The Visiting Scholars program at Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) was established to accommodate visiting researchers who wish to use the facilities and faculty resources of Georgetown University for research purposes. The University extends its resources on a selective basis in the spirit of institutional collegiality and to foster the further development of knowledge.
Visiting Scholars at CCAS normally identify a research program relating to or associated with the study of the Arab world. The scholar is provided with a University identification card, the use of the Georgetown University library system, and other privileges. Because of limited office space, the University does not formally offer space to Visiting Scholars/Researchers. Space permitting, however, CCAS will provide some work space for scholars working through the Center.
As an element of their affiliation with the Center, the Visiting Scholar will be asked to present a lecture/presentation relating to their topic as part of the Center's Public Affairs program. In lieu of a presentation, the Scholar may choose to make herself/himself available to students for advising in topics relating to the Scholar's study.
Dr. Nazar Albaharna is the former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and former member of the Ministerial Cabinet in Bahrain. He was involved in shaping the foreign policy of the country. He also chaired the Labor Fund, a multi-hundred million dollar independent authority through which he formulated innovative policies and programs that significantly enhanced individual skills and established SMEs, creating thousands of jobs. In April 2008, Dr. Albaharna headed Bahrain's first country report and action plan, which was presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council. In business, he spent ten years as a consultant and was elected Deputy Vice Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Dr. Albaharna obtained his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Wales in 1979, and spent 24 years as a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Bahrain, where he held the title of Dean of Engineering and Vice President for Academic Programs and Research. He has published more than 30 papers on mechanical engineering, energy, technology, training, and education.
Dr. Ted Swedenburg received his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Texas in 1988. He has taught at the University of Washington-Seattle, the American University in Cairo, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas. His publications include: Memories of Revolt: The 1936-39 Rebellion and the Palestinian National Past (University of Minnesota Press, 1995; University of Arkansas Press, 2003); Palestine, Israel and the Politics of Popular Culture, co-edited with Rebecca Stein (Duke University Press, 2005); and Displacement, Diaspora, and Geographies of Identity, co-edited with Smadar Lavie (Duke University Press, 1996). He is currently working on a book manuscript, Interzone Radio, that deals with the role of popular music in the construction of hybrid, ethnic, national, and transnational identities in the greater Arabo-Islamic world. He is also working on a book on the history and the transnational circulation of the Palestinian kufiya. Dr. Swedenburg serves on the editorial committee of Middle East Report, and is the book series editor, with Paul Silverstein and Susan Slyomovics, of Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, from Indiana University Press.
Rita Stephan is an Analyst at Ethnicity and Ancestry Branch at the United States Census Bureau. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation topic is The Family and the Making of Women’s Rights Activism in Lebanon. Covering a range of issues on gender in the Middle East, her publications include “Couple’s Activism for Women’s Rights in Lebanon: The Legacy of Laure Moghaizel” in Women Studies International Forum; “Arab Women Writing Their Sexuality” in Hawwa, Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World; “The Veil and Sexuality: The Perspective of Arab Christian Women” in The Veil: Women Writers on the History, Lore and Politics of the Head Covering, J. Heath, ed., Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008; and “Leadership of Lebanese Women in the Cedar Revolution” in Muslim Women in War and Crisis, F. Shirazi, ed., Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010. Stephan was a lecturer of Sociology and Women's Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, a research fellow at American University of Beirut, and a research associate at the Lebanese Emigration Research Center at Notre Dame University in Lebanon. She is the recipient of the P.E.O. Scholar Award and the American Association of University Women's Dissertation Fellowship. Her areas of research include gender, Arab-Americans, Lebanon, social movements, and peace and conflict.
Holger Albrecht is an assistant professor at the American University in Cairo and teaches courses in Middle East politics and Comparative Politics. He received his Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of Tübingen, where he has also served as a lecturer since 2005. Prior to joining AUC, he held a Post-Doctoral Research Position at the Center for the Study of Democracy of the University of Lüneburg. Albrecht’s main research focus is on the relationship between authoritarian regimes and societies in the Middle East and North Africa. His Ph.D. thesis inquires into the relations between political opposition and regime incumbents in Egypt and received the Dissertation Award 2008 of the German Middle East Studies Association. He joined Georgetown University during his pre-tenure leave semester to turn his dissertation into a book and is looking forward to embarking on his new research project on civil-military relations and the army’s role in Middle Eastern politics. Albrecht has published numerous articles on authoritarianism and regime change, state-society relations, political opposition, and Islamist movements in peer-reviewed academic journals and edited volumes. He is the editor of “Contentious Politics in the Middle East,” published with the University Press of Florida. He has also edited three books in German on politics in the Middle East, Islamist movements, and authoritarian regimes, and he is a co-editor of the book series Weltregionen im Wandel (Nomos Press).
Mehdi Fichtali comes to CCAS from the private sector where he spent the last ten years as an investment banker working for Barclays Capital and Morgan Stanley. He has long had an interest in the economic and the business world and how it interacts with the political and social spheres. Fichtali was born and raised in Casablanca. After his graduation from HEC Paris, Europe's top business school, he pursued his education with 'Institut des Etudes Politiques' (Sciences Po) Paris where he got a Masters in International Relations, focusing on the Arab world. He spent more than ten years in Paris where he studied and started his professional career that led him to London and then to Dubai. Throughout his career, Fichtali advised large corporations, state-owned firms, sovereign wealth funds, and governments in the Middle East and North Africa on their risk management. He had the opportunity to meet several senior officials and directors of sovereign wealth funds, and often his work took into account economic policies and social issues. Being close to these centers of power helped him understand, in each country, how the political sphere interacts with economic and social forces and uses the powerful state-owned companies as levers to shape economic development. Just prior to coming to CCAS, Fichtali spent the last semester of 2011 at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently researching the economic and business challenges facing the Arab Awakening.