The mission of ICMES is to inform and enlighten American citizens and the West concerning current states of mind in the Middle East and to inform and apprise governments, non-governmental organizations, and citizens of present and current dangers, hazards, and threats of concern to the Middle East and global communities.
ICMES will serve in support of education and conflict resolution roles that will pursue, promote and provide peaceful solutions and outcomes to Middle East social, political, economic, cultural, and educational problems and concerns.
ICMES will strive to provide people with a better understanding of major religious and non-religious beliefs that are relevant to the Middle East. The values of the organization hold a deep understanding of and respect for the historic, sociological, and political underpinnings of the Middle East.
ICMES is committed to supplying a platform for public education, advocacy, and conflict resolution on matters of political, economic, social and cultural interest to academic scholars and important public figures in the Middle East. ICMES Board members and advisors are experts in a variety of areas within Middle East studies, from history to political science to international law and diplomacy to religion to media, literary and cultural studies. A great deal of this expertise continues to be acquired via ongoing travel to the Middle East and environs, where key Middle Eastern figures are engaged and consulted. ICMES members share their first-hand knowledge and extended research with associates and colleagues in the West, in both academic and political settings and with the broader community-at-large, thus offering unique occasions for citizens of the West to encounter and share ideas about Middle Eastern perspectives.
Of crucial concern to ICMES, therefore, is U.S. public need for sufficient and adequate information about major developments and issues in the Middle East. This is especially true with respect to the human costs of political conflict. ICMES’ expert membership and associates, both in the U.S. and across the Middle East, represent a much-needed scholarly voice for human rights and peaceful, sustainable development throughout the Middle East region.
Matters of concern to Middle Easterners thus carry far-reaching significance to citizens of the Western world, where longstanding interrelationships and occasional conflicts have existed with Middle Eastern countries and regions. By ensuring that its sponsored forums are responsible to scholarly and academic protocol, ICMES strives to provide a necessarily inclusive range of views, information, and commentary of and from the Middle East to a wide audience.
Although ICMES is situated physically in Washington, D.C., its scope spans the region known traditionally as the “Middle East,” which stretches from central and southwest Asia to North Africa, and borders important maritime trade routes in (to) the Persian–Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean. By this definition, ICMES focuses on the countries of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Egypt, Tunisian, Libya, Algeria, and Morocco/Western Sahara. This focus extends to outlying countries and regions with large Muslim populations, such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Kurdistan, Indonesia, and Mauritania, and to key Western regions of the Middle Eastern Diaspora, such as Spain, Germany, the Balkans, France, the U.K., the U.S., and Canada.
Inter-cultural and inter-parliamentary communication and exchange is an invaluable public service. Its aims and efforts are fundamentally humanitarian. In this light, ICMES promotes dialogue and cooperation between the Middle East and the West which can lead to productive convergence on key issues, thus helping to untangle perceived diplomatic quagmires and fostering peaceful, more cost-effective resolutions to various regional conflicts.
The mission of ICMES fills a gap in current, ostensibly similar efforts, through its unprecedented combination of responsible academic scholarship and commitment to sharing and transmitting the views and concerns of Middle Easterners themselves. The opportunities which this combinatory focus promises toward helping dispel myths and correcting misinformation about the Middle East are great as well as necessary for facilitating genuine and sustained international dialogue.
ICMES members and associates bring an exceptional range of scholarly and intercultural knowledge and experience to meet organizational needs and goals. (See Biographical Statements.) In addition, ICMES’ physical location in Washington, D.C. enhances its described, combinatory efforts, by providing ideal conditions under which members may interact with political figures and academic scholars to disseminate the results of their research most effectively.