Spoken in 18 countries, the un, and among 83% of canada’s new refugee population

Over the last seventy years, the relationship between the Middle East and the United States & Canada has grown in size and complexity. Conflict, migration, ideological warfare, natural resources, human rights, contrasting political structures, and religious differences are just a handful of the important issues that have defined this relationship. To understand contemporary international relations, oil embargoes, economic sanctions, discriminatory immigration policies, refugee crises, gender roles, and internal religious rifts, one must study the Middle East. 

As a top university with a strong Asian Studies program, and new School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC is poised to extend its expertise in East Asia west to the Middle East & North Africa region. 

Substantial Chinese investment in Egypt’s new capital city, the impacts of Saudi labour laws on its Pakistani immigrant workforce and the Filipino nannies that dominate Egypt’s childcare sector are all examples of a growing economic relationship between these two regions. 

UBC is well-positioned to education a generation of international leaders to continue this relationship with a deeper understanding of the origin and complexity of these issues. 

The Middle East is home to 444.3 million people. Despite making up only 6% of the global population, they now host 39% of the world’s refugees, 24 conflicts since 2000, and more than 60% of the world’s oil reserves.  


We propose…

  • The creation of an interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies program in the Faculty of Arts

  • With courses from

    • History

    • Political Science

    • Geography

    • Media Studies

    • Art History

    • Religious Studies

    • Psychology

    • Linguistics

    • Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice Studies