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Home - The Department of Middle Eastern History - Introduction

welcome messageThe Department of Middle Eastern History upholds research and teaching of the annals of the region from Morocco in the West to Iran in the east, from the birth of Islam in the 7th century to present day.
The development of Islam and the political, military, economic and demographic history of the people of the region are examined in the context of three periods: The Middle Ages, the Ottoman Era and the new era.Our students are introduced to a variety of historical sources and obtain comprehensive skills in the languages of the region, first and foremost with Arabic. In addition they obtain skills in the usage of varying research tools.
Studies at the department aim at broadening the students' knowledge of the Middle East's past and its place in Western and Jewish history, as well as equipping them with a critical historical approach. Students also attain the necessary tools for understanding recent regional processes.
Excelling B.A. graduates may continue their studies at our Advanced degree programs, including the M.A. and Ph.D. Tracks. Several of our graduates have joined our staff and that of other leading institutions and universities in Israel and throughout the world. Others have joined the public and administrative sectors, including the Ministry of Education, the Foreign Office, economic and military institutions.

Studies for the degree of B.A. are conducted in two tracks: The single major and double major tracks.
Many of our double-major students enroll also at the departments of History, History of the land of Israel, Geography and Political Science, although some chose other departments.The curriculum of the B.A. degree includes: Introductory courses, workshops (a methodology course, a document-reading course, historical workshops, a text-reading course, pro-seminars and seminars.) and the comprehensive study of written Arabic. First year studies include the following mandatory courses: "Introduction to the History of the modern Middle East," "Introduction to Islam," "Introduction to the geography of the Middle East." Second year studies include "Introduction to the Ottoman Empire," and "The Muslim State during the Middle Ages." Third year studies include "Social history of the Middle East" and "The Economy of the Middle East." During their second year of studies, each student selects a pro-seminar that acquaints him or her with one of the countries of the region. Students are also introduced to regional historical issues such as "Tribe, society and state in Iraq," "Dress, Ornamentation and gender relations in pre-modern Muslim societies," "Religious Construction in Islam" and "The Palestinians during the Mandate era." Third year Seminars examine leading regional issues such as "Mass Media in the Middle East During the 19th and 20th Centuries," "Demography and Politics in the modern Middle East" and "Radical Islam." Students of the Single - Major Track are offered additional courses including International relations in the Middle East, The Political and Social development of the Arab Community in Israel and Islamic Law. They are also offered a large variety of courses in the Arabic language and literature, and a field trip program in Israel and abroad.

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

For online registration to the department, 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/