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Morocco, Photo by Moussa Idrissi from Pexels


This webpage is home to Middle East and North Africa studies, research, and programs at the University of Oklahoma.

Welcome to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) webpage at the University of Oklahoma. MENA covers peoples, cultures, and lands that relate to the Middle East, the Sahel and West Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and their diasporas.

The University of Oklahoma offers:

Why Study the Middle East and North Africa at OU?

  • Prepare for a career in international relations, diplomacy, security, nonprofits and NGOs, politics, journalism, government, and more
  • Develop in-demand critical language skills
  • Have access to unique study abroad opportunities
  • Pursue research with strong support and scholarship opportunities
  • Benefit from OU's MENA-related programming, such as regular high-profile guest speakers, events, and organizations

Upcoming Events

The Young Turks and the Ottoman Occupation of Iran: What Did They Want?

Wednesday, April 17, 12-1 p.m.
Farzaneh Hall 145

The Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies brown bag lecture series presents a talk with Kayhan Nejad, Farzaneh Family Assistant Professor of Iranian Studies.

Bring your lunch; snacks will be provided.

Persian Idioms and Proverbs

Thursday, April 18, 2 p.m.
Farzaneh Hall 145

Join us for a discussion of Persian and English idioms led by OU Persian language students. Idioms are a secret language within a language. Understanding idioms requires a deep familiarity with the culture, and knowing them facilitates communication. This cultural project helps us explore the use of language by native speakers.

Persian Circle

Persian Circle

Every Thursday, 2-3 p.m.
Kaufman Hall 230

Join us every Thursday to learn Persian!
We will enjoy Baklava cake and chai, practice conversation, prepare for upcoming exams and learn about Persian culture.

Recent Media

In April 2023, the Center for Middle East Studies hosted Stacey Philbrick Yadav, Associate Professor of International Relations at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and author of Yemen in the Shadow of Transition: Pursuing Justice Amid War. Here, you can watch her conversation with Waleed Mahdi, Associate Professor in the OU Department of International & Area Studies.

April 3, 2023: The Center for the Study of Nationalism and the Schusterman Center for Judaic and Israel Studies presented "Kriesky, Israel and Jewish Identity," a talk with Daniel Aschheim, Deputy Consul General of Israel to the Midwest. Moderator was Dr. Carsten Schapkow, L.R. Brammer, Jr. Presidential Associate Professor in History and Director of the Center for the Study of Nationalism.

February 8. 2023: The OU Center for Peace and Development and Security in Context presented a talk with Yeşim Arat, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Bogazici University, Istanbul.

November 9, 2022: The Center for Middle East Studies, the Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies and the Institute for US-China Issues, co-sponsored a talk with Ambassador Chas Freeman, Visiting Scholar, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University.

Recent News

Edited by Samer S. Shehata, The Struggle to Reshape the Middle East in the 21st Century
Faculty News

November 30, 2023

IAS Professor Waleed Mahdi Publishes Article in the Journal of American Ethnic History

Edited by Samer S. Shehata, The Struggle to Reshape the Middle East in the 21st Century
Faculty News

August 25, 2023

IAS Professor Samer Shehata Pubishes New Edited Volume, The Struggle to Reshape the Middle East in the 21st Century

Feroz Bashari
Faculty News

May 01, 2023

OU Visiting Scholar Speaks at National Security Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Iranian Studies cover of January 2023 Issue
Faculty News

February 14, 2023

IAS Professor Afshin Marashi Edits Special Issue of the journal Iranian Studies, "Parsis and Iranians in the Modern Period"

Top photo: Moussa Idrissi from Pexels