Despite the physical closure of MEI’s offices on N St., including the Policy Center, the MEI Art Gallery, Education Center, and Oman Library until further notice, MEI’s staff and experts are teleworking from home and busier than ever. Given our mission to educate and inform, coupled with the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on life in the Middle East, MEI is more committed than ever to providing our readers, viewers and supporters with unique insights, policy analysis and stories of creativity and hope from the region. 

Our analysts are closely following the crisis as it impacts lives, livelihoods and politics from Morocco to Afghanistan and are producing important analysis about how governments and communities are reacting to the coronavirus. See our roundup of analyses of COVID-19 in the region in this week’s Monday Briefing, and if you are not already, be sure to sign up for our Monday Briefings to get the latest analysis about the crisis in your inbox. 

We are continuing to convene public panel events, but now doing so virtually via Zoom, with analysts and experts from around the region. Last week’s panel, “COVID-19 in the Middle East: Assessing the Risks, Exploring Policy Remedies,” featured Basma Alloush (Norwegian Refugee Council), Jihad Azour (International Monetary Fund), Rana Hajjeh (World Health Organization), and Hannah Kaviani (Radio Farda) for a trenchant discussion about the humanitarian, economic, and political fallout of the outbreak in the Middle East. Click here for a recording of the event.

As we move to virtual panels, now is a great time to sign-up for MEI’s event invitations mailing list wherever you live.

Our weekly podcast, Middle East Focus, is continuing to publish episodes as usual. Our latest episode covered a range of recent developments in Afghanistan, including the US-Taliban agreement, the political power struggle over the presidency, and the challenges facing the intra-Afghan dialogue. 

Our Arts and Culture Center is preparing podcasts and panels that will examine not only the impact of the coronavirus on artists and cultural institutions, but how artists, writers, filmmakers and others are reflecting on the way in which the pandemic is reshaping culture and society in the Middle East in the months and years ahead and how they are continuing their valuable work under current conditions. 

And if you are keen to challenge yourself by studying a new language or polishing a language you already speak, all of our language classes are being offered online. The new semester starts March 30, and you can check out our course offerings here

Finally, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest updates on publications, upcoming events, institutional news and content from MEI’s scholars as they closely follow developments in the region. 

Despite our physical distancing, MEI is focused on bringing people and communities together through our many resources, which is now more needed than ever before. Please stay safe and feel free to reach out to us by email (communications@mei.edu) or on Twitter with ideas and thoughts for future programming and analysis.