SOAS University of London

Centre for Palestine Studies

Statement from Valerie Amos, 
SOAS Director

The Director of the London Middle East Institute (LMEI), Dr Hassan Hakimian, has decided to step down after nearly ten years in the role, with effect from October 2019, and will be leaving SOAS shortly thereafter. 

I would like to place on record my sincere thanks for all the work Dr Hakimian has done during his period as Director. 

The London Middle East Institute was established in 2002 to foster scholarly and public interest in the MENA region. Dr Hakimian leaves the LMEI in a stronger position than the one he inherited in 2010 and both I and the School are extremely grateful to him as a result. 

The support team at LMEI – Louise Hosking and Vincenzo Paci in particular – have also chosen to leave SOAS at this time and I would like to thank them for all their hard work and wish them well in all their future endeavours.

Given these imminent changes, and the 17-year history of the LMEI, the time seems propitious for SOAS to review the structure, functioning and purpose of the LMEI as a whole. One option we are considering is whether to bring the LMEI formally into SOAS to take its place alongside our other regional institutes. To be clear, the LMEI will continue to be a valued part of SOAS moving forward.

It is not envisaged that any changes would affect the existing Centres within LMEI, the Centre for Iranian Studies and the Centre for Palestinian Studies.

We value the many relationships and partnerships LMEI has developed with its many stakeholders over time and want to ensure that these continue and flourish.

Best wishes,

Valerie Amos

About the Centre for Palestine Studies

Dina Matar: Centre for Media and Film Studies

The Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS) was established in 2012 under the umbrella of the London Middle East Institute at SOAS.

The question of Palestine has long been a fundamental issue to the Middle East with far-reaching global significance. The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the most complex and protracted conflicts of our time. All countries across the region are deeply involved with its various dimensions, Palestinian refugees remain the largest body of refugees in the world, Palestine is the theatre of the longest ongoing occupation recognised as such in international law, Palestinian holders of Israeli citizenship have been permanently engaged in fighting for their rights, and a wide range of social and political movements claim to represent the Palestinian voice. Reflecting this complexity and central importance to the region, the academic study of Palestine and Palestinians generates a large and ever-growing body of knowledge across every disciplinary field.

For SOAS, the study of Palestine and Palestinians has always been a prominent feature of research and teaching, involving a considerable number of staff and students. The CPS provides an institutional home for this work across the various disciplines represented at SOAS, including Politics, History, Development Studies, Economics, Anthropology, Gender Studies, Law, Media and Film Studies, Art, and Music.

The CPS organises lectures, seminars and conferences, film screenings and other events. Our aim is to promote the highest quality research on Palestine, and we seek the means to attain this goal. The CPS also seeks to cooperate with similar centres in the UK, the Middle East and internationally.  

Dr Dina Matar
Chair, Centre for Palestine Studies

Contact the Centre for Palestine Studies

Address: Centre for Palestine Studies, London Middle East Institute, SOAS, University of London, MBI Al Jaber Building, 21 Russell Square, London WC1B 5EA. United Kingdom. 

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7898 4330

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SOAS Palestine Studies Book Series with I.B. Tauris

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