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AAMU Cultural Studies Program Strengthens Middle East Component, Offers Scholarships

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Last Fall, Alabama A&M University introduced the first phase of its Bachelor of Arts degree program in Cultural Studies, aimed at providing ambitious students the chutzpah required to meet the growing international demands for private and public sectors.


At this time, the program is offering up to (10) tuition scholarships.  There are also opportunities for internship.  Within the program, student are learning about Middle Eastern literature, languages (currently Farsi), geography, politics, ethnicity and identity formation, women’s studies, Fundamentalism, Islamic mysticism or Sufism, and much more.


cultural studies flyer2.jpgProgram coordinators at AAMU say the Middle Eastern concentration offers the students the excellent opportunity to have careers at the U.S. State Department, Defense-related agencies and those businesses requiring in-depth knowledge about the contemporary Middle East.


Career possibilities are endless, notes Dr. Amel Mahmoud, assistant professor and facilitator for the cultural studies Program-Middle Eastern concentration.  Possible career opportunities are regional curriculum specialists, administrators and staff at international organizations, consultants, civil officers and cultural affairs specialists.


“As we exist, work and play in a global world,” comments Dr. Mahmoud, “it is important to explore the different customs, history, traditions and languages of cultures and communities outside of one’s own.”  The new AAMU program, says Dr. Mahmoud, aptly targets “the vividness and richness of the region of the Middle East by merging literature, film, language, history, religion, politics, society and culture in one program.”


But as the cultural studies program develops in future semesters, it is expected to expand to include concentrations in African American culture and literature, as well as Latin American culture and literature, says Dr. Jonaid Sharif, chair of AAMU’s Department of English and Foreign Languages.


“This program continues to offer students flexibility, considerable choice, and a unique opportunity to complete their requirements efficiently,” adds Dr. Sharif.  “The cultural studies program is not only about academics, but it will provide internships, film viewings, open houses and even immersion in the respective communities of a particular concentration.”   


The further development of the Middle East component at AAMU also will benefit from its collaboration with the Middle East Studies Program at the University of South Alabama.  AAMU’s cultural studies degree requires 50 credits of general education courses, 24 credits of cultural studies major course work, 27 credit hours of concentration courses, and 24 credit hours of electives.


For additional information, contact Dr. Jonaid Sharif at (256) 372-8303,; or call Dr. Amel Mahmoud at (256) 372-5381,


- Jerome Saintjones

Alabama A&M University
303 Patton Hall
Normal, AL 35762-1027
(256) 372-5654
(256) 372-5034 (Fax)
Jerome Saintjones,, (256) 372-5607
Shirley Alexander,, (256) 372-5607
Interns/Bi-Weekly Students: (256) 372-5625