Abdullah Al-Arian

Alaweed Bin Talal Scholar

Abdullah Al-Arian received his doctorate from the Department of History at Georgetown University in 2011. His dissertation, entitled “Heeding the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Egypt (1970-1981), focused on the revival of the Muslim Brotherhood as the leading social movement in Egypt during the Sadat era. While at Georgetown, Al-Arian also served as a teaching assistant for the history department and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding. He also served as a research assistant for the director of ACMCU, Dr. John L. Esposito, working on such projects as the second edition of Islam in Transition and Dr. Esposito’s recent book, The Future of Islam. From 2009 to 2011, Al-Arian was based at the Qatar campus of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, where he assisted in teaching, conducted research, and completed his dissertation.

Prior to attending Georgetown, Al-Arian received his M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, where he focused on sociology of religion, writing his thesis on the development of American Muslim political institutions. In 2002, he received a dual BA in political science and comparative area studies from Duke University.

Al-Arian’s research interests include Islamic social movements, Islamic law in theory and practice, globalization and the Muslim world, United States policy toward the Middle East, and the history of Islam in America. He recently authored a chapter on “Muslim Politics in North America” for a forthcoming volume from Oxford University Press, and his writing has featured on the websites of Foreign Policy and Al-Jazeera. He is currently working on manuscript revisions for the publication of his dissertation, and embarking on a new project on the history of American Muslim political engagement. In the fall of 2011, Al-Arian will join the history department faculty at Wayne State University as an assistant professor.

On the Alwaleed Scholarship:

The Alwaleed Scholarship has provided me with the valuable opportunity to enhance my academic pursuits and engage in professional development. With the resources provided by the Alwaleed Scholarship, I succeeded in completing my dissertation research and traveled to national academic conferences, such as the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), where I presented my findings. In addition, the support provided by the scholarship ensured that I had the necessary time to complete my dissertation and defend it successfully in the spring of 2011. I am grateful to the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding for its strong support for my graduate work. I believe I would not have been able to maintain my strict schedule for completion, or pursue my professional development, without the Alwaleed Scholarship. Moreover, the continued support by the scholarship has allowed me to begin work on my next research project, focusing on the history of the American Muslim community, which I hope will be a valuable contribution in a field that is growing in importance.