For nearly fifty years, visitors from across America and overseas have made UCLA and the Center for Near Eastern Studies a destination point and a crossroads of academic, professional and personal interests.
CNES has offered resources and facilities to dozens of resident scholars carrying out individual or sponsored research on such topics as politics in the Gulf states, religiosity in Muslim countries, Turkish language instructional technology, Iranian art and architecture, and contemporary Arabic and Hebrew poetry.
In this nurturing academic environment, visiting scholars interact with UCLA faculty and students and their colleagues from the seventeen-member Southern California Consortium on International Studies, and with the dozens of visiting lecturers and conference participants who come to UCLA annually, including high-profile foreign ministers and Nobel Prize laureates.
Institutional collaboration with universities in Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and the Gulf states facilitates the regular flow of students and scholars in the course of sponsored training and research. Most recently, the Young Research Library organized and hosted a training session for prospective librarians and information technology specialists from the United Arab Emirates.
On a regular basis the Center invites local high school students and teachers to visit the university and interact with scholars and students, and to explore the resources and opportunities available to them in higher education.
These interactions between Americans and Middle Easterners are essential, now more than ever. In this regard the Center regularly hosts delegations of students and scholars, journalists, filmmakers and other professionals from the Middle East and facilitates their interaction with their American counterparts. Multiculturalism and democracy, religion and society, and the role of the media and a free press are recurrent topics of discussion in these meetings.