American University of Beirut

History and Overview



    CAMES is an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary unit which helps students to acquire a sound grounding in the study of the Middle East and the Islamic world through its two MA programs: the MA program in Middle Eastern Studies and the MA program in Islamic Studies. CAMES also places a strong emphasis on the Arabic language by offering, in conjunction with the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages, various opportunities for Arabic study: Arabic classes for international students during the fall and spring semesters, and intensive programs in Arabic Language and Culture and Colloquial Lebanese Arabic each summer.​


    ​​​​​The Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies was established in 1972 alongside the Shaykh Zayid bin Sultan Chair in Arab and Islamic Studies. From 1975 on, with the onset of the civil war, the Center’s activities were restricted and in 1986 it closed down completely along with several other graduate programs at AUB. In 1997, CAMES was completely restructured and began receiving applications for the MA program in Middle Eastern Studies in 1998. The first intensive summer Arabic program took place in 2000, and the MA program in Islamic Studies was launched in 2014.​​​

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