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  1. I am interested in pursuing a master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies in Fall 2012, but I'm wondering if A. I am qualified to do so right out of college or if I really need to take a break to gain some experience, B. if I should seek to pursue the MA in the U.S. or in the Middle East, and C. which schools I should consider. Here's a little about myself: I am going into my final year of undergrad joint-majoring in Anthropology and Human Rights with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies. I spent the summer of 2010 interning at an NGO in Beirut and last semester studying abroad at the American University of Beirut. My research interests are diaspora studies, displacement studies, and memory works. I will be writing my senior thesis on the Armenian Diaspora in Beirut. I am fluent in Armenian and advanced-level in both modern standard and Lebanese Arabic. Not immediately but in the near future I plan to pursue a PhD in MES, and I would like to make the most out of the MA I pursue to put me in a good position for this. Regarding research and language development, being in the Middle East would, of course, be the ideal place, especially with regards to my research interests. Cost-wise, I wouldn't be breaking the bank to get the MA at say, AUB, as opposed to any U.S. school (favorites are Columbia and NYU). However, my main concern is really the reputation of a school in the ME versus that of a school in the US--like what if I were to take some time off after MA to work, would my MA from the ME be looked upon favorably or no? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you in advance!
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