Students of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar are anticipating SFS-Q’s first annual undergraduate conference on Middle Eastern studies, held from May 25 to 27th, 2012. An initiative of SFS-Q’s Middle Eastern Studies Students Association (MESSA), it is set to attract over twenty student conference presenters from the most prestigious universities internationally, including Harvard University, Princeton University, Brown University, University of California Berkeley, Columbia University and Qatar University.
Conference participants will be presenting original ideas on the theme of sustainability as it pertains to economics, politics, culture and society, featuring titles such as: “Counterinsurgency Convergence: The militarization of aid and its role as a weapon in the War on Terror,” and “The International Criminal Court: The Shifting Arab Perspective.” Founder of MESSA and conference chair Miodrag Stamboldziev of SFS-Q has steered the planning committee that has prepared for the conference for over a year, beginning with a call for papers widely disseminated through academic channels. "Having been with the organization since its inception, I am really pleased to see that our team has independently managed to put together an impressive conference. We hope that the event will remain an integral part of SFS-Q’s academic calendar," said Stamboldziev.
Miodrag Stamboldziev, Founder of MESSA and conference chair
Specifically, the conference will involve presentations by the visiting students on the subject of their paper submission, thematically arranged into three sections: Social Change, Culture and Anthropology, and Law and Politics. An SFS-Q expert will be chosen as a discussant to guide the conversation, assisting the presenter in excavating their insights more fully. The conference also marks the launch of Georgetown University SFS-Q’s first Undergraduate Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, in which the most discerning essays and findings from the conference will be published. "The quality of submission is extremely high, and I am confident that this year’s participants are setting the bar for future conferences. The most important aspect of this experience, in my opinion, is getting a glimpse of what our colleagues from different universities are engaged in." remarked Ahmed Warfa, Academic Programming Chair for the conference.
Ahmed Warfa, Academic Programming Chair for the conference
Georgetown University SFS-Q’s Undergraduate Journal of Middle Eastern Studies is intended to demonstrate the dynamic variety and depth of scholarship present within SFS-Q’s undergraduate community and beyond. In each issue, the journal will attempt to explore interdisciplinary approaches to matters pertinent to the Middle East. Subjects including, but not limited to, anthropology, economics, government, history, political economy and sociology will be covered.
As the leaders and initiators of this effort to gather bright young scholars from around the globe to discuss Middle Eastern studies in the region in the aftermath of the recent Arab Spring, SFS-Q students are once again proving themselves to be change-makers, on the leading edge of knowledge production and academic excellence, able to merge interdisciplinary insights and area studies to create new patterns and outcomes.