Statement by Faculty of the Middle and Mediterranean Studies Program at Northeastern:
As members of the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Program at Northeastern University we write to express our outrage over President Trump’s Executive Order to halt indefinitely the acceptance of refugees into the United States and to deny entry to individuals from several Muslim-majority countries, most of them located in the Middle East. The ban on refugees, especially those from Syria, puts some of the most vulnerable people in the world in jeopardy, and violates U.S. legal obligations under the Geneva Conventions. The ban on entry for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries for the next 90 days is arbitrary, discriminatory, and disruptive to the lives of many innocent people, including some of our own colleagues and students. By making it impossible for scholars and students from those countries to enter the United States, the ban on entry also damages the academic enterprise, which is fostered by the free exchange of ideas between people, regardless of citizenship, national background, or religion. As scholars dedicated to advancing research and teaching about the Middle East, we believe that it is essential to welcome scholars and students from the region into the institutions of higher education in the United States, rather than exclude them as this executive order does. Along with academics across the country and the rest of the world, therefore, we call for this order to be rescinded immediately.
Middle East Studies at Northeastern is an interdisciplinary program, drawing on courses in international affairs; political science; history; philosophy; religion; anthropology; and languages, literatures and cultures. The program provides an overview of political economy, social structures, and gender dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa (Arab world, Israel, Iran and Turkey) and aims to enhance students’ understanding of European and American interactions with this culturally diverse and politically important world region.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the University’s study-abroad programs and the Dialogue of Civilizations programs (faculty-led summer programs) in Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Armenia, Israel, Jordan, and Palestine.