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The Center’s alumni enjoy careers in universities, government, and the corporate world. We are happy to share news of your accomplishments and keep you updated.

Alumni can stay connected through the Center's events and continue to use the UCLA library's superb collection of Middle East resources.

Center for Near Eastern Studies events

The Center offers about 100 events a year, including guest lectures, book talks, films, panel discussions, and conferences. Most events are open to the public and free of charge. Check the calendar section of our website for details.

Alumni Association

UCLA's Alumni Association is a membership organization that offers discounts, travel packages, networking opportunities, and other channels for staying connected to UCLA.

Access to UCLA libraries

Members of UC Alumni Associations are eligible for a free library card. To obtain a card, present proof of your Alumni Association membership at any UCLA Library circulation desk.

If you are not a member of the Alumni Association, you can purchase a library card for $100 per year. These cards are available at the Young Research Library circulation desk, payable by check or credit card.

Prospective library users may want to consider joining the Library Associates, who provide financial support to the library. With a gift of $80 or more a year, members receive a UCLA Library card.

External users are limited to five circulating items at a time, one renewal per item, and cannot recall items checked out to other users. Library cards with additional privileges are available for a $250 a year.

UCLA Extension

Any UCLA alumnus who graduated with a bachelor's degree is eligible to take one free UCLA Extension course. The Extension program also offers special seminars and courses for Alumni Association members. Learn more and browse the available courses at UCLA Extension.

Campus Parking

Alumni visiting UCLA pay the same parking fees as the general public. See the UCLA Transportation site for locations and prices.

Other Information

What in the World Is Happening at UCLA, a video status report from UCLA Global.

Send us your news

We are eager to keep alumni connected through the Center’s website and events.

  • Has your research taken an interesting new turn? Consider coming to give a talk at the Center.
  • Have you published a book? Tell us about it for our news page. Consider coming to give a book talk too.
  • Recent awards? A new position? We want to hear about it.

 Send us your alumni news items here.

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A quick video about the global reach of UCLA.

Our alumni give back

Your tax deductible donation of any size will help us pave the way for today’s eager students to become tomorrow’s Middle East experts.

What your donation does:
  • Provides fellowships for students from any academic discipline to pursue Middle East research.
  • Funds residencies for visiting scholars from around the world to come teach our students.
  • Expands the UCLA Research Library’s Middle East collections.
  • Offers workshops for K-16 teachers on how to teach about the Middle East.
  • Provides the campus with inter-disciplinary conferences, speaker series, and community outreach.

With your support we can succeed!

Many of these people who completed PhDs in Middle East studies at UCLA are now in professional positions related to the Middle East.

If you would like to add or update a profile on this page, please contact the Center

Recent profiles:

Our affiliated students completed recent Ph.D.s in Middle East studies in the departments of Anthropology, Applied Linguistics, Archaeology, Architecture, Art History, Comparative Literature, Education, Ethnomusicology, French, Gender Studies, Geography, German, History, Indo-European studies, Islamic Studies, Library and Information Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC), Music, Nursing, Performance Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Social Welfare, Sociology, Spanish, Theater, Urban Planning, and Women's Studies. Some of the recent alumni, who completed dissertations on the MENA region, are listed below.


Alessandra Amin, Art History. Mother Figure: Art and the Palestinian Dream-State, 1965-1982

Jacob Carl Damm, Archaeology. Conflict and Consumption: Foodways, Practice, and Identity at New Kingdom Jaffa

Shawndeez Davari Jadali, Gender Studies. For the Love of God: Islam, Mysticism, and Spiritual Explorations of Queer/Trans Iranian Americans

Fredrick Walter Lorenz, History. An Empire of Frontiers: Between Migrant and State in the Late Ottoman Empire, 1835-1911

Alyssa Maria Mathias, Ethnomusicology. Songs for the Next Hundred Years: Sounding Armenian Futures in an Era of Transnational Development

Megan Ryder Remington, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Animals, Creatures, and Monsters: A Study of Animality and Foreignness in the Danielic Corpora

Vera Rondano, Archaeology. The Economy of Human Resilience: Exploring Economic Growth During Periods of Political Fragmentation in Ancient Egypt

Brady Ryan, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Left Behind: Literature and Left Critique in Neoliberal Egypt

Amr Khalaf Hamed Shahat, Archaeology. Climate Change and the Social History of Food in Ancient Egypt: Between Humanities and Life Sciences


Faisal Zain Abdullah, Islamic Studies. Pre-Muhammadan Law and the Muhammadan Muslim Theories and Implementation of Biblical Law and the Laws of Prior Religious Communities

Anna Accettola, History. Tracing Trade: Economies, Institutions, and Diaspora in the Hellenistic Mediterranean

Yousuf Mohamed Habib Al Hasani, Nursing. The Perception of Health among Omani Men Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Farzad Amoozegar-Fassaie, Anthropology. The Pursuit of Happiness and the Other: Being a Syrian Refugee Child in America

