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September 16, 2016

Subjects of Objectification or Kindred Spirits? Images and Stories of Refugees

by Kathryn Kraft* Did you know that many Syrians who flee their country choose not to register with the UN as refugees? There are many reasons for this, but one important reason is that they don’t like the images that the word ‘refugee’ conjures. If they were to officially become […]
September 8, 2016

When Will It All End?

by Elias Ghazal After a year of fruitless negotiations, empty promises, and shady contracts, the garbage crisis is back in Lebanon! Piles of toxic waste have lined streets of towns and villages, emitting harmful gases, contaminating underground water streams, and causing an environmental disaster at a national level. The solution […]
September 1, 2016

Reflections on the Burkini: Symbol of Oppression, Liberation, but mostly Power

by Martin Accad You may be thinking: ‘Not another blog about the Burkini!’ Many of us have grown tired of these divisive issues. The building of minarets in Switzerland, of another mosque in America, or the debate over whether Muslim courts with limited jurisdiction over family affairs should be allowed […]
August 31, 2016

Welcome to The IMES Blog!

Welcome to the official blog of the Institute of Middle East Studies (IMES), a research and resource institute of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon. IMES addresses subjects significant to the MENA region prophetically, sensitively and in a non-partisan manner for the purpose of carrying out its mandate to bring […]
July 14, 2016

Christ, Transforming His Global Church by Meeting Us in Our Syrian Sisters and Brothers: Highlights from Middle East Consultation 2016

Middle East Consultation 2016, held 20 – 24 June at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon, focused on The Refugee and the Body of Christ: Exploring the Impact of the Present Crisis on our Understanding of Church. Recent consultations have explored the challenges and opportunities for discipleship in […]
June 30, 2016

Hope: An Ecclesiological Identity or a Prophetic Act?

Last week, 20-24 June, IMES held it’s thirteenth annual Middle East Consultation – The Refugee and the Body of Christ: Exploring the Impact of the Present Crisis on our Understanding of Church. ABTS Faculty Member and Head Librarian Walid Zailaa was inspired to weigh in on the conversation in the […]
June 15, 2016

Takfīr and Church Unity: A Lesson from an Unlikely Source

 by Mike Kuhn A new word keeps showing up in the news describing radical Islamic groups—takfīr.  It’s the English transliteration of an Arabic word that means “to anathematize” or “to declare someone apostate or an infidel.” The ideology of takfīrī groups (e.g. ISIS, al-Qaeda, etc.) draws a very tight circle […]
June 2, 2016

What’s Happening at IMES this June?

Without question, June is consistently our busiest month of the year at the Institute of Middle East Studies. As such, we wish to highlight a number of the projects that we have been working on as we seek to fulfill our institutional mandate: To bring about positive transformation in thinking and practice […]