About the Crown Center

A Letter from the Director

Since its inauguration in April 2005, the Crown Center for Middle East Studies has been committed to a balanced and dispassionate approach to the Middle East. We have accomplished this despite the politicization that accompanies much of what is written and said about the region and the strong emotions it evokes among its observers. In only seven years, we have built a unique center whose mission is not only to produce high-quality scholarship but also to apply this scholarship to understanding the real and everyday issues that affect the contemporary Middle East.

In only ten years, the center’s Middle East Briefs have become must-read material for both scholars and policymakers in almost every area of the globe. The basic research conducted at the center has been published or accepted for publication by the best and most demanding university presses. The teachings of our senior research staff offer students unique learning opportunities. For example, the class “Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East” has no equivalent in other universities and remains the only class on this topic team-taught by an Israeli, a Palestinian and an Egyptian. Graduates of this and other Crown Center classes are now enrolled in some of the best Ph.D. programs in the United States, while others have begun public service in the U.S. Department of State, congressional offices, policy think tanks and NGOs.

We note with great pride that we have managed these achievements despite the financial crisis that hit our center and our university (as it hit most U.S. institutions of higher learning) in 2008–09. In the years since, we not only have expanded the Crown Center’s faculty but have continued to provide an intellectually vibrant home for the next generation of Middle East scholars. At a time of extraordinary developments in the region, we at the Crown Center look to the future with great anticipation as we strive to continue building a unique center of excellence in the study of the Middle East.

With best wishes,

Shai Feldman
Judith and Sidney Swartz Director