Dr. Daanish Faruqi is a Visiting Researcher at the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. A scholar of migration and mobility in the Middle East and North Africa, he has leveraged his expertise both in academia and in international development. At Georgetown he will be researching democracy promotion and conflict resolution through transnational religious humanitarianism. Relying on fieldwork with transnational humanitarian NGOS immediately following the 2023 Syrian/Turkish earthquake, his latest writing deals with the viability of religious humanitarianism in effectively managing refugee crises. He has a forthcoming interview with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on this project and its potential for peace building.
He completed his Ph.D. from Duke University, where he wrote his dissertation on the role of Syrian Sufi religious scholars in joining the 2011 uprising against Bashar al-Assad. Through several years of ethnographic and historical fieldwork in Morocco, Turkey, and Jordan, conducting hundreds of Arabic-language interviews, his work revealed the role of 19th century migration from North Africa to Damascus in informing contemporary Syrian spiritual and religious politics. Syrian Sufis thus employed distinctly Maghribi idioms of spiritual and political authority to command support in their struggle against both the Assad regime and against the forces of ISIS (Da'esh). Migration and mobility as a theoretical architecture then informed how the ambitions of the Syrian Revolution are maintained in exile, most recently through redirection to humanitarian aid organizations. He has a forthcoming article on this body of research in the Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies.
He has published two books, Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism: Illiberal Intelligentsia and the Future of Egyptian Democracy (profiled in the prestigious New York Review of Books), and From Camp David to Cast Lead: Essays on Israel, Palestine, and the Future of the Peace Process(Lexington Books). He has continued to offer reflections on the challenges of Arab liberalism and democracy, both in a January 2023 essay in the International Journal of Middle East Studies offering updated thoughts on the core thesis of his Egypt book, and in a forthcoming essay for New Lines Magazine. He offers regular commentary in venues like Al Jazeera and Foreign Policy.