Welcome to the Florida Society for Middle East Studies

The mission of FSMES is to foster a better understanding of all matters related to the region among our members. We focus on the historical, political, economic, cultural and social issues of the region and do this through a continuing series of lectures by experts from academia, think tanks and government. The sessions encourage both audience participation and a frank exchange of ideas on every facet of life in the Middle East.

FSMES is not religion-focused, not Israel- focused and does not espouse a political agenda. We are the largest such community-based organization in America.


2018-19 Presenters

A World in Turmoil: Britain, Europe, and the Middle East
Melanie Phillips – 11/18/18 – 2 pm
FAU Friedberg Auditorium

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist, author, and public commentator. She began on the left of the political spectrum, writing for The Guardian and New Statesman. During the 1990s, she came to identify with ideas more associated with the right and currently writes for The Times, The Jerusalem Post and The Jewish Chronicle, covering political and social issues from a social conservative perspective. Phillips defines herself as a liberal who has “been mugged by reality”. Learn More

The Iranian/Russian/Turkish Axis: Strategic or Superficial?
Dr. Robert Rabil – 12/15/18 – 2 pm
FAU Friedberg Auditorium

Dr. Rabil received his Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, his Masters in Government from Harvard University Extension School and his Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. His area of research includes Political Islam, Terrorism, Transnational and Revivalist Movements, U.S.-Arab Relations, Arab-Israeli Conflict, Reform in the Arab world, and Contemporary Middle Eastern and Southeastern Politics.Learn More

Russia’s Islamic Problem: Within and Beyond
Dr. Renat Shaykhutdinov – 01/12/19 – 2 pm
FAU Friedberg Auditorium

Dr. Renat Shaykhutdinov came to Florida Atlantic University in 2007 from Texas A&M University where he received his PhD. He earned his BA degrees in Political Science and International Relations, and Sociology from the University of Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. His teaching and research interests include comparative and international politics, ethnic conflict, research methods, power-sharing arrangements, decentralization, and the politics of the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe. Learn More

Gulliver’s Troubles: America in the Middle East
Aaron David Miller – 1/27/19 – 2 pm
Bnai Torah, Boca Raton

Aaron David Miller is an American Middle East analyst, author, and negotiator. He is Vice President for New Initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and has been an advisor to both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state. He is a Global Affairs Analyst for CNN.Learn More

Arab-Israeli Peace: A Palestinian Perspective
Ghaith al-Omari – 2/09/18 – 2 pm
FAU Friedberg Auditorium

Ghaith al-Omari is a non-resident fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP). Prior to that, he served in various positions within the Palestinian Authority, including Director of the International Relations Department in the Office of the Palestinian President, and advisor to former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. In these capacities, he provided advice on foreign policy — especially vis-à-vis the United States and Israel — and security. He has extensive experience in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, having been an advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team throughout the permanent status negotiations (1999–2001). Learn More

The Oslo Peace Process: Events Preceding and Subsequent to the Handshake on the White House Lawn
Dr. Ralph Nurnberger – 2/23/19 – 2 pm
FAU Friedberg Auditorium

Dr. Ralph Nurnberger is a widely acclaimed speaker who brings humor, current political insights and historical background to his presentations. In addition to speaking nationally, Dr. Nurnberger has appeared on radio and television programs as an analyst on political and international issues, and has spoken on a number of international cruises. Dr. Nurnberger taught at Georgetown University for 38 years. He was named Professor of the Year by the Graduate School of Liberal Studies in 2003 and received another award in 2005 for over 20 years of excellence in teaching. He currently teaches at Florida Atlantic University.Learn More

It’s Not Getting Better Out There: Illusions or Opportunities?
Dr. Shoshana Bryen – 3/09/19 – 2 pm
FAU Friedberg Auditorium

Shoshana Bryen is a leading specialist in U.S. defense policy and Middle East affairs. The former Executive Director and SeniorDirector for Security Policy at JINSA, Mrs. Bryen was author of the widely republished JINSA Reports. She has worked with the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College and the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, and lectured at the National Defense University in Washington.Learn More

Turkey on a Tightrope: NATO or ???
Dr. Mehmet Gurses – 3/23/19 – 2 pm
FAU Friedberg Auditorium

Dr. Mehmet Gurses is an associate professor of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University. His research interests include ethnic and religious conflict, post-civil war peace building, post-civil war democratization, Kurdish politics, and the emergence and evolution of the Islamist parties in the Middle East.Learn More