Jesse Arlen, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. A Window into the Tenth Century: The Life and Literary Works of Anania of Narek

Yael Assor, Anthropology. Objectivity as a Bureaucratic Virtue: The Lived Experience of Objectivity in an Israeli Medical Bureaucracy

Sohaib Baig, History. Indian Hanafis in an Ocean of Hadith: Islamic Legal Authority between

South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula, 16th 20th Centuries

Nadia Ben-Marzouk, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Forged by Society: An Interregional Investigation into the Social Implications of Metallurgical Knowledge Transfer in the Southern Levant and Egypt (ca. 5000-3000 BCE)

Michael Chen, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Statues in Late Period Egypt: Creating Elite Commemoration in a Religious Context

Ameneh Shervin Emami, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Magical Realism and the Re-Appropriation of Mythical and Mystical Texts: Rereading Magical Realism Allegories

Sozen Ozkan Grigoras, Linguistics. Word Order and Information Structure in Turkish

Amy Beth Karoll, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Between Collapse and Mobility: Resilience in the Third Millennium  B.C. Southern Levant

Agatha Evangeline Palma, Anthropology. The Migrant, The Mediterranean, and the Tourist: Figures of Belonging in Post-Austerity Palermo

Mariam Rahmani, Comparative Literature. Queerness in Translation: Women's Homoerotics and Gender Play in pre- and post-Revolutionary Iran

Sahba Shayani, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. The Representation of Women in Premodern Persian Epic Romance Poetry:  A Study of Ferdowsi’s Šāhnāme, Gorgāni’s Vis o Rāmin, and Neẓāmi’s Ḵosrow o Širin

Sona Tajiryan, History. The Early Modern Global Trade of Diamonds and Gems: An Armenian Family Firm on the Crossroads of Caravan and Maritime Trade (ca. 1670-1730)



Ceren Abi, History. Digging Deeper: Cultural Property in the Ottoman Empire  during the Great War and Allied Occupation 1914–1923

Scott Abramson, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Early Zionist-Kurdish Contacts and the Pursuit of Cooperation: the Antecedents of an Alliance, 1931-1951

Safoora Arbab, Comparative Literature. The Ecstasy and Anarchy of Nonviolence: the Khudai Khidmatgar Resistance in the North-West Frontier of British India

Ari Barbalat, Political Science. The Limits of a Grand Strategy Paradigm in International Relations: Lessons from Israeli History, 1977-1983

Sevi Bayraktar, Culture and Performance. Demonstrating Dance: Women’s Mobilization of Horon as Protest in Turkey       

Danielle Michael Candelora, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Redefining the Hyksos: Immigration and Identity Negotiation in the Second Intermediate Period

Martin Luther Chan, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Language Consciousness in the Hebrew Bible during the Persian Period in Jerusalem:  A Sociological Study of the Hebrew Language in its Cultural and Political Context

Andrew Danielson, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Edom in Judah: An Archaeological Investigation of Identity, Interaction, and Social Entanglement in the Negev During the Late Iron Age (8th–6th Centuries BCE)                                                     

Veronica Dean, French and Francophone Studies. The Algerian War of Independence in Algerian bande dessinée

William Geibel, Education. Diplomacy in Higher Education: Middle Eastern Students’ Perceptions on Internationalization

Ali Nehme Hamdan, Geography. Exile, Place and Politics: Syria's Transnational Civil War

Naveed Mansoori, Political Science. Propaganda after Prophecy: The Politics of Truth in Contemporary Iran, 1941-2009

Eoghan McGreevy-Stafford, Political Science. First, the Bad News: Opposition Media in Authoritarian Regimes

Esha Momeni, Gender Studies. The Politics of Collective Mourning Negotiating Power at the Intersection of Shi’ism, Gender, and Popular Culture in Iran

Veronica Garcia Moreno, Hispanic Languages and Literatures. España transfigurada en el Magreb: Construcciones identitarias en la literatura sobre la guerra de África de 1859

Jason Price, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Bureaucracy in the Bible: Attitudes toward Document-mediated Interaction in the Deuteronomistic History and Ancient Israel

Mohamed Monkez Shaker, Architecture. Comfortable Modernization:  Hassan Fathy’s Architecture and the Decolonization of Egypt   

Anoush Tamar Suni, Anthropology. Palimpsests of Violence: Ruination and the Politics of Memory in Anatolia 

Gwyneth Talley, Anthropology. Gunpowder Women: Gender, Kinship & Horses in Moroccan Equestrian Performance

Marjan Sarwar Wardaki, History. Knowledge-Migrants between South Asia and Europe: The Production of Technical and Scientific Ideas among Students and Scientists, 1919-1945

Omar Zahzah, Comparative Literature. Undercover and Hyper-Visible: Security Poetics and Pacification Prosaics in African American and Arab American Literature

Cameron Zargar, Islamic Studies. The Legal and Spiritual Authority of the Marāji'

