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.



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  • Meet Middle East Studies Major: Maribelle Boutros

    Meet Middle East Studies Major: Maribelle Boutros

    Maribelle Boutros has a knack for language.  Learning Arabic and Spanish is central in her studies at UCSB. Boutros — a fourth-year Global Studies and Middle East Studies double major — is an Arabic tutor at CLAS, a translation studies minor, and plans to either teach English abroad or work as a translator. “I love my language. I love hearing people speak it. I love people trying to communicate in someone else's language. That's why I learned Arabic, that’s why I learned Spanish. I want to learn as many languages as I can because I think you can connect to...
  • Welcome to our three interns!

    Welcome to our three interns!

    CMES gained three interns.  From left to right they are: Katherine Schwartz, Matthew Ross and Clare Doyle. Katherine Schwartz will be masterminding our newsletter and interviews. Matthew Ross will be leading our social media and events planning. Clare Doyle will be working on our K-12 programming. We are thrilled to have them join our team!
  • CMES Faculty, Mona Damluji, receives NEH fellowship

    CMES Faculty, Mona Damluji, receives NEH fellowship

    Mona Damluji (Department of Film & Media Studies) has received a NEH fellowship in support of her writing about the nexus of cinema culture and the oil industry. To learn more see this article in The Current. Congratulations Professor Damluji!