Looking for exhibits, resources, and case studies for something along the lines of what I wanted to accomplish, I came across The Middle East Institute. Founded in 1946, MEI in Washington is dedicated to studying the Middle East. It's a non-partisan think tank that offers expert policy analysis, educational and professional development services, and a place to learn about and engage with the region's arts and culture. Their purpose is to expand American residents' awareness of the Middle East and encourage better understanding between the peoples of these two regions. MEI exists at the crossroads of policy and culture. This is accomplished through three different centers: policy, education, and the arts & culture.
The policy center is a source for non-partisan expert analysis seeking solutions to the region's most challenging issues, bringing together regional and international leaders to address the region's most pressing problems. These initiatives, led by famous scholars and regional experts, create original research, host roundtables and public events, and increase awareness of regional policy's intricacies. The Education Center offers classes, academic resources, and professional development services to foster regional understanding. There are in-person and online language courses, regional studies seminars, a youth professional development internship program, a respected peer-reviewed academic magazine, and a library with rare Middle Eastern books and online resources. The Arts & Culture Center is D.C.'s sole gallery dedicated to Middle Eastern current and modern art. By exhibiting the work of Middle Eastern artists, hosting them in dialogue, and connecting them with their American counterparts, the center promotes cross-cultural understanding.
The mission statement and goal of the institution align very heavily with what I hope to achieve with this work. MEI’s primary focus surrounds the political issues of the region and educating about those stigmas and misinformation. In contrast, I have tried to stay away from culture, religion, and politics in this work- only because they are so nuanced from country to country and even from one town to another- our goals interact with history as a site of contention. While the work that the Middle Eastern Institute is fantastic and making an impact, the only issue is the static nature of the resource. Even though there are scholars from around the globe involved with the institution, to benefit from the organization, you have to be in Washington D.C. when the events are being held to participate, making it highly inaccessible. Scrolling through the website, you're met with so many different and exciting opportunities but little to no actual information or content. It fueled a curiosity that could not be fed in the same place. There is no one to share your thoughts with or ask questions, and there is no conversation to be had- which is arguably a pillar of the goal to strengthen relations between nations. 
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