Shengan Zhan, Geography. Lake dynamics in Central Asia in the past 30 years



Farzad Amoozegar-Fassaie, Ethnomusicology. Ethical Dimensions of Music-Making in Iran: Beauty in Islamic Revelations, Mysticism and Tradition

Noa Bar, Comparative Literature. Contemporary Mizrahi Authors and The Limits of the Postsecular “Masorti” Response to Jewish National Sovereignty

Arnon Yehuda Degani, History. Arab and Israeli: The Subordinate Integration of Palestinian Arabs into Israeli Society, 1948-1967

Sahar Youssef El Zahed, Islamic Studies. Islamophobia: The Discursive Construction of “Islam” and “Observant Muslims” in the Egyptian Public Discourse

Ani Honarchiansaky, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Connected Histories in Late Antiquity: A Study of a Peace between the Roman and Sasanian Empires and Its Diverging Impacts on Christianity in Greater Armenia and Iran

Vahe Khachadourian, Epidemiology. Effect of Earthquake-Related Losses and Post-Earthquake Events on Morbidity and Mortality: Causal Mediation Analysis of the Prospective Cohort Data of the 1988 Earthquake Survivors in Armenia

Pauline Lucy Lewis, History. Wired Ottomans: A Sociotechnical History of the Telegraph and the Modern Ottoman Empire, 1855-1911

Jonathan Claymore McCollum, History. The Anti-Colonial Empire: Ottoman Mobilization and Resistance in the Italo-Turkish War, 1911-1912

Melissa Melpignano, Culture and Performance. Choreographing Livability: Dance Epistemes in the Kibbutz and in the Israel Defense Forces

Michael Moore, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Hittite Queenship: Women and Power in Hittite Anatolia

Naveena Naqvi, History. Writing the Inter-Imperial World in Afghan North India ca. 1774 – 1857

Ethan Pack, Comparative Literature. Routes of Displacement: The Representation of Exile between Germany, Turkey, Palestine, and Israel

Mark James Pawlowski, Art History. Housing and the Village Landscape in the Byzantine Mani



Dalal A. M. A. Alfares, Gender Studies. “Life/Lines:” Narrations of the Self in Arab Women’s Autobiographies

 Fahad Alnemary, Special Education. The Journey from Diagnosis to Services for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Saudi Arabia

Faisal Alnemary, Special Education. Knowledge, Self-Efficacy, Use of Practices and Focus of Teaching among Teachers of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Samuel Dejohn Anderson, History. Domesticating the Médersa: Franco-Muslim Education and Colonial Rule in Northwest Africa, 1850–1960

Caroline Joan Arbuckle, Archaeology. A Social History of Coffins and Carpenters in Ancient Egypt

Rosie Vartyter Aroush, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. A Life of Otherness: Identity Negotiation, Family Relationships, and Community Experiences among LGBQ Armenians in Los Angeles

Daniel Fittante, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Ethnopolitical Entrepreneurs: Outsiders Inside an Armenian American Community of Los Angeles

Maran Momdjian, History. The Levantine Merchant Consuls of Aleppo; The Commercial Elites 1750-1850

Kristine Olshansky, Archaeology. Obsidian Economy in the Armenian Highlands during the Late Neolithic. A View from Masis Blur 

Alice Sophia Powers, Art History. Intimate Durations: Reimagining Contemporary Indian Photography

Syed Atif Rizwan, Islamic Studies. The Resurrection of Stoning as Punishment for Zina in Islamic Criminal Laws: From Zina Flogging in the Qur’an to Zina Stoning in the Islamic Legal Tradition

Christopher Benno Silver, History. Jews, Music-Making, and the Twentieth Century Maghrib

Darci Sprengel, Ethnomusicology. "Postponed Endings:" Youth Music and Affective Politics in Post-Uprisings Egypt

Marissa Ashley Stevens, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Shaping Identities in the Context of Crisis: The Social Self Reflected in 21st Dynasty Funerary Papyri


Salpy Akaragian, Nursing. The Prevalence of High Blood Pressure in Armenia. 

Shawana Masad Al Harrasi, Nursing. Predictors of Depression among Adult Omani Women in Wilayat of Rustaq.

Kinda Al Rifae, Applied Linguistics. Voices from the Arabic Classroom: Arabic Learners’ Attitudes toward Using Arabic Religious Terms.

Shir Alon, Comparative Literature. Against the Flow: Impassive Modernism in Arabic and Hebrew Literatures.

Lee Andre Beaudoen, History. Mirrors of the World: Alexander Romances and the Fifteenth Century Ottoman Sultanate.

Fatima Burney, Comparative Literature. The Inside Outdoors: Return(s) to Nature in Urdu and Anglophone Poetry.

Lisa Joann Cleath, NELC. Reading Ceremonies in the Hebrew Bible: Ideologies of Textual Authority in Joshua 8, 2 Kings 22-23, and Nehemiah 8.

