The recently created Middle Eastern Studies club held its first meeting at at five-o’clock last Thursday the Billings fireplace lounge. The club was started by Matt Jubelt and a few others about a week and a half ago and will be holding meetings at the same time and place every other Thursday. The club’s goals include bringing speakers from the middle east, a trip to the AIPAC Policy Conference 2005, and, as for the long-term, turning Middle East studies into it’s own major.
“There are enough credits to form a Middle East studies major,” says co-creator Matt Jubelt, “but no actual department has been formed yet.” The AIPAC Policy Conference is an annual gathering of politicians that features some of the most influential contemporary leaders. Headlining this years conference are secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and leaders from both the House and Senate. Others speakers include Senate Majority Leader Bill First, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Israel Minister of Justice Tzipi Livneh, and Israel Minister of Interior Ofir Pines-Paz, among others. Subjects include the Middle East’s changing role in the world, diplomacy with the new Palestinian leaders, democracy’s role in changing the Middle East, and the effects of Iran becoming a nuclear power. Students who attend will have the unique opportunity to see how policy is made in the “advanced activists” seminar and hear from a collection of political decision makers.
Transportation will be provided by the school and students who plan to attend will be asked to pay for accommodations. The Middle East has been the focus of American foreign affairs and an understanding of this region is imperative to its successful integration to the world community.