This past week, I took my pursuit of understanding global peace and security studies on the road. I attended, along with other UCF International Relations Club (IRC) members, the 11th annual conference of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA) in Washington, D.C.
The overall theme of the conference was “Tradition, Evolution, and Revolution in the Middle East and Africa.” The conference hosted forty panels and over a hundred presenters, with topics including Islamic thought, control and governance in East Africa, geopolitics of the Mediterranean and the trials and travails of African women, to name a few. Additionally, the keynote speaker was the Honorable Mithal al-Alusi, former MP for the Republic of Iraq and leader of the Iraqi Ummah Party. He spoke of Iraq’s dedication to democracy and its goal of working with the U.S. in the region to maintain peace and stability.
Founded in 2007, ASMEA works to promote the highest standards of research in the Middle East and Africa as a non-partisan, non-profit academic society. In my opinion, this goal was easily achieved through a plethora of content and opportunities to interact with other participants to share ideas and network. As IRC works to expand students’ international understanding and provide professional and academic connections for undergraduate students, this trip to D.C. and to ASMEA was a valuable opportunity for our group to do just that.
Tags: Africa, Middle East, Global Peace, MENA, Callahan, IRC