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:

Roundtable Assesses Annapolis Meeting

Roundtable Assesses Annapolis Meeting

On December 6, The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies hosted a timely roundtable event to analyze and assess the Annapolis meetings sponsored by the United States. Speakers included H.E. Dr. Imad Moustapha, Syrian Ambassador to the US; Ambassador Phillip Wilcox, Jr., President, Foundation for Middle East Peace; Ambassador Clovis Maksoud, Director, Center for the Global South, American University; and Mr. Nathan Guttman, Washington Bureau Chief for The Jewish Daily Forward. CCAS Director Dr. Michael Hudson provided introductory comments that framed the ensuing discussion. ...
CCAS Occasional Paper- Islamist Political Power in the Margreb

CCAS Occasional Paper- Islamist Political Power in the Margreb

A forthcoming CCAS Occasional Paper by Dr. Noureddine Jebnoun, to be published in December 2007, investigates the nature and extent of Islamist political strategies and actions in North Africa. Emerging forecasts about Islamist political extremism in North Africa have enhanced regional governments’ geostrategic positioning in the “Global War on Terror” (GWOT) by strengthening their diplomatic and military ties to the United States. Speculations and warnings about the “Afghanistan-ization” of North Africa have not, however, contributed to the development of a viable interpretive framework for assessing the contexts and interests underpinning radicalization. In reality, the threat level in the Maghreb in general, and in Algeria in particular, can only be understood by taking the internal political situation into consideration from an emic perspective. Only a fine-grained, qualitative framework, one that attends to the processes of radicalization from an insider’s perspective, can reveal how and why individuals are vulnerable to recruitment into the ranks of extremist Islamists, the so-called “Salafi jihadi” network. A completely reformed American security plan for the Maghreb region is imperative for ensuring U.S. interagency coordination by incorporating “soft power” that strengthens regional economic progress, promotes good governance, and facilitates political transition. U.S. policymakers should understand that the war against terror cannot be won by security and armed forces alone. A “kill or capture” approach does not acknowledge the dynamics of sociocultural and political ...
Challenges, Changes, and Explorations: Summary of a Workshop on New Media in the Arab World

Challenges, Changes, and Explorations: Summary of a Workshop on New Media in the Arab World

As part of the Arab Media Series, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) hosted the Arab Media Development Symposium on October 31, 2007. The eleven-member panel of media professionals, industry leaders, and seasoned journalists addressed the past, present, and future of Arab media development through an introspective lens. Following introductory remarks from CCAS Director Dr. Michael Hudson, the first panel delved into a critical assessment of the challenges Arab journalists face. The panel’s three speakers–Patrick Butler, vice president of programs at the International Center for Journalists; George Hishmeh, president of the Washington Association of Arab Journalists; and Rafiah El Talaei, an Omani journalist and former Edward R. Murrow Fellow–stressed the importance of resolving problems in order to raise the standards Arab journalists follow. Focusing on Arab journalists reporting in the United States, George Hishmeh saw Arab journalists in Washington, DC as a microcosm of Arab journalists based across the country. Hishmeh suggested that Arab journalists attend orientations on how to handle the substantial time differences, low salaries, and limited access to key government officials. Among the conditions most burdensome to Arab journalists, Hishmeh and Butler indicated that access to key officials reflects larger issues in media coverage throughout the Arab world. “If Condoleeza Rice talked to an Arab journalist, it would be all over the front pages in the Arab world. Arab media will ...
Inauguration of the Clovis and Hala Salaam Maksoud Chair in Arab Studies Draws Hundreds

Inauguration of the Clovis and Hala Salaam Maksoud Chair in Arab Studies Draws Hundreds

A standing-room-only audience attended the inauguration of the Clovis and Hala Salaam Maksoud Chair in Arab Studies on October 23rd. The evening event introduced Dr. Fida J. Adely, the first holder of the Chair established by friends of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in honor of Ambassador Clovis Masoud and his late wife Hala Salaam Maksoud. Robert L. Gallucci, dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the inauguration. Rev. Timothy S. Godfrey, S.J., director of Campus Ministry, gave the invocation. Dr. Michael C. Hudson, CCAS director, gave the opening address, followed by some moving remarks by Ambassador Maksoud, founder and director of the Center for the Global South at American University. Ambassador Maksoud recalled the commitment of his late wife, Dr. Hala Maksoud, to human rights, women's development, and a productive and rich dialogue between the Arab world and the West. Dr. Adely then delivered an incisive and detailed critical presentation entitled "Education for Development in the Arab World: Progress, Dilemmas, and Choices." Drawing on her doctoral field research on gender and education in Jordan, which she conducted under a Fulbright scholarship, Adely employed qualitative data to critique recent quantitative surveys concerning women's development in the Arab World. Adely, who holds a doctorate in comparative education and anthropology from Teachers College, Columbia University, drew ...
Photo of Sherene Seikaly

Dr. Sherene Seikaly Named the 2007-2008 Qatar Post-Doctoral Fellow at CCAS

Dr. Sherene Seikaly has been named the 2007-2008 Qatar Post-Doctoral Fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. She is also the co-editor of the Arab Studies Journal. Dr. Seikaly received her doctoral degree in September 2007 from the Departments of History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. Her dissertation, Meatless Days: Consumption and Capitalism in Wartime Palestine 1939-1948, offers the first concerted examination of the Palestinian Arab middle class under the British Mandate (1918-1948). Situated at the intersections of studies of consumption, political economy, and colonialism, her research traces the formation of a Palestinian Arab middle class before the defining rupture of 1948, when Palestinian Arabs became either refugees or second-class citizens. Dominant historical accounts of the mandate period depict Palestinian Arab society as divided between poor, illiterate masses of peasants and workers and a small group of venal notables engaged in internecine competition. Meatless Days disrupts this flattened topography of Palestinian social life by focusing on Palestinian Arab businessmen and their efforts to mediate between Arab society and the colonial state alongside unprecedented government interventions in everyday life during World War II. Through an examination of quotidian business and consumer languages and practices, her work unsettles long-held assumptions about 1940s Palestine as a period of political paralysis and stagnation. By exploring varied experience of markets and commodities as ...