Middle Eastern Studies Graduate Certificate Program

Two-Course Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Certificate in Middle-Eastern Studies is a part-time program providing an in-depth knowledge of the history, politics, and culture of the region and the role that it plays in international affairs. It is composed of two courses with both a thematic and geographic approach. In the Fall semester, the course covers the region directly affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, namely Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. In the Spring semester, the focus extends to include Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. The themes covered are similar: the role of the armed forces, minorities, religion, civil society, women etc. 

This program is especially designed for graduate students in social sciences (political science, international relations, history, etc.) and professionals (diplomats, journalists, activists, NGO workers, etc.) wishing to acquire an in-depth understanding of contemporary Middle East in order to work with or in Middle-Eastern countries.

It is composed of two courses taught in English, in Paris, and scheduled part-time over two semesters to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. Each semester course consists of one weekly three-hour session during 13 weeks.

Note that these programs are best suited to students or professionals already residing in Paris, since part-time programs in France do not grant eligibility for a student visa. However, it is possible to combine this program with other AGS Certificate programs in order to reach a full-time status (three or four courses). Please contact our Academic Coordinator for more information about this:

Please also note that the offering of this program is based on course availability. See two-year course schedule.


IRD-EA-631: Conflict in the Modern Middle-East: Israel, Palestine and their Arab Neighbors

The conflict between the State of Israel and Palestine has been at the center of world news for many years. This class aims to disentangle the specificities of the region with a particular emphasis on Israel, Palestine and the neighboring countries directly affected by the conflict, namely, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq; it will study its people and look at the various factors that have shaped this regional conflict.

IRD-EA-632: Conflict in the Modern Middle-East: Iran, Turley, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States

The conflict between the State of Israel and Palestine has shaped the politics of the region as a whole. In this second course, we will look towards the periphery and discuss Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. The aim is to present a political, social and economic analysis of each with a particular emphasis on the way they have each been affected by the conflict.

In both classes students are encouraged to think proactively about the conflict and in particular about conflict resolution. A model peace conference will be prepared in each class where students will represent a country and will negotiate peace as best they can with the other participants.

We also wish in these classes to look beyond the prism of political science. The aim is to get to know the people and not just the pollical systems. In view of this, we have introduced a component where students are asked to study a book or a film produced in one of the countries.

Credit Policy

The courses in this program are accredited in the US through AGS's partner institution Arcadia University. Each course bears 3 graduate credits. Courses taken as part of a Certificate program may be transferred to a full degree program at AGS (based on your eligibility for that program): M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy or Ph.D. in International Relations and Diplomacy. They may also be transferred to a degree program in another institution, depending on that institution's transfer policy.


Mariam HabibiMariam Habibi was born in Tehran and educated in the UK and France. She obtained her Ph.D. in History at Sciences Po in Paris. She specializes in the history and politics of the Middle Eastern politics as well  as 20th Century French history with an emphasis on immigration, colonialism, and Islam.

Parallel to her faculty position at the American Graduate School in Paris, she also teaches in the study abroad programs in Paris of Columbia University and the University of California.

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Joav TokerJoav Toker is a journalist of international affairs. Born in Israel, he did his graduate studies at Columbia University in New York before moving to Paris, where he has resided for the past 20 years, serving as European correspondent for the Israeli National Television as well as covering Middle Eastern affairs for European media, notably the French TV5 Monde.

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