Rufaidah Dabbagh, Public Health. Current trends of Substance Use in Iraq: Examining Data from the 2014 Iraqi National Household Survey of alcohol and Drug Use.

Arash Davari, Political Science. Indeterminate Governmentality: Neoliberal Politics in Revolutionary Iran, 1968-1979.

Oded Erez, Musicology. Becoming Mediterranean: Greek Popular Music and Ethno-Class Politics in Israel, 1952-1982.

Timur Warner Hammond, Geography. Mediums of Belief: Muslim Place Making in 20th Century Turkey.

Sara Nichole-Salazar Hughes, Geography. Suburban Occupation: Contradictory Impulses and Outcomes of Life in Israeli Settlements in the Occupied West Bank.

Christine Leigh Johnston, Archaeology. Networks and Intermediaries: Ceramic Exchange Systems in the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean.

Emine Rezzan Karaman, History. Gendered Derivatives of Identity Formation in Ottoman Kurdistan in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.

Rayed Khedher, Anthropology. From Dreams to Deportations: The Case of Tunisian Irregular Migrants in Italy after 2011.

Hannah Kwai-Yung Lau, Archaeology. Mobility, Cooperation, and Emergent Social Complexity in the Late Neolithic Near East.

Jason B. Lustig, History. “A Time to Gather”: A History of Jewish Archives in the Twentieth Century.

Abdullah Ozkan, Islamic Studies. Al-Ghazali and Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Şafa’: Their Influence on His Thought.

 Amanda Therese Rizkallah, Political Science. Coffins and Castles: The Political Legacies of
Civil War in Lebanon.

Nir Shafir, History. The Road from Damascus: Circulation and the Redefinition of Islam in the Ottoman Empire, 1620-1720.

Nefertiti Mary Takla, History. Murder in Alexandria: The Gender, Sexual and Class Politics of Criminality in Egypt, 1914 - 1921.

Thomas Levi Thompson, NELC. Speaking Laterally: Transnational Poetics and the Rise of Modern Arabic and Persian Poetry in Iraq and Iran.


Anas Alomaim, Architecture. Nation Building in Kuwait 1961–1991.

Pelin Yoncaci Arslan, Architecture. Christianizing the Skyline: The Appropriation of the Pagan Honorary Column in Early Constantinople.

Reem Bailony, History. Transnational Rebellion: The Syrian Revolt of 1925-1927.

Abraham Josiah Chappell, NELC. Approaching the Psalms: The Psalm Headings in the Early Versions.

Naazneen Shabbir Diwan, Gender Studies. Rewriting the Self: Muslim Women and Resilience in the Kalaashakti Liberatory Arts Workshops in Gujarat, India.

Ryan Joann Donaghy, Education. Envisioning an-Other Education Space: Opportunities and Challenges in Adult Education Programs for Women in Turkey.

Heidi Michelle Fessler, NELC. Transit Corridors and Assyrian Strategy: Case Studies from the 8th-7th Century BCE Southern Levant.

Anneka Wylie Haddix, French and Francophone Studies. Crises of Postmemory: Deferred Postmemory in Second-Generation Novels after the Algerian War.

Mattyas Georges Charles Huggard, Indo-European Studies. Wh-words in Hittite: A Study in Syntax-Semantics and Syntax-Phonology Interfaces.

Moise Isaac, NELC. “You Will Be Named After Your Ancestors:” Replicating Israelite Tribal Names in Judean Hebrew Inscriptions as Indexes of Refugee Identity Alignment and Community Cohesion.

Galen Jackson, Political Science. The Lost Peace: Great Power Politics and the Arab-Israeli Problem, 1967-1979.

Mohsen E. Kamel, NELC. The Ground Plan as a Tool for the Identification and Study of Houses in an Old Kingdom Special-Purpose Settlement at Heit el-Ghurab, Giza.

Kristen Elaine Kao, Political Science. Ethnicity, Electoral Institutions, and Clientelism: Authoritarianism in Jordan.

Alice Helene Mandell, NELC. Scribalism and Diplomacy at the Crossroads of Cuneiform Culture: The Sociolinguistics of Canaano-Akkadian.

Jody Ellen Washburn, NELC. Iron Age Cave Inscriptions from the Southern Shephelah: An Integrative Study of the Beit Lei and el-Qôm Inscriptions.

Xi Yang, NELC. Sayat`-Nova: Within the Near Eastern Bardic Tradition and Posthumous.


Ziad Munif Abu-Rish, History. Conflict and Institution Building in Lebanon, 1946-1955.

Cameran Ashraf, Geography. The Spatiality of Power in Internet Control and Cyberwar.

Anne Eliese Austin, Archaeology. Contending with Illness in Ancient Egypt; A textual and Osteological Study of Health Care at Deir el-Medina.

Shabnam Shenasi Azari, Sociology. Ethnic Visibility, Context, and Xenophobia: A European Perspective.

Kristina Elizabeth Benson, Islamic Studies. Sources of Authority and Authenticity in American Sharia Law.

