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Middle East and North African Studies

Riad Ismat (1947-2020)


Remembering a Beloved Member of the MENA Community

An Old-Fashioned Man of Letters

The MENA community lost a beloved member when the dramatist, critic, author, diplomat, columnist, and teacher Riad Ismat succumbed to COVID-19 on May 13. In this tribute, Northwestern faculty members, students, and staff offer their reflections and memories of their colleague, teacher, and friend.


Program Highlights


Spring 2020 Classes!

Our award-winning faculty are offering exciting Spring Quarter classes on the Politics of the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula Since the 18th Century, Popular Culture and Protest in the Middle East, Geography, Power and Techniques of Movement, Archaeology and Nationalism, Islamic Law, and more!
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MENA faculty members produce cutting-edge research and public scholarship on the contemporary Middle East and North Africa, publishing articles in leading academic journals and books that are widely taught and make an impact both in the scholarly world and in the wider cultural conversation.


Studying a language of the Middle East and North Africa allows you to have a more intimate perspective on the cultures, histories, and societies of the region. Whether you choose to major in MENA or not, you may enroll in courses in any of the four major languages of the region: Arabic, Hebrew, PersianTurkish.

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