The Centre for Middle East & North African Studies (CMENAS) at Macquarie University was established in 1993 by Professor Robert Springborg and Dr Andrew Vincent as an alternative voice on matters related to the Middle East and North Africa. In the last two decades members of the Centre have intervened in numerous public discussions too often dominated by stereotypes, misrepresentations and ignorance towards the Middle East and North Africa, and prejudice against the various groups of people from this large region of the world.

The Centre has principally operated as a vehicle for public outreach and has successfully hosted a range of preeminent speakers, including Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk, Saree Makdisi, Tanya Reinhart, Ilan Pappe, Jeff Halper, and Ghassan Hage, among others. However, to maximize its impact, the Centre is now developing a research-focused approach but without abandoning a commitment to community engagement. Recent appointments and a shift in focus have been responsible for a significant increase in the research conducted by the Centre. One of the chief aims is to continue developing high impact research that is translated into regular contributions to the wider public debate. More information on the Centre's research is available on this website.

The Higher Degree Research program has long been a key part of the Centre's commitment to significant research impact. Over the years, the Centre has been involved in the recruitment and graduation of numerous Masters and PhDs including current members of the Centre: Dr Noah Bassil, Dr Jumana Bayeh and Dr Govand Azeez. For information about Masters and PhD opportunities at the Centre please contact the Centre or the Director by email.

The Centre also offers a number of resources for students, academics and the general public related to all aspects of Middle East Studies. The Centre holds regular seminars and public talks conducted by resident and visiting academics that are open to anyone to attend. Regular updates on upcoming speakers will be placed on this website. If you are interested in attending public talks and seminars, or just wish to be kept abreast of the Centre's activities, please email and ask to be placed on the Centre's mailing list.

The Centre's focus is on a part of the world sometimes called the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), sometimes the Arab World and other times the Muslim World. None of these names do justice to the diversity and richness of this vast and vital region. Our aim at the CMENAS, through our research, teaching and public engagement is to reveal the full extent of this diversity and the complexity of the region as a way of better promoting a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Middle East and North Africa in Australia and internationally. 


News & Events
CMENAS Lecture Series 2016

SEM 2 2016
Visiting Fellow Dr Ibrahim Fraihat

"What went wrong with the Arab revolutions? Current drivers of Middle East Politics"
When: August 16 6-8pm
Where: W6A107
All Welcome: No RSVP required

SEM 1 2016

FEBRUARY 24 4-6pm E7BT1 
Kerim Balci (Journalist and Editor, Turkish Review)
"What Went Wrong in the Muslim World?
Recording of Public Lecture

MARCH 15 12-1.30 W6A407
Andrew Teti (Aberdeen, UK)
"Democracy Without Social Justice" In conjunction with the Department of MHPIR

APRIL 6 4-6pm W6A107
Baris Doster
"Turkey and the Syrian Case"
Visiting Fellow of the Department of MHPIR

MAY 31 12-1:30 W6A407
Lucia Sorbera (USyd)
"New configurations of feminist discourses on gender and social change in Egypt: spaces, actors, and challenges" In conjunction with the Department of MHPIR 

New online journal forthcoming
The Centre for Middle East and North African Studies will soon launch its new online journal:
Read more information on the journal and how to contribute papers for publication in

CMENAS in the media

10th November "Islamic State knows its history, to defeat it we must know ours"The Conversation 

25th September Dr Noah Bassil to speak on Syria and Iraq at Politics in the Pub

3rd September Dr Noah Bassil on Iraq with Andrew West on ABC radio Religion and Ethics