Mission Statement

MEI Mission Statement

The central mission of the Middle East Institute (MEI), in accord with its long-established institutional duties and responsibilities, is to foster an interdisciplinary, inter-departmental approach to enhancing Columbia’s world-class Middle East program.  It strengthens and broadens the curriculum by offering courses to supplement and complement departmental offerings, and provides a vibrant forum for faculty and students to work together across the different disciplines through workshops, lectures, conferences, and social events. The institute offers fellowships to students for study and research in the region and at home, and it advises students on courses, language programs, and career opportunities. Working to inform and educate the media, government, and the general public about the Middle East, the Institute also collaborates with other regional institutes and units of the university to advance knowledge about issues and processes that transcend one region. The Middle East Institute has earmarked support for visiting scholars and it currently is seeking endowment support for its mission objectives.

To complement its newly assumed responsibilities in administering the MA Program in Islamic Studies (see below), the Institute is working to mobilize the far-flung and hitherto unrealized capacity of the university in this venerable field. In pursuit of this new role in support of Islamic Studies, the Institute has moved beyond a restricted commitment to the Middle East region, and also beyond familiar departments and disciplines.