CMES is a research and outreach center, housed within the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research (ISBER) at UC Santa Barbara. We develop and support programs that enhance public understanding of the Middle East and the interdisciplinary study of the Middle East. CMES affiliates have expertise in Middle Eastern history, politics, economics, religions, cultures and languages.
Our mission is to encourage critical and informed knowledge of the Middle East, and support critical Middle Eastern scholarship. We achieve this through lectures, workshops and seminars, providing grants, and a public education and a cultural outreach program for K-12 educators and students, among other means.
CMES Adopts the Middle East Studies Association’s Statement Against Systematic Racism and Anti-BlacknessJuly 3, 2020On June 29, 2020, the Board of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) released a statement in solidarity with the uprisings against systemic racism and anti-Blackness. The Executive Board of UCSB’s Center for Middle East Studies enthusiastically supports the below statement from MESA, with emphasis on the need for action above rhetoric. "Black lives matter. We deplore the state-sanctioned murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and the countless Black people dying and suffering from systemic racism and police brutality in the United States. We stand in solidarity with the global and national uprisings demanding basic freedoms...