April edition of ‘Out of the Blue’ delves into MTS...

April edition of ‘Out of the Blue’ delves into MTSU’s Middle East Center [+VIDEO]

Out of the Blue Guest Mohammad Meerzaei

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The April episode of Middle Tennessee State University’s “Out of the Blue” television magazine show takes a closer look into MTSU’s Middle East Center with an interview with its new director, Mohammad Meerzaei

In his first appearance on the True Blue TV show, Meerzaei talks about the significance of studying and learning about the Middle East and some of the outreach the Middle East Center is doing within different communities.

Watch the full segment below. 

“Part of the organic making of our Middle East Center is addressing our needs to know the Middle Eastern communities as represented in Middle Tennessee,” explains Meerzaei, an assistant professor in the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department. “And for that reason, we are going to very actively reach out beyond the community to our various Middle Eastern communities.

“… We want them to feel represented on our campus, and we want them to know that their culture and their society are not just a lab object of study for us; that we are looking at it as an organically structured program, and we want to be in a very vibrant and respectful and recognizing relationship with these communities.” 

Located in room 104 of the Midgett Building, the Middle East Center is part of MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts and is the first of its kind in Tennessee. The center builds on existing programs such as those in Global Studies, Public History and Historic Preservation, Jewish Studies, Media and Entertainment, and the Business and Economic Research Center.

“Our hope is that we can also recruit some resources from the Middle Eastern communities outside of our campus so that we can do a better job of weaving the Middle East Center into the larger structure of Middle Tennessee and Tennessee in general as one public university among many in the state of Tennessee,” Meerzaei said. 

Meerzaei became center director in January, taking over for Allen Hibbard from MTSU’s Department of English.

Hosted by Andrew Oppmann, vice president for marketing and communications, “Out of the Blue” is available anytime on the university’s YouTube channel, the True Blue TV channel, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. It also airs on Murfreesboro cable Channel 9 daily at 6 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; NewsChannel5+ at 3:30 p.m. Sundays; and streamed on the MTSU Jazz Network through at 7 a.m. on the first Sunday of each month; and on other cable outlets in Middle Tennessee, so check local listings. 

It is also available as a podcast on iTunes and Google Play and as individual interview segments on Spotify at

Watch previous episodes of “Out of the Blue” at

— DeAnn Hays (