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More Jewish Students Studying Middle East and Arabic Studies

What do you think of the trend? Read More

By / October 18, 2013

It seems a whole lot of Jewish students are majoring in Middle East and Arabic studies. While some might find the trend odd, the New York Times reports, those students have professed that their Jewish heritage is exactly what made them interested in said subjects.

These students tend to also have more liberal politics and a gentler view of the Arab world than much of their friends and family.

As a group, the Jewish students tend to be politically liberal; some are religiously observant, but few are religiously conservative. They generally sympathize with Arab points of view, and criticize both Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and American involvement in the Middle East, although they remain committed to Israel’s existence. Those views may make them at home in classrooms, but they can alienate them from friends and family members who have harsher views of the Arab world or fear for their safety in the Middle East.

As more and more students begin to study Middle Eastern conflict, perhaps a more open dialogue can develop. What do you think about the increase of Jews in Middle East and Arabic studies?

(Photo by Max Talbot-Minkin/Wikimedia)