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Home - General Information about The Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

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General Information of the Department

The Middle East is the cradle of human civilization and the birthplace of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The region includes the Arab states – from Morocco in the west to Iran in the east, from Turkey in the north to Yemen and Sudan in the south. The Muslims constitute a fifth of the world’s population and are scattered between Indonesia, the largest of Muslim countries, and the minorities in India, Russia, the West and Israel. This is the space in which the State of Israel is located and operates, and its understanding is of great importance to its existence, its security, its economic development and its social and cultural prosperity.

The incidents of the “Arab Spring” which began in the end of 2010, the peace discussions between Israel and the Palestinians with mediation done by the United States, the nuclear empowering of Iran, the rise of political Islam and radical Islam, the immigration to Europe and the demographic change in a number of Arab countries because of it – all of these ensure that the Middle East will continue to be a center of Diplomatic, public, and media attention even in the 21st century. The area is found in an unprecedented jolt when military regimes, Islamic forces, strong factors and liberal foundations are struggling with each other for their own character and future. There are many worrying risks but many chances for Israel in the Middle East.

The Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Civilization, which is one of the oldest departments in the University of Haifa, provides extensive interdisciplinary knowledge of the Middle East and the Muslim world in general. Understanding the historical, political, diplomatic, economic, social and cultural procedures happening in the center of events which occur in this region is essential for the policy makers in Israel, academic researchers, public servants, business people, teachers, civic organizations, and anyone who wants to understand the region. Acquiring the broad knowledge in the department is followed by a unique learning experience in the university and in the leading inter-cultural and inter-religion in the country.

The department grants BA degrees, MA degrees- with or without thesis, and PhD degrees in Middle-Eastern and Islam studies. The rich curriculum of the department offers introductory courses about classic and modern history of the region, Islam, Arab nationality, Palestinian society, family and women’s status, law and society, media, tourism, and so forth. An important emphasis in these studies is on the study of one of the region’s languages: literary and spoken Arabic, Persian, or Turkish. 

For online registration to the department, click here.

Announcement of the Launch of a One-Year M.A. Program in Modern Middle Eastern Studies

During the last several decades, the Middle East is undergoing revolutionary changes. Events such as the Islamic revolution in Iran (1979), the Iran-Iraq wars (1980-1988), the first gulf war (1991) and the second gulf war (2003), “the Arab Spring” (since 2011), and the rise of fundamentalist Islamic movements (Al-Qaeda, ISIS), have changed the area beyond recognition. We invite you to explore the issues the Middle East is facing, and how we got to where we are now. The studies provide the students with a deep understanding and knowledge of political, cultural, economic, and social processes which characterize the Middle East from the 19th century and to this day. The program will focus mainly on revolutions, the tension between Islam and secularism, understanding the heterogeneous and ethnic groups in the area, the tension between Shia and Sunna and between the army and politics. The program offers courses on a variety of Middle Eastern issues from national, inter-Arab, and international perspectives. The studies will take place one day a week and can be finished within a single year (three consecutive semesters and the required completions). The department’s secretariat provides administrative guidance and kind response to every question or issue that may arise during the studies. The degree will pave the way to integration in the private or public work market.
For details, click here


Announcement of the Launch of a Two-Year B.A. Program

The Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Department would like to announce the launch of a two-year B.A. program for ambitious students.

As part of the program, the students will study for six consecutive semesters throughout two years, including a summer semester for each year of studies.

The program will offer scholarships for exceptional students, based on their psychometric entrance test grade.

For more information, please contact Mrs Keren Santo, the department’s head’s administrative assistant (ksanto@univ.haifa.ac.il). 

New Program of Study: Digital Humanities

As part of the studies at the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Department, you can also register to the digital humanities program- a new program that enables students to integrate information systems with Middle Eastern studies and to enter a new, groundbreaking field! Exceptional students of this program will be rewarded with scholarships, practical internship in research or industry projects- funded by the program, and/or a trip for a summer school in Europe.

Please visit the website and Facebook page for more details: http://dighum.haifa.ac.il/is-web/index.php/he/

For further information, you are welcome to send an e-mail to the heads of the program:

Dr Moshe Lavie, mlavee@research.haifa.ac.il

Prof Tsvi Kopelik, tsvikak@is.haifa.ac.il

Please note that registration to the Information Systems Department is also necessary, and therefore, the admission requirements of both departments should be met. For further information, please visit the information systems department’s website: http://hevra.haifa.ac.il/is-web/index.php/he/

Middle Eastern Encounters: MA in MIddle Eastern Studies

The one-year International Master’s Degree Program in Middle Eastern Encounters aims to provide instruction,
training, and first-hand acquaintance with Middle Eastern afairs. The program offers academic instruction and
mentoring, professional training and opportunities for close cultural encounters in the rich and dynamic setting of the City
of Haifa. 

This is a unique program which is founded on a mixed curriculum of academic instruction and hands-on experience
in matters pertaining to the cultural, religious, and political aspects of the past and the contemporary Middle East.
The city of Haifa in general and the campus of the University of Haifa in particular are a living laboratory where religious
and Ethnic groups, such as Jews, Muslims, Christians and Baha'is, as well as Druze, Bedouin and Circassians live, interact
and study side-by-side, constituting a micro-cosmos of the Middle East. Participants of the program will experience a
dynamic, cultural mosaic where students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds encounter and engage with each

For more details, press here