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The Center promotes intercultural understanding through its community outreach series, our presence in the media, programs in schools and community colleges, and public events.

Media outlets regularly consult the Center’s affiliated faculty as Middle East experts. Here is a selection of their opinion pieces, articles, blogs, and interviews.







In the Media Archive ...




News of the Center’s activities is covered in articles and press releases by campus and community reporters. The articles are permanently accessible here in our news archive.






Center News Archive ...

Curriculum development and dissemination are essential to our outreach program. The Center is a founding member of the Middle East Outreach Council, a national network of educators dedicated to disseminating apolitical and nonpartisan information, resources and activities to further understanding about the Middle East.

Resources for teachers, grades 1-12

Middle Eastern American Resources Online offers lesson plans and videos on Middle Eastern immigrant life in the United States. Our Center developed the site in collaboration with the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center of the City University of New York. 

Workshops for students, grades 1-12

Summer heritage language classes. We partner the UCLA Center for World Languages to offer special summer language classes for high school students who speak, understand or hear Armenian, Japanese, Korean, Persian,Turkish or some other heritage language at home and want to learn to read, write and expand their listening and speaking skills. Each year's choice of languages offered depends on the level of interest. The classes offer a fun and challenging opportunity to study the home language and meet other heritage speakers from the greater Los Angeles area.

Community College Outreach

Together with UCLA's Asia Institute and Latin American Institute, we work in partnership with West Los Angeles Community College to provide public lectures, concerts, and panel discussions that enhance the College's global studies program and expand an understanding of the Middle East.

Aslı Bali: When is a Migration a "Crisis"? Evaluating the EU's Approach to Syrian Refugees.

James Gelvin: 70 Years of U.S. Policy in the Middle East

Aslı Bali: Human Rights in the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities.

Nushin Arbabzadah: Media Madness in Afghanistan

Workshops for instructors of grades 1-12 and college

Summer Heritage Language Teacher Workshop. An annual one week workshop sponsored by Startalk at UCLA's National Heritage Language Resource Center.

Past Workshops

Teacher workshops co-sponsored by the Center for Near Eastern Studies include:

Baghdad and Cairo as medieval sites of encounter
A UCLA Center X History-Geography Project workshop sponsored by UCLA's Islamic Studies program and the Islamic Studies-MRI fund.

The Cold War:Teaching with Primary Sources from Library of Congress
A UCLA Center X History-Geography Project workshop sponsored by the California History-Social Science Project at California State University, Long Beach.

The Medieval World Blueprint Workshop
A UCLA Center X History-Geography Project workshop sponsored by the California History-Social Science Project at California State University, Long Beach.

From the Popol Vuh to Pope Francis: Religion in Latin America
A workshop exploring the history of religion in Latin America from pre-conquest through the 21st century. Jointly sponsored by UCLA's Latin American Institute, African Studies Center and the Center for Near Eastern Studies.

High school teacher Workshop: Afghanistan
A UCLA Center X History-Geography Project workshop,  co-sponsored by the Asia Institute, and the Center for Near Eastern Studies.

Cities in World History
An institute for 7th grade world history teachers, jointly sponsored by UCLA’s Center for European and Eurasian Studies, Asia Institute, Latin America Institute, and the Center for Near Eastern Studies.

It’s a Matter of Taste
A workshop examining the role that food has played in history and culture throughout the world. Sponsored jointly by UCLA’s African Studies Center, Asia Institute, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Center for European and Eurasian Studies, Latin American Institute, and the Center for Near Eastern Studies.

The Center’s Bilingual Lecture Series on Iran was launched in 2002-03 to promote Middle Eastern languages not only as subjects of study but also as vehicles for intellectual communication.

Organized by visiting scholar Nayereh Tohidi (California State University, Northridge), the presentations have generated wide interest among local Persian speakers, along with students and faculty at colleges and universities throughout Southern California. A larger audience follows the series through our podcasts, BBC Persian, IRTV (Iranian Television), and Radio Iran (KIRN 670 AM). UCLA's Iranian Studies program co-sponsors the series.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
UCLA faculty voice: No, Trump is not like Obama on Middle East policy
James Gelvin says that while both presidents wanted to decrease U.S. military presence, Trump's actions have been less strategic.
Photo for UCLA faculty voice: No, Trump

Monday, October 29, 2018
Women in Power; a lesson from ancient Egypt
Kara Cooney, UCLA professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture, has published a riveting article in Time magazine about six queens who achieved enormous power in ancient Egypt. What they did with it is a warning for today.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Aslı Ü. Bâli on the Syrian civil war
Aug. 15, 2018. UCLA Professor of Law and former CNES Director Aslı Ü. Bâli and co-author Aziz Rana recently published a follow-up piece to their earlier article in The Boston Review on U.S. policy in the Syrian civil war.

Bâli was also recently interviewed about the Syrian war by journalist Daniel Denvir for Jacobin, the left-leaning quarterly magazine. You can find the two-part podcast here.
Photo for Aslı Ü. Bâli on the

In the Media Archive...
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Mellon Foundation awards grant to CNES
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given a grant to the Center for Near Eastern Studies to support a UCLA pilot project reframing how Middle Eastern studies are taught.
Photo for Mellon Foundation awards grant to

Monday, June 3, 2019
Journalism as a crime
Northern California native and Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian discussed his 18-month ordeal as an Iranian prisoner and American bargaining chip.
Photo for Journalism as a crime

Monday, April 15, 2019
CNES wins grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
National support for an innovative freshman course that is now being developed by a multidisciplinary faculty team at UCLA.
Photo for CNES wins grant from the

Center News Archive...