For this author, field work, requiring and then reinforcing or deepening a researcher’s knowledge of the MENA region’s languages and cultures is central to the production of well-grounded scholarship. The emphasis today on quantitative methods and large-n studies over qualitative and inductive approaches risks impairing young scholars’ view of the profound complexities of regional politics. Such an emphasis is also more likely to lead scholars to focus on externally formulated or driven problematiques, and less likely to result in work that is meaningful and resonant with MENA realities.