Our Mission

The American Center for Levant Studies (ACLS) is a research and education organization dedicated to promoting better understanding between the United States and the Middle East, with a special emphasis on the Levant region.

ACLS was created to address a crucial gap in mutual understanding.  The vital security and prosperity of the United States is inextricably linked to the affairs of the Middle Eastern region, but U.S. officials and the American public often must make decisions and form judgments without the benefit of fully understanding the region’s social, economic, and political dynamics.  At the same time, the well-being and future of the people of the Middle East depend on U.S and western policies toward the region, but few of the region’s people understand how those policies are formulated, and they often misinterpret American intentions.

ACLS seeks to fill this gap in mutual understanding.  First, ACLS sponsors and amplifies the work of regional scholars, analysts, and civil society experts, bringing their perspectives to western audiences to better inform public and official awareness of crucial Middle Eastern issues, conflicts, and opportunities.  Concurrently, the ACLS helps regional audiences better understand U.S. and western policies, as well as the policy-making systems that formulate them.

ACLS is set apart by its unique network of regional experts, all of whom combine academic or analytical expertise with on-the-ground practical experience in civil society, military, economic, and political affairs in the crisis zones of the Middle East.  ACLS experts are well-known and credible among regional audiences, and ACLS is committed to bringing their work to American experts, decision-makers, and the public.

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