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Skidmore College
Greenberg Middle East Scholar-In-Residence

2007 Scholar-in-Residence: Aref Abu-Rabia, professor of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Professor Aref Abu-Rabia of the the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev will be in residence at Skidmore from the first of September through the end of October 2007. While in residence, he will be teaching a five-week course in the Anthropology Department (AN 251A "Traditional Medicine of the Middle East") and will visit in classes in several departments including Anthropology, Government, Biology, a Scribner Seminar and in several other formal and informal venues.

Abu-Rabia holds a Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, a master's in public health from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a B.A. in education and Hebrew from Ben Gurion University. He has most recently been an honorary research fellow in the Departments of Anthropology at University College London and Huron University in London, and has received research grants to work with the Bureau of Arab Affairs in the Office of the (Israeli) prime minister, the Department of Education of the Histadrut (Israeli Organization of Labor), the Israeli Ministry of Science and the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at Hebrew University. He has served as the superintendent of Bedouin schools in the Negev, was an instructor at a Teachers College and worked in public health in the Negev as well. His research interests focus primarily on ethno-botanical medicine, nomadic culture and on the Bedouin in particular.  Following his residency at Skidmore, Abu-Rabia will head to Minnesota to serve as a Fulbright scholar to the Muslim world at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.


"Ethnic Minorities in Israel: from Marginality to Political Power"
Aref Abu Rabia
Wednesday, September 19, 2007,  8 p.m., Davis Auditorium

"Hamas: Appeal and Influence"
Nimrod Hurvitz, professor of Middle East history, Ben-Gurion University, and 2005 Greenberg Middle East Scholar-in-Residence
Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 8 p.m., Davis Auditorium

"Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life"
Sari Nusseibeh, president, al Quds University
Monday, October 15, 2007, 5:30 p.m., Gannett Auditorium 

"Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life,"
Sari Nusseibeh, President, al Quds University
Monday, October 15, 2007 - 5:30 pm Gannett Auditorium

An outspoken and utterly honest critic of Israeli and Palestinian attitudes, policies and practices, Nusseibeh openly opposes Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians, condemns Israel for the appalling conditions of its occupation of Palestinian land, and calls upon all to make difficult compromises in pursuit of peace - for which he has been much denounced and more admired by Palestinians and Israelis alike.  His memoir, Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life, is "a deeply admirable book by a deeply admirable man."*                                                    

Sari Nusseibeh is Professor of Islamic Philosophy and President of al Quds University in East Jerusalem; former Palestinian Liberation Organization representative in Jerusalem; Founder of Palestinian Peace Movement "The People's Campaign for Peace and Democracy;" co-Founder, with former Israeli security Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon, of "The People's Voice;" recent recipient, along with Israeli author Amos Oz, of the Premi Internacional Catalunya Award for his peace work; and currently a Radcliffe Institute Fellow working on Nonviolence as a Means of Disarming Violence.Dr. Nusseibeh has gained considerable attention with his public criticisms of the direction of the current Intifada and his call for both sides to make difficult compromises in the pursuit of peace. He has played a high-profile role as a leading Palestinian moderate, participating in countless meetings with Israeli peace activists. In openly calling for an end to the attacks on Israeli civilians, he has been showered with condemnations by Fatah leaders and the Palestinain Authority, even as he has been described as "the pretty face of terrorism" by the (now former) Israeli Public Security Minister Uzi Landau, who ordered his offices closed at the university alleging they served as PA offices. Shimon Peres has called him a "courageous and trustworthy interlocutor" and he has increasingly been viewed as among the most important Palestinian voices speaking out in support of peace.