Farah Bazzi - Student Testimonial Middle Eastern Studies (research) Leiden University
“Understanding the present situation starts with understanding the history”
“Already having a Bachelor's in Political Science and a Bachelors in Middle Eastern Studies, I wanted to choose a master's that would combine both interests, and prepare me for a PhD. The research master's was the ideal choice because it is so interdisciplinary. As a student, you have a lot of freedom to put together your own programme. It's a small-scale master's with just 25 students, so you have more intensive contact with the lecturers.
I'm interested in the Levant, and specifically Lebanon and Syria...
With my research I want to look beyond the nationalist discourse and come to a different interpretation of Lebanese history. There are many different factors that play a role in the present conflict. If we want to explain the current situation in both Lebanon and Syria, we need to have a good understanding of the history of the region.
In the third semester there's the opportunity to do some fieldwork. For me, that will mean delving into the archives of the League of Nations in Geneva for some original material from the period.
In this master's you learn to put the Middle East in its global context. The programme gives you the intellectual baggage you need to go on to take a PhD.”
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