Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) has announced the appointment of Dr. Fida Adely as the first holder of the Clovis and Hala Salaam Maksoud Chair in Arab Studies. Starting this fall, Dr. Adely will teach courses on development, gender, and education in the Arab world as part of the Master of Arts in Arab Studies program.
“This is a most welcome addition to our capabilities in Arab studies,” said Dr. Michael Hudson, Saif Ghobash Professor of Arab Studies and director of CCAS. “It gives the opportunity to our faculty and students to confront the myriad challenges facing Arab societies in these turbulent times.”
The Maksoud Chair, established by CCAS in honor of Ambassador Clovis Maksoud and his late wife Dr. Hala Salaam Maksoud to strengthen research and teaching in the areas of social and economic development in the Arab world, will contribute to research and teaching in the broad area of Arab social and economic development, including issues of education, governance and gender.
Fida Adely comes to Georgetown with significant expertise in the field of development and gender in the Arab world. She was the recipient of two Fulbright fellowships to study gender and education in Jordan, where her research examined the role of state schools in processes of contemporary social change. She received her PhD in comparative education and anthropology from Columbia University and her MA at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Adely’s dissertation, “Gender Struggles: Nation, Faith and Development in a Jordanian High School,” focused on the schooling experience of adolescent girls in Jordan. In addition to her teaching, Adely will deliver a public lecture at Georgetown for the formal inauguration of the Maksoud Chair in Arab Studies on Tuesday, October 23, 2007.
Ambassador Clovis Maksoud is a leading Arab public intellectual who played a key role in the founding of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in 1975. Maksoud served as the representative of the League of Arab States to the United Nations for eleven years, and was a senior editor at the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram and editor-in-chief of Beirut’s Al-Nahar International weekly. In 1991 he founded the Center for the Global South at American University. Hala Salaam Maksoud, who received a PhD in Government from Georgetown, served as president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the largest grassroots Arab American organization in the United States, and was recognized as a role model for Arab and Arab-American women. A commentator on Middle East affairs and U.S.-Middle East relations, Maksoud was involved in the effort to educate the U.S. public on issues related to the Arab world.
The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, part of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, is the only academic center in the United States focusing solely on the Arab world. CCAS offers a Master of Arts degree in Arab studies and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Center publishes a quarterly newsletter, books, monographs and occasional papers on a variety of topics. The CCAS outreach program assists primary, middle school and secondary school teachers in the development of curricula relevant to the Middle East, and Center-sponsored lecture series, conferences and annual symposia explore issues of major import to the Arab world, and feature prominent individuals from the areas of government, the business community, academia and the media.