About the MENAS
The Middle East and North Africa Space (MENAS) is a research group dedicated to the study of issues related to the Middle East and North Africa. It is housed at the Central European University in Budapest, within the department of political science. The aim of MENAS is to bring together scholars working on these regions. It organizes events such as seminars, paper discussions, workshops, and social events such as movie nights and Arabic language practice.
Among the themes examined within the MENAS:
- Political and economic systems
- Political regime changes and transitions
- Dictatorship and democracy
- Constitutions and legal systems
- Political Islam
- Islamist parties/ movements
- Migration studies
- Conflict, energy, and security issues
- Identity and ethnic groups
What is the MENAS?
The “Middle East” (ME), was coined by a British foreign office in the late 19th. The term became the common label to designate those countries in South West Asia. Due to the historical and cultural aspects that some North African countries share with the Middle East, many experts started to use the label “the Middle East and North Africa” or “MENA.” Other countries have also been included in this region. Countries such as Sudan to the South, and Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to the far East are also considered part of the Middle East. We decided to call this research group “the Middle East and North Africa Space” because of the transcontinental nature of the region.
The MENAS activities can be divided into two main categories: formal and informal sessions, both of them are open to the public.
Formal sessions include bi-weekly public seminars on topics related to the MENA region by CEU faculty or students and by international guests. The aim of the series of seminars is to widen the research interests of CEU faculty and students and to promote collaborative work among them. Activities also include the MENAS Workshop Series. These workshops are an opportunity for students to learn new skills, advance their method skills, and learn new software.
Informal sessions consist of a series of cultural and social events. Such events could be language practice sessions and movie nights. The purpose of these informal events is to keep widening our cultural and linguistic knowledge in a friendly environment while socializing and meeting new people.