The Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts


A consortium of instructors, researchers and students based at the University of Arizona
First-hand knowledge/ experience + rigorous critical analysis & engagement

SISMEC aspires to further understanding of conflict in the greater Middle East and Northern Africa through curriculum development, advanced research, diverse partnerships and community outreach. Our ultimate vision is a new architecture of security studies where pedagogy and research consistent with the goals of a public, land grant university support vigorous, self-renewing and most importantly, informed engagement at the global, national and local levels between decision-makers, opinion-makers, and the general public in the ongoing struggle for peace, stability and progress in the 21st century. We hope to amplify voices that need to be heard, to generate ideas that have not been explored, and to create a new type of conversation between policymakers, academics, journalists, and the communities they serve.

Who We Are

Leila Hudson

Program Director
Associate Professor & Associate Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona.

Abe Jimenez

Managing Editor
Strategic, Tactical and Intellectual Evolution of al-Qaeda & ISIL; Islamist Reform Movements; War Trauma.

Lara Tarantini

Senior Researcher
Islamic Fundamentalism; Radicalization; New Media & Mass Communication; EU – North Africa Relations

Brittany Power

Senior Researcher
Food Sovereignty/ Insecurity & Power Relations, Identity Formation, Sites of Resistance

Latest Analyses