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Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES)
Faculty and Staff


Samer Frangie - Director

Samer Frangie received his PhD from the University in Cambridge in 2009. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Studies and Public Administration at AUB. His research and teaching interest includes the intellectual and political histories of the modern Middle East and contemporary social theory. He has published a number of articles on the intellectual history of the Arab Left and is currently working on a book manuscript on the memory of the left. Aside from his academic work, he has published extensively in the Arab press.
[PSPA bio]

Ridwan Al-Sayyid - Visiting Sheikh Zayid Chair at CAMES

PhD in Philosophy from Tübingen University in Germany 1977. Professor of Islamic Studies, Lebanese University, Beirut 1978-2014. Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, Beirut 1985-2000. Editor in the Scientific Journals: Al-Fikr Al-‘Arabi 1979-85, Al-Ijtihad 1988-2004 and Tolerance /understanding 2004-18. Visiting Prof. in Bamberg, Salzburg, Harvard, Chicago, San’aa. Visiting Sheikh Zayid Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies at CAMES (2017-2018). Books: Al-umma wal-Gama’a was-Sulta (1984)- Al-Gama’a wal- Mujtama’ wad Dawla (1997)- Siyasiyat al-Islam al- Mu’asir (1997)- Al-Sira’ ala-al-Islam (2004)- Maqala fil-islah as-Siyasi al-‘Arabi (2005)- German Orientalists (2007)- Arab and Iranians (2014)- Time for Change: Religion, State and Political Islam (2014)- Struggle for Arabic Heritage (2015). Honors and Prizes: A. Shuman (1985), A. Dibs (1996), Khawarizmi Prize From Iran (1998), King Faisal Prize for Islamic Studies (2017).​


Nadya Sbaiti - Assistant Professor
Nadya Sbaiti joined AUB as Assistant Professor at CAMES/SOAM in January 2015. She holds degrees from Tufts University and Georgetown University and has taught at Mount Holyoke College and Smith College. She specializes in the social and cultural histories of the modern Middle East. Her current book manuscript examines the central role of education to the formation of multiple national narratives and the production of history in Lebanon under French mandate. Her publications include "'A Massacre without Precedent': Pedagogical Constituencies and Communities of Knowledge in Mandate Lebanon," (forthcoming); “‘If the Devil Spoke French’: Strategies of Language and Learning in French Mandate Beirut,” about the cultural and political significance of language of instruction in French mandate Beirut, and has written articles that guide researchers through Lebanon’s postwar archival terrain. Additional research interests include spatial manifestations of colonial and national projects; colonial methods of social control; the production of history as both discursive and material practice; tourism and heritage; and contemporary popular culture (music, film, game shows, and reality television). In addition, she has served as co-editor of the peer-reviewed Arab Studies Journal and helped produce the acclaimed documentary film, "About Baghdad" (2004).

Aliya Saidi - Assistant Director
Aliya Saidi received her Ph.D. from King's College, University of Cambridge, in Oriental Studies in 2001 and joined CAMES soon afterwards. She has a background in Modern Middle Eastern Studies and specialized in the role of women in Medieval Islam. As the Assistant Director at CAMES, she coordinates student affairs and the center's activities, lectures, conferences, and publications, in addition to being the academic advisor for CAMES students and running the CAMES summer Arabic program.

Elizabeth Saleh - Research Associate

Elizabeth Saleh works in the fields of political and economic anthropology, with a special focus on labour, gender, childhood, more-than-human relations and epistemic techniques of governance. In 2014, she obtained her PhD in Social Anthropology from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her doctoral research engaged in ethnographic and archival research to examine the entrepreneurial strategies of members of the wine industry as they converged in the Kefraya region of the West Bekaa. In 2015, Elizabeth commenced a new ethnographic study examining the reconfigurations of labour and commodities at the interface between Beirut's formal and informal economies since the start of the Syrian war. Most fieldwork takes place at a scrapyard in a working class neighbourhood in Beirut, where she explores the effects of conflict and state policies toward migration, labour and waste management in relation to the prosperity of the scrap metal industry. Elizabeth has held posts at the Asfari Institute for Citizenship and Civil Society, the Orient Institute in Beirut, the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin, the London School of Economics and Political Science and Goldsmiths, University of London. She is currently a Research Associate at the Center for Arab and Middle East Studies at the American University of Beirut.

Fawwaz Traboulsi - Visiting Professor
Fawwaz Traboulsi is a visiting professor at the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies. He received his PhD from the Université de Paris VIII in 1993. He taught at the Lebanese American University for many years and has been a visiting professor at numerous universities in the USA and Europe. He has published widely and translated numerous books into Arabic. His monographs include: A History of Modern Lebanon (2007); Al-Dimuqratiya Thawra (الديمقراطية ثورة) (2011) Hareer wa Hadeed: Min Jabal Lubnan ila Qanat al-Suweiss (حرير و حديد: من جبل لبنان إلى قناة السويس) (2013), Thawrat bila Thuwwar ثورات بلا ثوار) ( 2013). A long time journalist, Dr. Traboulsi is the editor of Bidayat journal.

Mario Kozah - Lecturer, Program Coordinator for Islamic Studies
Mario Kozah received his B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in Oriental Studies. He moved to Lebanon in 2003 and began teaching Arabic, Semitic Studies and Syriac language and literature at the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages and Islamic Studies at CAMES. He is twice recipient of a Qatar National Research Fund grant and is the lead editor of the trilogy: The Syriac Writers of Qatar in the Seventh Century; An Anthology of Syriac Writers from Qatar in the Seventh Century; and Dadisho Qatraya’s Compendious Commentary on the Paradise of the Egyptian Fathers in Garshuni (Gorgias Press, 2014, 2015; and forthcoming in 2016). He has also edited a volume on the Lebanese poet Jawdat Haydar (Jawdat Haydar’s Poetic Legacy: Issues of Modernity, Belonging, Language and Transcendence, CSP, 2016), and is the author of a monograph on the Muslim polymath Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī: The Birth of Indology as an Islamic Science. Al-Bīrūnī’s Treatise on Yoga Psychology (Leiden: Brill, 2015).

Rima Kanawati - Instructor
Rima Kanawati received a BA in Arabic Literature from Beirut Arab University and an MA in Arabic Language and Literature from the American University of Beirut. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Arabic Language and Literature at the American University of Beirut and her research topic focuses on the development of teaching Arabic as a second language through utilization of recent technological and communication advancements. Since 2011, she has worked at CAMES as an instructor of Arabic as a second language and teaches in the CAMES summer Arabic program. She has been working in the field of teaching Arabic as a second language since 2004 with international students as an instructor of Arabic language as a second language working with students from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds.

Rima Semaan - Instructor
Rima Semaan graduated from AUB with a Teaching Diploma and an MA in Arabic Literature. She began her teaching career at Emory University in the US where she was the coordinator of the Arabic Program at the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies. She has taught in a number of universities in Lebanon and is currently a full time instructor of Arabic at AUB. She teaches Arabic as a Foreign Language, both Modern Standard and Lebanese Colloquial, at different levels of language proficiency, in the CAMES summer Arabic program and during the regular academic year. She also teaches content based courses for native speakers of Arabic in the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages. She has designed teaching material for many of the courses she has taught at the university level and for private lessons she has given to international faculty members at AUB, ambassadors, diplomats, UN and NGO employees. She has presented in MESA conference and in various workshops, and is interested in modern Arabic literature, mainly poetry, as well as foreign language acquisition.

Barea Sibai - Administrative Assistant












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