SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

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 LMEI

Hassan Hakimian

Middle East studies has deep roots and a long history at SOAS. Over the past century, the Middle East has been at the heart of SOAS academic offerings and its regional perspective on world affairs.

The London Middle East Institute was established in 2002 to foster scholarly and public interest in the MENA region. Home to over 100 academic members, we pride ourselves as the world’s premier institution with one of the largest concentrations of interdisciplinary expertise in this field globally.

Our two specialist sub-centres – The Centre for Iranian Studies (CIS) and Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS) – each with over 30 academic members reflect the depth of expertise we host. Our wide range of academic programmes (conferences, workshops, panel discussions and book launches) along with our signature magazine – The Middle in London – are testaments to the depth and breadth of interdisciplinary expertise we pride in at SOAS.

I warmly welcome your interest in our Institute and look forward to welcoming you to our wide-ranging events and activities.

Dr Hassan Hakimian
Director, London Middle East Institute

LMEI Centres

The LMEI is home to the following two centres:

Contact the LMEI

Address: 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 4448 / 4370

The Founding Patron and Donor, whose generous support helped the establishment of the LMEI, is Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation. The Foundation supports a wide range of Middle East-related educational activities.

LMEI Centenary Logo

The Middle East in London

June - July 2019

The Middle East in London is the LMEI's bi-monthly magazine and is a leading resource on Middle Eastern communities in London. Special student subscription rates available