A Message From the Director

Since the program’s inception in 1984, the Program on Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization has endeavored to supply Fletcher students with a multi-disciplinary approach for the purpose of analyzing the complex political, economic, cultural, and social conditions of Southwest Asia.

In no small measure, the academic success of our program is also due to the faculty and administration's recognition of the importance of culture in a time when the application of modern science and technology appear to completely overshadow this crucial dimension of what defines human beings.

Our unique course of study and the support we have received from friends of the program has now encouraged a modest expansion of our activities in a region that has strong ties with the history and culture of Southwest Asia: the former Soviet Muslim Republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

In addition, our program is currently working with the Critical National Infrastructure Authority of the United Arab Emirates to expand ties and educational initiatives in one of the most dynamic areas of the world: the Gulf region. Similarly, we have established a relationship with the Dar Al Hekma College of Saudi Arabia to help develop and implement an internationally focused educational framework. Such an initiative will support Fletcher’s core mission statement of preparing students with a global perspective in such areas as human capital development, international security issues, international trade, environmental sustainability, and international business.

Our vision for the long run is to expand on a global basis the scale and scope of our linkages with Southwest and Central Asia as these two regions become more important to the functioning of the world order.

Andrew C. Hess
Professor of Diplomacy
Director, The Program on Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization

October 2009