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MEARO Database LaunchedCover art from Syrian Yankee, one of hundreds of titles on Middle Eastern Americans listed in the MEARO database

MEARO Database Launched

Database features sholarly and literary works, films.

Access to valuable information and resources about Middle Eastern Americans is now available via Middle Eastern American Resources Online (MEARO), the first interactive resource database on Middle Eastern Americans. MEARO is a joint project of the UCLA Middle Eastern American Studies program based at CNES and the Center for Middle East and Middle Eastern American Studies at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (GC/CUNY). MEARO provides students, scholars and the interested public with easy access to numerous multimedia resources. At the outset, these include books, articles, films and almanacs; in the near future the database will incorporate websites, media channels, statistical profiles, INS data, contact information for organizations and associations, and archives on Americans who trace their ancestry to the Middle East.

The migration and settlement of Middle Eastern populations in the US, extending back for more than a century, has resulted in a voluminous output of published works on various Middle Eastern groups, from early histories of the first contacts with America, such as Philip Hitti's Syrians in America, to mid-century memoirs such as William Saroyan's My Name Is Aram, to the current outpouring of prose and poetry by Iranian-American authors. Moreover, there are thousands of academic studies available across the disciplines about this versatile, entrepreneurial and socially mobile population suddenly thrust into the focus of public attention by global events.

MEARO thus serves an immediate need as a gateway to resources for teaching and research across the US, as Middle Eastern American Studies begins to take root at institutions such as UCLA, CUNY, the University of Michigan and Harvard University. This initiative and the prospects for Middle Eastern American Studies in academia, intersecting with ethnic, international, transnational and globalization studies, was the subject of a multi-year Thematic Conversation entitled Crossing Borders: The Case for Middle Eastern American Studies, held at the 2001 and 2002 annual meetings of the Middle East Studies Association.

The creators of MEARO envision a steady growth and diversification of the database, providing users with critical information and current scholarship, including the CNES-sponsored research project entitled American Orientalism: Made in America. For additional information, consult the MEARO website or contact MEARO's co-directors, Jonathan Friedlander at UCLA (310-206-8631) and Mehdi Bozorgmehr at GC/CUNY (212-817-7572).

Center for Near Eastern Studies