Middle East minor expands through programs


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When Emily Reynolds came to Loyola to study physics, she did not believe she would be interested in a Middle East peace studies minor. 

Like many Loyola students, Reynolds has had to take courses pushing her out of her field of study in the common curriculum.

Reynolds said this is how she came to believe the best way Loyola students can get involved in Middle East peace issues is by taking courses within the Middle East peace studies minor.

“It’s definitely becoming one of the most active minors on campus. If students want to get involved, they should consider taking these classes like history of the Middle East because they all have to do with current issues that we hear about every single day,” Reynolds said.

Behrooz Moazami, assistant professor of history and Middle East peace studies, said the Middle East peace studies interdisciplinary minor program officially started in fall 2009 and has become one of the most active programs on campus.

“We offer contract majors since we do not have enough Middle Eastern courses at Loyola, so we send some of our students to Tulane or in study abroad programs,” Moazami said. “The Middle Eastern peace studies program started the Student Peace Conference, working closely with the Student Peace Initiative, a student organization in charge of the annual Peace Conference which is held in April.”

Like the Student Peace Conference, the roundtable on the Future of Peace and Democracy in the Middle East event that happened in October opened a forum for students and those interested to discuss Middle East Peace issues.

Reynolds said this discussion, and discussions like these, are eye openers to Loyola students who want to become more involved in Middle East peace studies minor.

“A lot of students had no idea this minor program even existed. The roundtable discussion not only brought awareness to the democratization issue currently happening in the Middle East, but it also spiked interest in Loyola students on how they can get involved locally,” Reynolds said.

Julia Nolan can be contacted at [email protected] 

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