Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies
The Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies administers the major and minor in Islamic and Arabic Studies. It is committed to supporting teaching and research on the lives of Muslim and Arabic-speaking peoples past and present.
The center’s study of the Islamic world focuses on the global context in which Islam emerged historically, the cultures and societies that it helped shape, most especially in Eurasia and Africa, and the current global condition in which people in the Islamic world situate them-selves today. It sees the Arabic language as the cultural medium for diverse ways of life that are of world historical significance.
Founded in 2000, the center is multi-disciplinary and includes in its scope of study the Arabic and Persian languages and literatures; the history of Muslim and Arabic-speaking peoples; political, economic,and social dynamics of contemporary societies; art and architecture; social, political, religious, and philosophic thought; and the experience of Muslim communities in the United States and around the world.
The Center’s goals are
Shah Family Gifts Bolster Center
Salim and Francoise Shah have been avid supporters of the Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies since its founding in 2000. They held fundraisers in their home and found community support, which made it possible to establish the center. The goal was to create not only an academic program but a hub for community outreach.
Their recent gift to CIAS continues the family’s legacy of support. “As we approach the 20th anniversary of the center’s founding, we saw it fit to expedite the pledged gift to be given now rather than from the estate. Also, in the current polarized environment with rampant Islamophobia, it’s important for people to have a chance to hear an objective source for truth,” said Salim Shah.