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Recent News

New MELC Logo
September 20, 2022
NELC HAS A NEW NAME!  We are excited to share that the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization has a new name: Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC). We have made this change to acknowledge and embrace the diversity of the regions we study, to raise the visibility of the courses and activities we offer, and to stay up-to-date with developments in our fields of study. This name reflects the great variety of approaches and interests in our scholarly work and... Read more
Mamoun Sakkal
September 16, 2022
Dr. Mamoun Sakkal designed the original NELC logo in 1997, and we thank him now for providing us an updated MELC design. He became a full time Arabic type designer after receiving his PhD from the Near and Middle Eastern Studies Interdisciplinary program at UW in 2010, and he has served as an affiliate instructor in our department. Dr. Sakkal has lectured on Islamic art, Arabic calligraphy, and Arabic typography at universities and conferences in the United States, Canada, England, Dubai,... Read more
Mo Habib
September 2, 2022
The Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures is thrilled to launch the Mo Habib Translation Prize in Persian Literature. This prize has been established in partnership with the Mo Habib Memorial Foundation and... Read more
Iraj Khademi Photo
August 12, 2022
Iraj Khademi, a loving and beloved pillar of the Seattle Iranian community, passed away on August 6 in Bellevue, Washington. Affectionately called Amoo Iraj by many, Dr. Khademi was a longtime supporter of the University of Washington's NELC Department and was instrumental in creating a strong connection between the community and its Persian and Iranian Studies Program. He had a successful career as a lawyer and served his Baháʼí faith in England, Chile, and the US. After moving to Washington... Read more
Undergrad Symposium
June 14, 2022
The department congratulates our students who presented at the 2022 UW Undergraduate Research Symposium! NELC major Iona Hillman, under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah Ketchley, gave a talk on “Politics and Drama: Colonial Egyptologists in the 19th and 20th Century.” NELC Senior Elizabeth Peterson gave a talk called “Tomb in Paradise: The Preservation of the Tomb of Cyrus the Great during the Islamic Revolution.” Her mentors were Professors José Antonio Lucero, Maria Elena Garcia, and Lydia... Read more
Vali Nasr Photograph
June 9, 2022
On Sunday, June 5, 2022 we were pleased to resume the Farhat J. Ziadeh Distinguished Lecture Series in Arab and Islamic Studies after a two year pause. Vali Nasr, Professor of International Affairs and Middle East Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, presented a talk entitled "A New Era of the United States and the Middle East” that surveyed US policy in the region over the last three decades, touched upon the current state of... Read more
photo 3
June 7, 2022
This spring quarter, the students in Persian 454, taught by Prof. Aria Fani, translated excerpts from the "Legend of Siavash" from the... Read more
Aria Fani
June 3, 2022
The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization is pleased to announce that the lecture series "Afghanistan through Afghan Voices" successfully drew to a close on Thursday, June 2. The University of Washington (Aria Fani), UCLA (Domenico Ingenito), and Stanford University (Mejgan Massoumi) joined forces last summer to design and organize an expansive lecture series... Read more
May 18, 2022
NELC is thrilled to announce that the Translation Studies Hub (TSH) has been renewed for the academic year 2022-2023 by the Simpson Center for the Humanities. The group's new leadership includes Aria Fani (NELC), Nancy Bou-Ayash (English), and Sasha Senderovich (Slavic Languages and Literatures; JSIS). Established in 2019, TSH was directed by Rich Watts (French and Italian Studies), Heekyoung Cho (Asian Languages and Literature),... Read more
May 17, 2022
We are delighted to again be able to hold our convocation in-person for the first time since Spring 2019 and recognize your many accomplishments. So much has happened since then that deserves to be celebrated. We would be honored if you and your families would join us on Friday, June 10 from 4:00 to 5:30 PM in Room 334 of the Husky Union Building as we recognize three classes of NELC graduates: 2022, 2021, 2020.