Eric James Bordenkircher, Islamic Studies. Kings, Queens, Rooks, and Pawns: Deciphering Lebanon’s Political Chessboard.

Parissa Majdi Clark, Political Science. From El Nuevo Despertar to Nonprofit: Changes in Puerto Rican Political Identity in the US. Since 1961.

Emily Christine Cooper Cole, NELC. Interpretation and Authority: The Social Functions of Translation in Ancient Egypt.

Alma Rachel Heckman, History. Radical Nationalists: Moroccan Jewish Communists 1925-1975.

Joseph W. Lehner, Archaeology. The Evolution of Metal Industries in Central Anatolia during the Bronze Age ca. 3000 - 1200 BC.

Anat Mooreville, History. Oculists in the Orient: A History of Trachoma, Zionism, and Global Health, 1882-1973.

Pamela Pricket, Sociology. The Pious Disadvantaged: An Ethnographic Study of African American Muslims in South Central Los Angeles.

Sina Rahmani, Comparative Literature. Blank Subjects: Orphanhood and the Rise of the British Novel.

Janell Rothenburg, Anthropology. The Social Life of Logistics on the Moroccan Mediterranean Coast.

Eric Ryan Wells, NELC. Display and Devotion: A Social and Religious Analysis of New Kingdom Votive Stelae from Asyut.

Jared Norris Wolfe, NELC. ZU: The Life of a Sumerian Verb in Early Mesopotamia.

Murat Cihan Yildiz, History. Strengthening Male Bodies and Building Robust Communities: Physical Culture in the Late Ottoman Empire.



Tina Beyene, Gender Studies. Gender Based Violence & Submerged Histories: A colonial Genealogy of Violence Against Tutsi women in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

Claire Gilbert, History. The Politics of Language in Western Mediterranean c.1492-c.1669: Multilingual Institutions and the Status of Arabic in Early Modern Spain.

Tiffany Gleason, History. Coastal Islam: Religion and Identity among Minority Muslims in the French Colonial City of Porto-Novo, 1889-1939.

Matthew S. Gottfried, Political Science. The Origins and Consequences of Public Opinion in Coercive Terrorist Crises.

Shushan Karapetian, History. How Do I Teach My Kids My Broken Armenian?: A Study of Eastern Armenian Heritage Language Speakers in Los Angeles.

Matthew Kelly, History. Crime in the Mandate: British and Zionist Criminological Discourse and Arab Nationalist Agitation in Palestine, 1936-1939.

Maryam Wasif Khan, Comparative Literature. Translated Orientalisms: The eighteenth-century Oriental Tale, Colonial Pedagogies, and Muslim Reform.

Susan McKibben, Education. Learning Solidarity: Activist Pedagogies and Transnational Knowledge Production in Cuban and Iranian Diasporic Democracy Movements.

Chad Nelson, Political Science. Revolutionary Waves: The International Effects of Threatened Domestic Order.

Zeynep Ozgen, Sociology. Schooling, Islamization, and Religious Mobilization in Turkey.

Catherine Elizabeth Pratt, Archaeology. Critical Commodities: Tracing Greek Trade in Oil and Wine from the Late Bronze Age to the Archaic Period.

Sanaz Rezai, Musicology. Orientalism in Maurice Ravel's "Gaspard de la nuit".

Patricia Voege, Psychology. The Effects of a Yogic Breath Meditation Intervention on Attention Control and Other Domains of Self-Control.



Nahrain Al-Mousawi, Comparative Literature. Clandestine Mediterranean: Arab-African Migrant Literature.

Sara Brumfield, NELC. Imperial Methods: Using Text Mining and Social Network Analysis to Detect Regional Strategies in the Akkadian Empire.

Myrna Angel Douzjian, Comparative Literature. Resistant Postmodernisms: Writing Postcommunism in Armenia and Russia.

Susannah Rodriguez Drissi, Comparative Literature. Between Orientalism and Affective Identification: A Paradigm and Four Case Studies towards the Inclusion of the Moor in Cuban Literacy and Cultural Studies.

 Hoda El Shakry, Comparative Literature. Qur’anic Invocations: Narrative Temporalities in Twentieth Century Maghrebi Literature.

Melis Hafez, History. The Lazy, the Idle, the Industrious: Discourse and Practice of Work and Productivity in Late Ottoman Society.

Leah Amelia Halvorson, Political Science. Inflection Points: Agenda Setting and American Foreign Policy toward Islamist Groups.

Amanda M. Kenderes, Education. Facebook, Political Narrative, and Political Change: A Case Study of Palestinian Youth.

Devorah Sarah Manekin, Political Science. Waging War among Civilians: The Production and Restraint of Counterinsurgent Violence in the Second Intifada.

Sylva Natalie Manoogian, Library and Information Studies. The Calouste Gulbenkian Library, Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, 1925-1990: An Historical Portrait of a Monastic and Lay Community Intellectual Resource Center.

