Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies Highlights

Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies Highlights

The Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (CAIS) is Australia’s premier location for studies in this field, with a high international standing and connections to major counterparts in the Middle East. CAIS integrates the study of Middle Eastern and Central Asian contemporary politics, history, culture, language, economics, and the role of Islam within the broader framework of the changing global order.

Events, Conferences and Exhibitions

  • CAIS Hosted A Century of Revolutionary Change: 1917 - 2017 as part of the Australasian Association for Communist and Post-communist Studies. The Conference focused on the study of contemporary states and socies that were affected by revolutonary turmoil in Russia over the past 100 years.
  • CAIS also convened its third postgraduate and early career researcher conference In their words | In our Words from 23 - 24 November 2017. The two day interdisciplinary conference focused on providing in-depth discussions on contemporary issues, themes, and theoretical problems in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia.
  • From the 13 - 16 September, ANU took part in the Australia-Iran Dialogue wuth the Institute for Political and International Studies. The Dialogue, which was hosted in Tehran, Iran, was attended by former ANU Chancellor Professor the Hon Gareth Evans and Professor Amin Saikal, the Director of CAIS.

Consultancies and Outreach

  • Many Australian Government departments funded and were involved in many CAIS consultancy seminars, including the Political islam Seminars funded by the Attorney General’s Department and held at CAIS in April and September, as well as the Islamic Awareness Seminar held at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in November.
  • CAIS presented at several educational seminars, including a talk on the Yemen crisis at Geelong Grammar school, as well as a short course on The Political Economy of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries for the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
  • Professor Amin Saikal was also appointed the NSSP Distinguished Visiting Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.


  • Professor Amin Saikal published Afghanistan: A state in limbo for the Routledge Handbook of Security Studies. Professor Saikal also presented numerous papers including at the Middle Powers in the Middle East”Conference in Doha, Qatar, as well at the International Conference of Persian Studies in Tehran, and the Afghanistan and the Region Conference in Perth.
  • Many of CAIS’ professional and academic staff presented papers at many different international conferences throughout 2017. Researcher Dr Huda Al-Tamimi presented at the Oxford Women’s Leadership Symposium in the United Kingdom, as well as the 2nd Arts and Humanities Conference at the International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences in Italy.  Professor James Pisacatori, Deputy Director of CASS, presented a paper at The Academy of Hong Kong Studies Lecture Series in Hong Kong, while Dr Zahra Taheri presented at the 12th International Conference on Persian Language and Literature Association in Iran, and published a paper on Introducing Teaching Persian Language Online at ANU: The case of Introductory Persian in the Journal of Iranian Studies.


  • Professor Amin Saikal was awarded with the 2017 Chancellor’s Peter Baume Award. The Peter Baume Award is the ANU’s most prestigious award that recognises eminent achievement and merit of the highest order. Professor Saikal was the recipient of the award due to his “advice and public commentary being regularly sought by governmental, non-governmental organisations and media,” as well as for being an advisor to former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.  
  • Dr Huda Al-Tamimi was awarded the 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, an award that celebrate the University’s most outstanding teachers in their fields, as well as on their presentation skills and their contribution to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching in higher education.
  • Dr Jessie Moritz recieved the 2017 Dissertation Award from the Association for Gulf and Peninsula Studies on the paper Slick Operators: Revising Rentier State Theory for the Modern Arab States of the Gulf
  • Six PhD Scholars conferred their degrees with CAIS, including Dr Yahya Haider, Dr Shurat Baratov, Dr Aminat Chokobaeva, Dr Tome Vangelovski, Dr Elisabeth Yarbaksh, and Dr Jessie Moritz
  • The CAIS Language staff received funding through the CASS Conference Grants scheme for the conference. Three Languages - Three Cultures: Narratives from the Middle East that will be held in November of 2018.
  • Professor Saikal was awarded a grant through the Council for Arab-Australia Relations at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for his project on “Greater understanding of the Arab World and its implications for Australia”
  • The ANU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Acamdeic) will be funding an ANU eText Grant to publish an Introductory Arabic e-Text based on the online Arabic courses currently provided with CAIS.
  • Dr Kirill Nourzhanov was jointly awarded funding through the RSSS Inter-Schools Grant for the Australasian Association for Communist and Post-Communist Studies Conference.

Updated:  28 September 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications