LSE focuses new centre on collaboration with the people and institutions of the Middle East

Published May 24th, 2010 - 09:21 GMT

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) announces the launch of the Middle East Centre - a multidisciplinary research centre focusing on modern Middle Eastern cultures, societies, economies, and international relations.


The new Centre, which has received £9.2 million in initial support from the UAE’s Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy and The Aman Trust, will collaborate with Middle Eastern universities, scholars, civil society, policy makers, and speak to a global audience about the region's strengths and challenges.


Under the leadership of its inaugural director, Professor Fawaz A Gerges, and other prominent LSE scholars, the Middle East Centre will engage intellectuals and experienced practitioners to analyse and report on the region’s economics, politics, and culture. The Centre will help train a new generation of specialists drawn from within the region and from the rest of the world.  Throughout their careers, they will provide informed and balanced analysis of the nations of the Middle East, and the region's place in the international community.


Abdulrahman Al Owais, managing director of the Emirates Foundation, commented: ‘We are delighted that the new Centre will solidify LSE's academic relations with leading Middle Eastern universities, including those in the United Arab Emirates. Our Foundation supports knowledge creation through research and high level training for young professionals, which are key objectives of the new Middle East Centre.’


Arif Naqvi, whose family endowed The Aman Trust, added 'As an LSE alumnus, I am delighted that the LSE has made an institutional commitment to the Middle East.  As someone who has spent his life in the Middle East, it was important for me to help catalyse the Centre into being an important bridge linking scholars, policy makers, and business leaders from Europe and the Middle East, promoting constructive dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation, which are important challenges in today's polarised world.'


Howard Davies, LSE Director, said: ‘With founding support in place from the Emirates Foundation and The Aman Trust, we will be inviting other stakeholders who share our values of impartiality and academic freedom to examine the LSE's existing strength in Middle East studies, and to contribute materially to the Centre’s future development.’


The Centre is currently recruiting its core staff and will be based at LSE from October 2010, the beginning of the 2010/11 academic year. It will host its first major public event in spring 2011.

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