Matthew James McKinney, Islamic Studies. Maintaining True Believers: the Evolution and Moderation of Extremist Movements.

Josh O’Brien, Sociology. Growing Up Muslim in America: Managing Multiple Cultures in Everyday Life.

James Michael Petitfils, History. Mos Christianorum: The Roman Discourse of Exemplarity and the Jewish and Christian Language of Leadership.

Krystal Victoria Lords Pierce, NELC. Living and Dying Abroad: Aspects of Egyptian Cultural Identity in Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Canaan.

Annette Suzanne Russell, History. In the World but Not of the World: The liminal Life of the Pre-Constantine Christian Communities.

Yehuda Sharim, Culture and Performance Studies. The Rise and Fall of Sephardic-Mizrahi Autonomy: Racial Identities in Palestine from 1918–1948.

Dris Soulaimani, Applied Linguistics. Orthographies and Language Ideologies: Selecting a script for Berber in Morocco.

Amy Tahani-Bidmeshki, Comparative Literature. In the Process of Shattering their Chains: The Emergence of the "New Man" on Six Post-WWII African American and Iranian Anticolonial Novels.

Sabah Firoz Uddin, Gender Studies. Navigating between the Religious and the Secular: Responding to the Muslim `Woman Question' in Diasporic Britain.

Mir Hayim Yarfitz, History. Polacos, White Slaves, and Stille Chuppahs: Organized Prostitution and the Jews of Buenos Aires, 1890-1939.



David Bennet, NELC. The Spirit of Ahypokeimenonical Physics: Another Side of Kalam Natural Philosophy.

Benjamin Dale de Lee, History. Letters, Diplomacy, and Religious Polemic in Ninth-Century Byzantium: Niketas Byzantios and the Problem of Islam.

Shawki Ebeid El-Zatmah, History. Aha Gun!: A Social and Cultural History of Soccer in Egypt.

Marie Ellen Enright, Romance Linguistics and Literature. Bridging the Straits of Gibraltar: Nationalism, Myth and Gender in Contemporary Peninsular and Maghrebi Literatures.

 Liora Russman Halperin, History. Babel in Zion: The Politics of Language Diversity in Jewish Palestine, 1920-1948.

Said Fares Ahmed Hassan, Islamic Studies. Reaching from Within: Establishing a New Islamic Jurisprudence for Muslim Minorities in the West (The Discourse of Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat).

Rachel Louise Kaplan, Social Welfare. Living with HIV/AIDS in Lebanon: Women's Perceptions of Meaning.

Amanda Kenderes, Education. Facebook, Political Narrative, and Political Change: A case study of Palestinian Youth.

Aaron Michael Moreno, History. Arabicizing, Privileges, and Liturgy in Medieval Castilian Toledo: The Problems and Mutations of Mozarab Identitification (1085-1436).

Garabet Moumdjian, History. Struggling for a Constitutional Regime: Armenian-Young Turk Relations in the Era of Abdulhamid II, 1895-1909.

Grace Jeongyeon Park, NELC. The Role of Ki’lm in Orchestrating Contrastive Focus in Biblical Hebrew.

Leila Pazargadi, Comparative Literature. Mosaics of Identity: Reading Muslim Women’s Memoirs from Across the Diaspora.

Jennifer Susan Rashidi, Archaeology. Paleoepidemiology of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East: The Impact of Zoonotic Diseases and Population Demographics on Infectious Disease Patterns.

Ryan Nathaniel Roberts, NELC. Terra Terror: An Interdisciplinary Study of Earthquakes in Ancient Near Eastern Texts and the Hebrew Bible.

Mariam Medhat Saada, Hispanic Languages and Literatures. Edición y estudio del manuscrito aljamiado-morisco ms. 4963 de la Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid.

Tamar Safratti-Piterberg, History. Les Egyptiens de I’an VI, and the creation of the Descriptions de l’Egypte.

Emily Jane Selove, NELC. The Hikaya of Abu al-Qasim al-Baghdadi: The Comic Banquet in Greek, Latin, and Arabic.

Heba Abdel Halim Sewilam, Islamic Studies. The Jurisprudential Problems of the Early Codification Movement in the Middle East: A Case Study of the Ottoman Mejelle and the 1949 Egyptian Civil Code.

Fiazuddin Shuyab, Islamic Studies. “Who’s Better than God to Rule?” An Inquiry into the formation of the First Islamic State (622-32 CE).

Sevan Nathaniel Yousefian, History. The Postwar Repatriation Movement of Armenians to Soviet Armenia, 1945-1948.


Leyla Ayse Ozgur Alhassen, NELC. Qur’anic Stories: God as Narrator, Revelation as Stories.

 Saeid Atoofi, Applied Linguistics. Emotions In the Classroom: Teachers’ and Students’ Affective Practices in a Persian Heritage Classroom in Los Angeles.

Tamar Marie Boyadjian, Comparative Literature. Bridging East and West: A Study of Crusader Jerusalem in the Literature and Chronicles of the Early Crusades.

