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Goals and Philosophy

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Learning Goals:

Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the political, cultural, and economic happenings of the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) have occupied and continue to occupy the center stage of world affairs. In a globalized world, the confluence of ethnicities, religions, cultures, languages, and nationalist struggles within the region lend to an ongoing need for reliable scholarship on the Middle East and North Africa. However, in order to understand the present, MENA experts must possess a thorough understanding of the region’s past.

The central learning goal of the International MA in Middle Eastern Studies is to impart a substantive understanding of the region’s history, and to use this knowledge as a basis for interpreting current phenomena – be they social, political, or economic. Through individual research projects, students will develop expertise in historical methodologies and become familiar with a myriad of issues affecting this ever-transforming region, allowing them to make informed contributions in a number of fields, including (but not limited to) journalism, advocacy, education, diplomacy, and government.

Utilizing the Environment – Israel as a Space for Interactive Learning:
Geographically, Israel is located in the center of this complex part of the world map, providing students a vantage point from which to explore the MENA region.

Israel is, in many respects, a microcosm of the core issues affecting the broader region – studying in Israel offers a unique window to the particular challenges that affect MENA societies. MAMES students explore Israel's plurality of political, ethnic, and religious identities through a series of five study trips held throughout the school year.

Additionally, Israel is host to leading policy centers, and research universities and institutions that grapple with the subjects at hand. Students are also encouraged to take on internships while they study, allowing them to gain practical knowledge of this multifaceted country and the region in which it sits.


The International MA in Middle Eastern Studies seeks to provide mentorship opportunities for students through its affiliations with research institutions at Tel Aviv University, namely, the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies (MDC) and the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies (ACIS).

The Centers provide an important framework for students' academic and professional development. In addition to having access to the Centers' world-class catalogues of books, periodicals, and multi-media resources, our affiliate research centers give students the opportunity to work under seasoned researchers, to attend conferences on timely issues affecting the MENA region, and a variety of platforms for publishing their work.
After three semesters of the TAU International MAMES Program, students will be endowed with a solid foundation in Middle Eastern Studies and be exposed to a variety of venues where such a skill set could be applied professionally.
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