event: The Struggle for Iraq’s Future

March 19th, 2014 in Events, News

The Institute for Iraqi Studies at Boston University is pleased to invite Zaid Al-Ali to present on his new book ” “The Struggle for Iraq’s Future: How Corruption, Incompetence and Sectarianism Have Undermined Democracy.” The event is open to the public and will commence at 4:30 with tea and cookies. A reception will follow the Q&A.

Please RSVP to Mikaela Ringquist at


Zaid Al-Ali_Flyer

Upcoming Event: A Conversation with the Iraqi Ambassador to the UN

February 5th, 2014 in Events, News

The Institute for Iraqi Studies at Boston University is pleased to host “A Conversation with the Iraqi Ambassador to the UN” this coming Tuesday, February 11 at 5 pm (tea served at 4:30). This is a unique opportunity to converse directly with the Ambassador during a transformative period for Iraq and the greater Middle East. Free and open to the public (students *highly* encouraged to attend!). More details on the flyer below.



Arab Uprisings Conference Report Published

January 27th, 2014 in News

The final report from our November 15, 2013 conference Arab Uprisings: Accomplishments, Failures, and Prospects has been published. The report provides a lucid synopsis of the conference proceedings. To view the report, please click here.


The Arab Uprisings conference was sponsored by the Boston University Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies & Civilizations, the Boston University Center for International Relations, and the Trans-Arab Research Institute (TARI), with support from the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies.


Spring 2014 Film Series: Imagining the Middle East

January 21st, 2014 in Events, News

We hope you will join us as we explore the Muslim and Arab culture throughout various locations in the Middle East. Our film series features five incredible films which will be screened from January 21 through March 18. For more information on each film, please visit our Upcoming Events Calendar



New Major! BA in Middle East and North Africa Studies

October 29th, 2013 in News

On October 2nd the University Council approved Boston University’s newest Bachelor of Arts program, the Interdisciplinary Major in Middle East and North Africa Studies.  The result of a three-year planning effort by a group of faculty specialized in the region, the new major capitalizes on BU’s unusually strong existing offerings in four Middle Eastern languages and many aspects of Middle Eastern and North African culture.

Available to students starting with the class of 2014, the major offers BU undergraduates a coherent grounding in the history, cultures, artistic production, and one or more of the languages of the Middle East and North Africa region (defined for our purposes as comprising the Arabic-, Hebrew-, Persian-, and Turkish-speaking areas of the world).  Requiring three years of language study as well as courses in both humanities and social sciences, this rigorous 11-course major is designed to prepare students for graduate study and for careers in government, international non-governmental organizations, and the private sector by building marketable skills (cultural competence and real linguistic proficiency) as well as intellectual sophistication.  It also fills a gap in BU’s area studies programs, which until now offered majors in European, Asian, and Latin American studies, but not in Middle East and North Africa.

Students interested in declaring the MENA major are encouraged to register for the 1-credit seminar course CAS ME 101: Issues in Middle East and North Africa Studies for Spring 2014.

The major is housed in the CAS Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature.  Learn more here!

Additional questions? Please contact Professor Margaret Litvin,

Spring 2014 SMSC Courses!

October 28th, 2013 in News

The Spring 2014 SMSC Courses are now posted on our website! You can view them here.

Upcoming Event: Book Talk with Kirk Johnson

October 8th, 2013 in Events, News

Join the SMSC Institute, the Center of International Relations, and the Institute for Iraqi Studies as we sit down with founder of The List Project and author Kirk W. Johnson to discuss his book:

To Be a Friend is Fatal: The Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans stepped forward to assist U.S. soldiers, diplomats, and aid workers over the past decade of war, acting as interpreters, engineers, and advisors to America’s reconstruction efforts.  As the U.S. development program foundered and counter-insurgency tactics alienated the Iraqi and Afghan public, though, they were increasingly viewed as traitors to their country.  Despite their immense value to America’s interests, as soon as they began to petition the U.S. government for refuge, they were met by a bureaucracy that viewed them as potential terrorists.  With the war in Iraq a distant memory and the withdrawal from Afghanistan gathering speed, the Iraqis and Afghans are now tarred with a stigma that is both lethal and generational.  Johnson will discuss the efforts of the List Project to confront both Republican and Democratic resistance in Washington and bring Iraqi and Afghan allies to safety, the state of humanitarianism in an America-in-withdrawal, and a brief history of bureaucratic abandonment in past wars.

We hope you can join us! Please RSVP Mikaela at

Kirk Flyer 10.16.13 new copy