Michelle Huntingford Craig, Art History. Space: The Mellah of Fez, Morocco.

Thomas Henry Culhane, Urban Planning. Getting Into Hot Water Problematizing Hot Water Service Demand: The Case of Old Cairo.

Wendy Noel DeSouza, History. Scholarly Mysticism and Mystical Scholars: European and Iranian Intellectuals at the Dawn of Modern Sexuality and Gender.

Haleh Emrani
, History. Marriage Customs of the Religious Communities of the Late Sasanian Empire: An Indicator of Cultural Sharing.

David Meron Gorshein, Theatre and Perfomance Studies. Bursting the Bubble: Queer Performances in the Jewish Diaspora.

Whitney White Kazemipour, Anthropology. Revolutions in Microcosm: Migration, Meaning, and Mothering by Iranian-Americans.

Ammar Kahf, Islamic Studies. Syrian Authoritarianism: Persistence or Change.

Kyle Henry Keimer, NELC. The Socioeconomic Impact of Hezekiah’s Preperations for Rebellion.

Simon Nash Kenrick, Art History. Art, Medicine and Propaganda in Antoine-Jean Gros’ Bonaparte visiting the plague-stricken at Jaffa, 1804.

John Albert Lynch, NELC. Gilgamesh’s Ghosts: The Dead, Textual Variation, and the Mesopotamian Scribal Tradition.

Jason Sion Makhtarian, NELC. Rabbinic Portrayals of Persia: A Study of Babylonian Rabbinic Culture in its Sasanian Context.

Keelan Hall Overton, Art History. A Collector and His Portrait: Book Arts and Painting for Ibrahim ‘Adil Shah II of Bijapur (r. 1580-1627).

Khodadad Rezakhani, History. Empires and Microsystems: Late Antique Regional Economy in Central and West Asia, 500-750.

Gulian Siassi, Comparative Literature. Un(der)writing Home: The Politics and Poetics of Belonging in Modern Literatures of Iran and the Maghreb.

 Tristan Guy Sturm, Geography. The Future is a Foreign Country: Landscapes of the End of the World and Christian Zionists in Israel and Palestine.

Ayse Taspinar, Music. Identity and the Ottoman Empire: A Musical Synthesis at the Crossroads of East and West.

David S. Yoon, History. The Restored Jewish State and the revived Roman Empire: The Transmutation of John Nelson Darby’s Dispensationalism into Modern Christian Zionism.


Max Abrahams, Political Science. The Causes of Terrorism: A Reappraisal of the Conventional Wisdom.

Arshad Imtiaz Ali, Education. Finding Home: Formulations of Race and Nationhood among Muslim College Students in Southern California.

Carine Allaf, Education. An Exploration of Higher Graduation Rates: A Case Study of Women in Jordan.

Azzarina Basarudin, Women’s Studies. In Search of Moral Communities of Muslims: Gender Justice, Intellectual Activism and Feminist Politics.

Brenna Reinhart Byrd, Germanic Languages. From Opfer to Gangsta: the Evolving Linguistic Representations of Turkish-Germans in the Media.

Julin Elaine Everett, French and Francophone Studies. The Homoerotics of Empire: Blanc-Noir Desire and Domination in Colonial and Postcolonial Francophone Literature.

Marian Helmy Gabra, Comparative Literature. Ethnic Entanglements: A Comparative Study of Arab American and Chicano Literatures.

William Edward Gordon II, NELC. Cultural Identity of the 25th Dynasty Rulers of Ancient Egypt in Context: Formulation, Negotiation and Expression.

Andrea Herschman, Political Science. The Politics of Oil Wealth Management: Lessons from the Caspian and Beyond.

Seth Corcoran Jameson, Comparative Literature. The Desire for History: Algerian Historical Fiction in the 1980s.

Madelyn Mishkin Katz, Education. Defining Leadership for the Reform Rabbinate.

Peter Thacher Lanfer, NELC. Remembering Eden: The Reception History of Genesis 3:22-24 in Early Jewish Interpretation.

Zachery Adam Lasker, Education. The Camp Counselor as Educator and Role Model for Core Jewish Values and Practices of Conservative Movement.

Ann E. Lucas, Ethnomusicology. Music of a Thousand Years: A New History of Persian Musical Traditions.

John McCampbell Marston, Archaeology. Evaluating Risk, Sustainability, and Decision Making in Agricultural and Land-Use Strategies at Ancient Gordian.

Susan Marie Mokhberi, History. France and Persia in the Age of Absolutism.

Therí Alyce Pickens, Comparative Literature. The Body Speaks: Interrogating the Material Body in Arab American and African American Literature and Cultural Production.

Lawrence Peter Rubin, Political Science. Why Arab States Fear Islamist Regimes: Threat Perception and Soft Power Politics.

Manija Said, Geography. Reinforcing the ‘Sovereign’ — A Requisite for Empire?: Interrogating the Geopolitics of US/NATO Intervention in Afghanistan.

