Founded in 1959 and incorporated into Tel Aviv University in 1966, the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies (MDC) is a non-partisan, interdisciplinary research center which was founded, in part, to bridge the gap between the Israeli intelligence apparatus and academia, and to provide research solutions to contemporary issues that the intelligence services did not have the time or capability to pursue. While it is no longer affiliated with the Directorate of Intelligence, the Moshe Dayan Center continues to play a crucial role in safeguarding Israel's future.
Other organizations may make headlines by hosting high-profile political appearances. The Moshe Dayan Center’s most significant contributions are often behind closed doors. While the Moshe Dayan Center is part of Tel Aviv University, and many of its scholars hold appointments as lecturers and senior faculty therein, the MDC’s activities are not merely academic in nature. Instead, the MDC attacks real-world problems and helps to achieve real-world solutions.
Over the years, the Moshe Dayan Center has cemented a well-earned reputation as “experts that the experts rely upon.” This expertise has been developed out of the founding principle that in order to properly interpret developments in the Middle East and Africa, one must first have an intimate, ‘bottom-up’ understanding of the cultures, peoples, languages, religions, and history of the region.
We pursue this mission along a number of tracks. The MDC regularly publishes both short-form analysis of contemporary developments as well as long-form books and monographs, hosts an eclectic and ambitious program of events and activities, and provides essential support and mentorship to affiliated researchers wishing to publish in leading academic journals and presses. Our internship and visiting scholar program offer students and scholars from around the world an opportunity to study and conduct research at Tel Aviv University, and our research programs and special initiatives are at the forefront of innovation in their fields. Moreover, we prioritize the retention and training of outstanding scholars at all stages of their academic careers and offer assistantships and fellowships to the most competitive candidates.
The MDC also is home to one-of-a-kind resources. Our Arabic Press Archive constitutes one of the largest and the most comprehensive collections of modern and contemporary Arabic-language newspapers in the world. The MDC Library houses an extensive collection of journals, articles, books, economic material, primary sources, and other reference material that are of great value to students and researchers alike. Last, but certainly not least, the Glazer Media Initiative houses an extensive film collection on various topics related to the Middle East and offers access to satellite services and broadcasts of important regional channels and makes available remote viewing of our programming for a global audience.
We are governed by an Israeli Board of Governors, on the advice of an International Advisory Board. The current Director is Professor Uzi Rabi. The MDC is a non-profit institution funded primarily by endowments, research grants, and individual and institutional contributions.