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Middle East studies valuable in today's world, adviser says

Middle East studies valuable in today's world, adviser says



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SALT LAKE CITY — If your son or daughter doesn't know what to study in college, here's an idea.

Studying Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish or Persian is difficult, but University of Utah Middle East Center academic adviser June Marvel says it is worth it in today's world.

"Degrees for the Middle East, I think, are extremely important now, just for the cultural knowledge aspect. We don't have enough people who really understand," she said. "In the next five to 10 years, 50 percent of government workers are going to retire. We need people who are knowledgeable about the Middle East - all aspects of the Middle East."

Marvel says about 80 to 90 students are majoring in Middle Eastern studies at the U this semester. It may not be as much as the business school, for example, but Marvel says learning Arabic or Turkish could lead directly to a job in this day and age.

"All of our degrees teach ability to speak, ability to read, ability to write, ability to analyze. That's what business needs now, that's what the government needs now, that's what the military needs now," she said.

Marvel says she often hears from former students and knows people working all over the world.

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Mary Richards

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