Edward McCormick Schoolman, History. Civic Transformation of the Mediterranean City: Antioch and Ravenna, 300-800 CE.

Khanum Shaikh, Women’s Studies. New Expressions of Religiosity: A Transnational Study of Al-Huda International.

Zeynep Turkilmaz, History. Anxieties of Conversion: Missionaries, State and Heterodox Communities in the Late Ottoman Empire.


Ramela Grigorian Abbamontian, Art History. Armenian-Americans: Art and Diasporic Identity in Los Angeles.

Nezar Ajaj Andary, Comparative Literature. The Consuming Fever of History: A Study of Five Urgent Flashbacks in Arabic Film and Literature.

Nurullah Ardiç, Sociology. Islam and the Politics of Secularism: The Abolition of the Caliphate (1908-1924).

Lisa A. Blaydes, Political Science. Competition without Democracy: Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt.

Robert Raymond Cargill, NELC. The Qumran Digital Model: An Argument for Archaeological Reconstruction in Virtual Reality.

Stephanie Chasin, History. Citizens of Empire: Jews in the Service of the British Empire, 1905-1926.

Jean Louise Murachanian, Art History. Léon Tutundjian: Trauma, Identity, and Modern Art in the Aftermath of Genocide.

Roger Sangburm Nam, NELC. Portrayals of Economic Exchange in the Book of Kings.

Ayman Shabana, Islamic Studies. Customary Implications in Islamic Law: the Development of the Concept of ‘urf in the Islamic Legal Tradition.

Henry Sivak, Geography. Law, Territory, and the Legal Geography of French Rule in Algeria: The Forestry Domain, 1830-1903.

Laith A. Ulaby, Ethnomusicology. Performing the Past: Sea Music in the Arab Gulf States.

Walter David Ward, History. From Provincia Arabia to Palestina Terita: The Impact of Geography, Economy, and Religion on the Sedentary and Nomadic Communities in the Later Roman Province of Third Palestine.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Alumni reaches beyond academic careers with creativity
UCLA alumnus and receiver of two CNES fellowships William Geibel talks about the creative career opportunities available to area studies specialists beyond tenure track.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2022
UCLA alumna translates a masterful, important novel
Mariam Rahmani discusses translating vernacular fiction.
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Please send us your alumni news to share.

Alumni News Archive...

Many of these people who completed PhDs in Middle East studies at UCLA are now in professional positions related to the Middle East.

If you would like to add or update a profile on this page, please contact the Center

Recent profiles:

Photo for Alma Heckman
Alma Heckman
Alma is an assistant professor in the History and Jewish Studies Departments of UC Santa Cruz. Her research interests lie at the crossroads of Jewish history, North Africa, French empire, and the history of social movements. She is expanding her dissertation, Radical Nationalists: Moroccan Jewish Communists 1925-1975, into a book.

Alma remembers the Center as a fertile intellectual gathering space in which to meet scholars and learn about their work. Regarding the library she says, “David Hirsch, the UCLA Middle East and Jewish Studies librarian, is a rare mind and resource -- I can't count the number of people whose projects he's helped shape.”

Photo for Ziad Abu-Rish
Ziad Abu-Rish
Ziad Abu-Rish teaches in the History Department at Ohio University, where his courses focus on the political, social, and cultural history of the modern Middle East and North Africa. He also serves on the editorial teams of the Arab Studies Journal and Jadaliyya e-zine.

A 2014 UCLA history PhD, Ziad’s dissertation work was supervised by James Gelvin, whom he identifies along with Aslı Bâli and Susan Slyomovics as role models. Ziad is grateful to the Center for providing a place to connect to faculty who shared his interests from many departments. He also salutes the library and Middle East bibliographer David Hirsch for providing the depth and breadth of materials for a robust dissertation project.

Ziad recognized the value of the Center’s wide range of public lectures and conferences that caused him to think beyond his own research area. Now he organizes community lectures, film screenings, and other informative outreach activities for the broader community in Ohio.

Photo for Janelle Rothenberg
Janelle Rothenberg
Janell Rothenberg received her Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from UCLA in 2015. Her dissertation, The Social Life of Logistics on the Moroccan Mediterranean Coast, received the 2016 Dissertation Award from the Association of Middle East Anthropologists. This research was supported by the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, the National Science Foundation Program in Science, Technology, and Society, the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, and Department of Anthropology and Graduate Division at UCLA. From 2015-2016, she was Postdoctoral Fellow in Middle East Studies at George Washington University. Most recently, she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Core Faculty in Middle East Studies at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Dr. Rothenberg is completing revisions for her book manuscript, Everyday Logistics: Making Morocco's Mega-Port, an ethnography of infrastructure, globalization, and work in North Africa. Under contract with Indiana University Press, this study is based on two years of field research in the logistics and transportation industry in Tangier, Morocco. She will also be preparing articles on subsequent research in Morocco on engineering ethics, the responsibilities of green logistics, and an urban movement for energy equality.