Middle‐East/North Africa Summer Institute in Amman and Paris

President's Global Innovation Fund
Columbia Global Centers | Middle East
Additional locations: 
Columbia Global Centers | Europe

This project establishes a Columbia University Summer Institute in Middle East/North African Studies (MENA) as a collaborative effort between two Columbia Global Centers: Middle East (Amman) and Europe (Paris).

Principal Investigators

Taoufiq Ben-Amor
Gordon Gray Jr. Senior Lecturer in Arabic StudiesDirector, Columbia Arabic Summer Program in Amman  More



Madeleine Dobie
Associate Professor of French, Director of MA Program in French Studies in a Global Context 




Emmanuelle Saada
Associate Professor, Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies, Director of Graduate Studies  More


This initiative positions Columbia as a leader in the study of the developing field of Middle East-North Africa. 

This project builds on recent efforts in the Humanities and Social sciences to bring Middle East and North Africa Studies into a closer dialogue. It provides much-needed summer opportunities to learn both Modern standard Arabic (MSA) and Maghreb dialects (dirija) and to take courses in Middle East and North African history and culture. Drawing on the resources of Amman and Paris it allows students to hone their language skills while being exposed to the most recent developments in the scholarship on the Middle East and North Africa as well as to cultural products from the region (cinema, art, music, urban planning and architecture etc.).
The institute benefits students from Columbia and other universities, provides research opportunities for faculty and encourages collaboration between Columbia faculty and research partners in France, Jordan and North Africa. Through workshops and seminars, the Institute provides a forum for faculty to present their research and interact with colleagues based in Europe, the Maghreb and the Middle East. By providing the structure for a regular set of visits and exchanges, it builds important channels of exchanges and interactions between the Amman Center and Paris Center and between these centers and the New York campus.