The St. Ambrose University Middle East Institute is the first academic institute in the state of Iowa devoted to the study and discussion of one of the world's most geopolitically important regions.
"In order to understand the world in a global context, you must understand the Middle East," said Ryan Dye, the institute coordinator and director of International Education at St. Ambrose. "The institute's mission will be to provide a nonpartisan public forum for the university and the community to engage thoughtfully about key issues impacting the Middle East."
The Middle East Institute will host scholars-in-residence and visiting artists whose work will focus on the Middle East, and will feature frequent roundtable discussions on the Middle East among local scholars. The institute will host an annual, two-day symposium led by a scholar-in-residence, and featuring presentations by regional and national experts. The institute also will promote the creation of several classes related to the Middle East across the St. Ambrose curriculum.
"The institute fits with the St. Ambrose history of engagement in peace and justice issues," Dye said. "And the university has demonstrated an ability to thoughtfully examine tough, complex issues through its annual Project Series programs."
Initial funding for the Institute has been provided by the Adler-Schermer Foundation.
The institute plans to work in collaboration with local organizations such as the World Affairs Council, the Jewish Federation, and the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities, said Dye.