Florida Atlantic University plans to have a stronger focus on the Middle East.
The university's Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters is working with the Florida Society for Middle East Studies to create a Middle East Institute. The institute, which FAU officials say will be the only one of its kind in Florida, will be a focal point of academic and cultural programs about the Middle East. It will involve FAU faculty, students and visiting scholars.
FAU and the Middle East society are in the midst of a fundraising effort to raise $100,000 a year for activities, with long-range plans for a $9 million endowment, said Polly Burks, a spokeswoman for FAU's College of Arts and Letters.
"FAU has long been committed to Middle East studies in both teaching and research," said Manjunath Pendakur, dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. "With the creation of the Middle East Institute, FAU will be able to expand its research and cultural activities related to this complex region. … We will strive to promote an understanding among the next generation of national leaders and the public at large about the peoples, languages, cultures and religions of the Middle East."
The institute will draw on the research and teachings of faculty across FAU who share an interest in the Middle East as a region of study, including faculty from the colleges of Arts and Letters, Science, Business and Education. Public outreach into schools colleges, religious groups and the general public will also be part of the effort, officials said.
The geographic scope of the Institute will encompass the 22 members of the Arab League, Israel, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
For more information about a Middle East Institute at FAU, contact Manjunath Pendakur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-297-3803.