Associate professor Dr. Clea Bunch in the UALR Department of History, recently became one of only two foreign women to attend the inaugural academic conference of Saudi Scientific Chairs and Centers in Riyadh.
Bunch presented the work of the UALR Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program at the January conference, which sought to open the lines of communication between countries, particularly in the area of academic research.
“By improving ties between UALR and universities in the Middle East, we can improve the dialogue between our regions,” Bunch said. “Academic cooperation has always provided an important foundation for international understanding. We have a large number of Saudi students at our university, and I am happy that I had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of their culture, government, and history, while explaining the meaningful work of our program to Saudi officials.”
Bunch was offered the opportunity to speak with the Ministry of Higher Education as well as female faculty members at King Saud University, the largest higher education institution in Saudi Arabia.
Other attendees at the inaugural conference represented Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies programs at the University of Southern California, Harvard, Cambridge, the University of Bologna, the University of London, Moscow University, and King Saud University.