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News from our Alums


Judith Mendelsohn Rood (MAAS ‘80)


Judith’s book Sacred Law in the Holy City: The Khedival Challenge to the Ottomans as Seen from Jerusalem, 18291841 (Brill, 2004) was re-released in paperback and e-book format in late 2020. Her book utilizes careful analysis of the archives of the Islamic law court of Jerusalem to shed new light on the political culture of Palestine as a subprovince of the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century. Dr. Rood is Emeritus Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies at Biola University.

Stephanie Turco Williams (MAAS ‘89)

Stephanie recently published the article “Why There’s Hope for Libya” with Newsline magazine and appeared as a special guest for the podcast “Diplomacy and the Arab Spring at 10,” which is produced by Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Stephanie served as UN deputy special representative for political affairs and acting special representative of the secretary-general at the UN Support Mission in Libya.

Susan Douglass (MAAS ‘93)

Susan was a recipient of the Montgomery County (MD) Board of Education Award for Distinguished Service to Public Education. Dr. Douglass is the CCAS Education Outreach Director.

Ziad Abu-Rish (MAAS ‘02)

Ziad was a 2020-2021 ADF Fellow at CCAS. He is also Co-Director of the MA Program in Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College. As part of his fellowship, he taught a course at CCAS and gave several talks. See page 21 for details.

Alexander Thurston (MAAS ‘09)

Alexander published a new book, Jihadists of North Africa and the Sahel, with Cambridge University Press in late 2020. The book utilizes case studies from North Africa and the Sahel and a critical analysis of Arabiclanguage jihadist statements to examine the inner workings of jihadist movements. Dr. Thurston is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati.

Omar Shakir (MAAS ‘10)

Omar, the Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), was lead researcher and author for the landmark report “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution” published by HRW in April. The report draws on years of research and documentation by HRW and other rights organizations, including fieldwork conducted for the report.

Timothy Loh (MAAS ‘16)

Timothy’s paper “Language in Medical Worlds: The Politics of Hearing Technology, Speaking, and Arabic for Deaf Children in Jordan” was awarded both the 2020 Graduate Student Paper Prize by the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) and an Honorable Mention for the 2020 Student Paper Award from the Middle East Section (MES) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). Timothy is a PhD candidate at MIT’s Doctoral Program in History, Anthropology, Science, Technology, and Society.

Michael Brill (MAAS ‘17)

In June, Michael spoke, along with Professor Sassoon, at the Wilson Center panel “Challenging the Norms of Warfare: Historical Perspectives from Yemen and Iraq,” which was part of the center’s Global Middle East Seminar series. Michael is a PhD candidate at Princeton University.

Zoya Waliany (MAAS ‘17)

Zoya published her review of the book Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia by Dr. Shenila Khoja-Moolji in the journal Feminist Theory (2020, Vol. 21(2), 253-260).

MAAS Alums Speak at CCAS

This year, we were fortunate to host multiple MAAS graduates as guest speakers for our classes and public events.

PUBLIC EVENTS Andrew Farrand (Arab Studies Certificate ‘06)

“Andi Hulum: Youth Entrepreneurship in Algeria”

Ziad Abu-Rish (MAAS ‘02) Maya Mikdashi (MAAS ‘04)

“The Beirut Explosion: Context and Developments”

Dorothée-Myriam Kellou (MAAS ‘12)

Screening of Kellou’s documentary In Mansourah, You Separated Us

Ghazi Bin Hamad (MAAS ‘16) Kari Jorgensen Diener (MAAS ‘03) Richard Fischer (MAAS ‘16)

“The Impact of COVID on Humanitarianism and Development in the Arab World”

Bassam Haddad (MAAS ‘94)

“Syria’s Political Economy Incarnations: Centralized, Crony, and War Economy”

Abel Lomax (MAAS ‘11) Susannah Cooper (MAAS ‘97)

“State Department Economics”

CLASS SPEAKERS Sinan Antoon (MAAS ‘95)

“Uprisings & Activism under Occupation” for Noureddine Jebnoun’s course “Contentious Politics & Activism in the Arab World”

Anny Gaul (MAAS ‘12)

“Kitchen Histories: Gender, Food, and the Making of Modern Egypt and Morocco” for Graham Pitts’ course “Food, Agriculture, and Labor”

Caroline Zullo (MAAS ‘20)

“Civil-Social Activism in the Arab Middle East: Civil society, and humanitarian/development cooperation in Jordan” for Noureddine Jebnoun’s course “Contentious Politics & Activism in the Arab World”

Sherene Seikaly (MAAS ‘00)

For Judith Tucker and Graham Pitts’ core course “History of the Arab World”