Todd Shields, interim director
The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies is an academic and research unit in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. It is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental area studies center that offers diverse cultural, intellectual, and educational opportunities for the University of Arkansas community. Its functions include the promotion of research and teaching in interdisciplinary Middle East studies and global Islamic studies.
Through the King Fahd Middle East Studies Program, the center offers an undergraduate major in Middle East studies and supports graduate studies in Middle East-related departments and programs. Students of superior ability who are majoring in Middle East studies may apply for MEST scholarships to help fund their studies. The center also supports summer language study and research assistantships for graduate students and teaching and research by visiting scholars from affiliated universities and programs.
Through its core faculty, the center coordinates with university departments to offer a full range of Middle East courses, supports faculty research in Middle East and Islamic studies, engages in outreach activities, and supports an ambitious program of visiting speakers and workshops. The King Fahd Center currently maintains relationships with universities in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and Russia. The center also cooperates with the Aga Khan Humanities Program in Central Asia, the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Elijah Center for the Study of Wisdom in World Religions in Jerusalem.