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Welcome to the 3rd Annual Middle East Studies Conference at California State University, Fresno. The conference brings together a group of scholars whose research interests focus on various aspects of the modern Middle East, from the arts, to history, literature, language, political economy, international relations, as well as socio-cultural and pedagogical matters. Sixteen sessions, totaling more than sixty panelists, are scheduled during the three-day conference. The keynote address by Professor Nancy Gallagher is scheduled on Thursday, October 7. A plenary session on the scientific contributions of the Islamic civilization to the humanities, with the participation of Professor George Saliba, will be held on Friday, October 9. The Middle East Ensemble of the University of California, Santa Barbara, will be joining us for a musical performance on Saturday evening, October 9. Dr. Qhayoumi, President of California State University, East Bay, who will be leading a panel presentation, and Shahrnoush Parsipur, the author of highly acclaimed Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran, whose work is being analyzed in a panel on art and literature of dissent, will be attending a reception on Friday, October 8.

The conference theme of teaching about the Middle East is both timely and relevant to the global issues facing us today. We hope that the conference will provide a space for dialogue, interaction and collaboration in research and teaching for participating scholars. We also hope that the larger community will gain valuable insight about this important area of the world by attending those events that are open to the public. The participation of faculty and graduate students from many institutions across the nation, and around the world, promises a unique international conference in the Central California.