Nadim Bawalsa

Alwaleed Bin Talal Scholar

I was born in Amman, Jordan and spent most of my childhood and adolescence traveling both in the Middle East and United States. I completed high school in Cairo, Egypt and moved on to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA to pursue a BA in history. Following my BA, I returned to Amman for a year to teach English and History at a private high school, and halfway through my time there, I decided to apply to Georgetown’s Masters’ in Arab Studies program. To my surprise, I was awarded a full tuition scholarship through Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. While at CCAS, I had the honor of working with Professors Judith Tucker, Yvonne Haddad, and Barbara Stowasser, among others; it is to them that I attribute my passion for the study of history. I received my MA in Arab Studies with a concentration in History in the spring of 2010. During my second year at Georgetown, I applied for doctoral programs in History and was offered a full scholarship by New York University to complete a joint degree in History and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies.

Presently, I am completing my doctoral coursework at NYU. My larger interests focus on the social history of Mandate Palestine. I have published an article (a condensed version of my MA thesis) on the diary of Khalil al-Sakakini, a notable Palestinian intellectual of the first half of the 20th century. In the piece, I argue for a re-conceptualization of the notions of modernity and nationalism as they appear in the diary in order to comprehend this man and his words with an eye to the complex individualism with which he wrote. In so doing, I offer a modest contribution to broader topics in modern Palestinian history.

My doctoral interests lie in investigating biographical sources from the British Mandate in Palestine in order to uncover some of the subjectivities inherent in Palestinian identity, as such, during this formative period. My work will take me to Jerusalem and the West Bank to conduct archival research. I greatly look forward to these opportunities.

During my last semester at Georgetown, the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding awarded me the Alwaleed Scholarship. There is no doubt that their support of my career contributed to my accomplishments thus far. With the award, I was able to focus my attention on completing my MA thesis while at Georgetown, for which I received "Distinction" and a subsequent publication in the "Jerusalem Quarterly." Moreover, having worked with Dr. Yvonne Haddad of the CMCU as a research assistant during my graduate work has given me tremendous insight into the field of Middle Eastern history. I am deeply grateful to her and to the CMCU for these experiences.