Dr. Tamari is involved in international projects with a focus on the Middle East and Islam. He coordinates a study abroad program to Istanbul and Damascus and facilitates a Middle East and Islamic Studies Roundtable/Initiative at SIUE. In addition. Dr. Tamari created the "Islam 101" Speaker Series with support from the Meridian Society. He also created the SIUE Arabic Club in the Fall of 2010 with support from Kimmel Leadership.
Dr. Tamari's international initiatives aim to expose students to a critical religious/cultural tradition (Islam) and region (the Middle East) by taking them to the region or bringing Muslims and the region to them. The Istanbul and Damascus trips seek to immerse the students in a Middle Eastern environment while offering an academic course of study to complement what they are seeing, hearing, and otherwise experiencing on the ground. The Middle East and Islamic Studies Initiative aims to institutionalize Islamic and Middle Eastern curricular offerings at SIUE and public programming for the university and the wider community.
Dr. Tamari created a speaker series, "Islam 101". The series brings and non-Muslims together for an exploration of shared traditions and good food. Some of its activities include lectures, hip-hop performances, panel presentations by youth and women from St. Louis, and-in conjunction with CAB-a performance by Egyptian-American comic Ahmed Ahmed.
The SIUE Arabic Club was created as a result of student interest which, in turn, was sparked by the Arabic language offerings in the Dept. of Foreign Languages which, in turn, came about as a result of a successful Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants grant initiated through International Programs. In the spring, Dr. Tamari engaged the community in what he called "History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict". There have been presentations by a Catholic theologian, a practicing Jew, a Holocaust survivor, and Palestinian youth.
Dr. Tamari's Middle East and Islamic Studies initiatives have been possible with support from CAS, International Programs, Department of Historical Studies, History Honor Society, and The Meridian Society.