Center for Contemporary Arab Studies - Center for Contemporary Arab Studies | Georgetown University

Center for Contemporary Arab Studies

The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University directs the nation’s only Master of Arts in Arab Studies (MAAS) program. Our rigorous Arabic language training and multidisciplinary approach draw on the expertise of an academically diverse faculty. CCAS also hosts a rich calendar of public events, a Title VI-supported outreach program for K-14 educators, and a growing multimedia and publications program.

CCAS News:

Palestine Israel Flags

Israeli and Palestinian Histories Explored in Spring Outreach Workshop

Thirty-two area educators gathered April 28 for a CCAS outreach workshop entitled "Israelis and Palestinians: Shared History, Entangled Narratives." Zeina Seikaly, CCAS Director of Educational Outreach, welcomed the attendees and introduced the day's agenda. Four presenters spoke about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as its social and political dimensions. Ms. Seikaly also screened the documentary Encounter Point, which focuses on the work of Israelis and Palestinians toward dialogue and reconciliation. Dr. Sherene Seikaly, Qatar Postdoctoral Fellow at CCAS, gave a presentation entitled "Beyond What Went Wrong: Palestine Before 1948." She began with a discussion of Palestine under Ottoman rule in the 1870s, when its residents included a majority of Sunni Arab Palestinians, a minority of Palestinian Christians, and a small minority of indigenous Jews. Dr. Seikaly then covered the policies of the British Mandate (1918-1948), which was committed to the facilitation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. She traced the various waves of European Jewish immigration to Palestine beginning in the 1890s in response to the rise of Zionism and growing European anti-Semitism. Finally, Dr. Seikaly pointed out that while the categories of Arab and Jew are today mutually exclusive, they have not always been so and were in fact made such by Zionism and Arab nationalism. Thus, the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not an age-old religious struggle, but ...

CCAS Scholarship Program Featured in Qatar Newspapers

Al-Arab's article, entitled "Americans Compete to Study Arabic at Qatar University," discusses the cooperative relationship between CCAS and Qatar University (QU) that enables American students to study Arabic in Doha. The piece describes the Arabic for Non-Native Speakers Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at QU, of which Dr. Abdullah Abdel Rahman is the Director. At Georgetown, Dr. Samer Shehata heads the CCAS scholarship program for study at QU, which has awarded 20 scholarships to American students over the past four years. The article also discusses the increased demand for Arabic study in the West and in the U.S. in particular over the last few years. It quotes Dr. Shehata as describing the program as important for increasing the understanding of the Arab world in the U.S. The photo includes three American students currently studying Arabic at QU as well as Dr. Abdel Rahman and Dr. Shehata. Those pictured are (from left to right): Macey Stapleton (B.A. Duke University, 2007), Dr. Abdullah Abdel Rahman, Kate Eyerman (B.A. Northwestern University, 2006, Georgetown M.A. student), Dr. Samer Shehata, Tyson Patros (B.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2007.) Al-Sharq’s article is entitled "Dr. Abdullah is Appointed Director of the Arabic Language Program.” Dr. Abdullah Abdel Rahman was recently appointed Director of the Arabic for Non-Native Speakers Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Qatar University ...
Noureddine Jebnoun

Dr. Noureddine Jebnoun Presents a Paper on Radicalization in North Africa

Dr. Noureddine Jebnoun, adjunct professor in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, recently participated in the South African Institute of International Affairs' (SAIIA) conference, “Seeds of Contempt: Rethinking Radicalization and Responses.” The event was held in Johannesburg March 6 through 8, 2008, and Dr. Jebnoun presented a paper on radicalism in North Africa. The conference correlated to SAIIA’s latest project, which aims to conduct case studies on radicalization across seven regions: Southern Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, West Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, and North Africa. Rather than simply provide a catalogue of incidents, the case studies develop conceptual models for examining radicalization in each area. “Seeds of Contempt” brought together roughly 40 senior international policymakers, intelligence agents, and academic specialists to debate the findings of these case studies as well as a number of shorter thematic papers. Critically, senior representatives of key Islamic constituencies who have consistently been denied a place in discussions of radicalization took part. Johannesburg’s Old Fort Prison, commonly known as “Number Four”—now the seat of the Constitutional Court of South Africa—served as the conference’s site. Political activists opposed to apartheid, such as Nelson Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Khehla Shubane, and other prominent figures of the African National Congress were held there. Mahatma Gandhi was also jailed in the prison in 1908 for resisting an ordinance dictating the segregation of Asians in ...
What is Behind the December 11th Bomb Attacks in Algiers?

What is Behind the December 11th Bomb Attacks in Algiers?

By: Dr. Noureddine Jebnoun 2007 has been one of Algeria’s most violent years since the “red decade” of the 1990s. The December 11th attacks in Algiers were the latest in a long line of bombings that have increased in intensity since February, when seven bombs exploded simultaneously, killing at least six people in the southeast area of Algiers. Up until now, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) modus operandi has shifted from targeting Algerian security and military installations to attacking governmental facilities and foreign interests with simultaneous suicide attacks. Furthermore, the 11th day of the month has become the most deadly day in AQIM’s calendar. Among the ten major attacks launched during the last ten months, three occurred on April 11, July 11 and December 11 respectively. By targeting Algeria’s Constitutional Council and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) building, as well as the offices of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Algerian capital, AQIM is brutally pursuing at least three objectives. First, the AQIM is registering its disapproval of Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem’s attempts to push a constitutional amendment that would enable President Bouteflika to serve for a third term. Secondly, by calling the Algerian UN headquarters a “Green Zone,” and labeling its staff members a “den of international infidels,” AQIM is symbolically reliving the August 2003 attack on the ...