Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

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Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

The Middle East Studies Association Statement on Palestine and Israel.

The MESA Board of Directors is heartbroken by the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives over the last week. There can be no justification for the targeting of civilians. We join our members directly affected in grief, and we join all who are committed to a political solution that offers safety, dignity, and equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis. We are deeply concerned about the cumulative effect of the Israeli siege and bombardment of Gaza, resulting in massive death, displacement and destruction — including the bombing of schools and universities — imperiling, among many other things, the possibility of access to education for generations of Gazan students indefinitely. We also reaffirm the right and ability of students, faculty, and staff at universities across North America (and elsewhere) to express their viewpoints free of harassment, intimidation, and threats to their livelihoods and safety. MESA calls on university leaders and administrations to oppose all forms of discrimination..

See the full statement here: https://mesana.org/advocacy/letters-from-the-board/2023/10/16/mesa-board-statement-on-palestine-and-israel




Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, and Resources for Impacted CSUN Students

Today, on Feb. 20th, 2023, only two weeks after the Feb. 6th earthquakes that killed over 43,000 people, the Turkey-Syria border was hit with yet another 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Words fall short in the face of this profound tragedy that continues to unfold. Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (MEIS) at CSUN extends its heartfelt condolences to those impacted by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and their families around the world. The earthquakes have decimated buildings and infrastructures, leaving behind isolated ghost towns where just two weeks ago there were bustling cities. Much of the emotional, psychological, and infrastructural devastation is yet to reveal itself. Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world including 3.5 million refugees from Syria. It is difficult to imagine the suffering of the more than 12,000 Syrian refugees, who were first displaced from their homelands by the violence of war and are once again uprooted from their makeshift homes by the earthquakes. As the region continues to be rocked by more tremors, our hearts, thoughts, and support go out to all who are in the grip of insecurity and grief. The losses are, indeed, staggering.

Here at CSUN, there are a few things we can do. The first is to offer support to our impacted students, staff, and faculty in whatever ways possible. Here is a brief list of some resources available for students at CSUN:


For mental health support, we encourage you to use University Counseling Services which provides mental health services for CSUN students https://www.csun.edu/counseling/counseling-services

Crisis Text Line: you can a send text message to 741741 for crisis support via text.  Text "HOME" in your message to have a Crisis Counselor respond to your text message.

To provide support specifically to International Students, University Counseling Services has a liaison, Dr. Sunil Obedia (sunil.obediah@csun.edu).  Dr. Obedia offers a weekly drop-in service called Let’s Talk (https://www.csun.edu/counseling/lets-talk )

CSUN also has a Muslim Chaplain who is also a mental health professional and who can help our Muslim students. Shaykh Sohail Mulla can be reached at suhailmulla@khalilcenter.com


International and Exchange Student Center: For international students who have been impacted and need specific guidance, please contact International and Exchange Student Center https://www.csun.edu/international


We strongly encourage the CSUN community to open our hearts and support those who responding to the crisis in southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria. Here is a list of some national and international organizations responding to the disaster in Turkey and Syria. If you can, please take a moment to contribute.

For more information on Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at CSUN visit https://www.csun.edu/humanities/middle-eastern-and-islamic-studies

Ethical Encounters: Transnational Feminism, Human Rights, and War Cinema in Bangladesh

Program Description

The Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (MEIS) Program at CSUN is a new interdisciplinary minor established in 2013. It offers courses in the languages, histories, religions, cultures, sociology and politics of Middle Eastern peoples. It also seeks to enhance students’ understanding of Islamic cultures and the Muslim communities both internationally and within the United States.

In addition, MEIS provides an academic home for the study of the intellectual, cultural and material conditions that have shaped our current understandings of and relationships with the Middle East and Islamic societies. Among the primary beneficiaries of this program are students interested in becoming scholars, journalists, translators, interpreters, diplomats, businesspersons, negotiators, and personnel in foreign offices.  Some of the courses in the MEIS program satisfy General Education (GE) requirements or may be used as electives in several majors.

Through offering the minor, sponsoring courses, organizing conferences, film and lecture series, MEIS brings together interested students, faculty, and Middle Eastern communities in larger Los Angeles.

Women and Gender in Islamic Societies

MEIS Statement of Support

Solidarity - Black Lives Matter

The Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (MEIS) Program stands in solidarity with the current nationwide and international civil protests against systemic racism brutally manifested in the police violation of human rights, especially the murder and abuse of Black and African American communities with impunity. We include our voices in support of the demand for justice in all cases of such murders, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others.  

The MEIS interdisciplinary program at CSUN is committed to social justice by educating our students about the destructive effects of racial, sexual, ethnic and religious prejudices and stereotypes. We are also committed to educating against anti-blackness in our communities.

Our mission closely intersects with social justice movements that seek to demilitarize the police and, rather, invest in the social, political and economic well-being of all. We condemn the brutal dehumanization of communities of color, women, and new immigrants under a system of white supremacy and domination. It is clear that we need systemic reforms now in order to pursue equity and justice for marginalized communities. It is only when Black Lives truly Matter that we will make progress toward building a more just society together.

What is MEIS?