Department of West Asian Studies and North African Studies

About the Department

The Department of West Asian Studies (CWAS) was established in 1967 as an independent, interdisciplinary, area study centre at the Aligarh Muslim University. The status of the centre on the recommendation of the UGC Expert Committee Report, was subsequently converted into the Department of Studies in 1996. The geographic area under study includes Iran, the fertile crescent, Turkey, Arabian peninsula and North African region. Besides multi-disciplinary research, the Department is involved in teaching, training and evaluation. The Department's faculty, represents a variety of disciplines, such as Political Science, Economics, History, Geography, Sociology and Arabic. The activities of the Department include undertaking of in-depth research studies, organization of conferences, seminars, symposia, workshops and group discussions on varied aspects of the Area.



1. To strengthen and develop the department into a full-fledged Faculty of International Studies

2. To create and train enlightened pool of young social scientists for academic, research and administrative requirements of India and abroad with special emphasis on the West Asian region by providing quality education.

3. To undertake policy studies and provide inputs to the Government of India for furthering national interest and international relations with reference to West Asia in particular.

4. To create a group of scholars for the critical study of the West Asia region.



1. To promote the study of Area Studies (West Asia and North Africa region) in its diverse aspects (historical, social, economic, geographic, political and geo-strategic).

2. To develop an interdisciplinary approach for a holistic view of the contemporary issues of West Asia.

3. To strengthen Indo-West Asia relations for mutual benefits.





The Department publishes an annual journal entitled Journal of West Asian Studies as well as a documented West Asia Bulletin [ISSN : 0975-7856]. All articles will be subject to peer review process. Since 1991 the Department expanded its academic activities with full-fledged teaching courses at the graduate and the post-graduate levels. Besides, the Centre also offers a Post-Graduate Diploma in Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies ( under UGC's scheme of Innovative Programme in emerging areas). The Department also proposes to initiate two new programmes namely, Maghreb Studies and Levant Studies during 12th Five Year Plan Period.