FSU Professors Push for Middle Eastern Studies Program

Friday the university's board of trustees will decide whether to offer a Middle Eastern Studies degree.

Supporters say they already have students lining up. FSU senior Eman Beck says she's excited about a recent trend on campus.

“I remember when I was first here in the Arabic program there were just a couple of students, now they fill up very quickly,” says Eman.

Student demand is the first reason FSU history professor Peter Garretson co-created a proposal for a Middle East Studies degree program.

“But this is also a national priority. We have more than 100,000 troops over there and not enough people know Arabic,” says Peter Garretson, FSU Middle East studies professor.

Arabic professor Zeina Schlenof says with the unrest in the Middle East and rebuilding of Iraq, the demand continues to grow.

“This will hold our attention for a while, students have recognized we need to learn more for future employment job opportunities,” says Zeina.

“I really feel if it passes it will help us understand what's really going on over there,” says Bryan Jacobs, an FSU student.

If approved Friday, FSU will become the first university in the state to offer the inter-disciplinary program.