Beshara Doumani

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Beshara Doumani "is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of California at Berkeley. His interest is in recovering the social and cultural history of groups, places, and time periods ignored by conventional scholarship on the modern Middle East. His books highlight the ethics and politics of writing people into history, and he uses locally produced sources—family papers, material culture, and legal records—to show how large historical transformations are negotiated in everyday life.

"At the Radcliffe Institute, Doumani will try to understand why it is that the inhabitants of two sister cities in the eastern Mediterranean—Tripoli and Nablus—have different understandings of what constitutes family. His comparative study of the historical development of the relationship among Islamic law, gender, and property devolution strategies from the 1660s to the 1860s unsettles the assumptions about the nature of the Arab or Muslim family that shape current scholarship on Islam, gender, and modernity.

"Doumani received his PhD from Georgetown University and taught at the University of Pennsylvania for eight years before joining the Berkeley faculty. He is the author of Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700–1900 (University of California Press, 1995) and editor of two anthologies, Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender (State University of New York Press, 2003) and Academic Freedom after September 11 (Zone Books, 2006). Doumani has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin." [1]

Resources and articles

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From the Acknowledgements to a recent article Beshara published: "Beshara Doumani is professor of history at the University of California at Berkeley. He wishes to acknowledge the detailed comments by George Bisharat and Osamah Khalil that prompted many changes to an earlier draft. He would also like to thank Nadia Hijab, Rosemary Sayigh, Salim Tamari, and Issam Nassar for their helpful comments. Due to space constraints, this is an abridged version of a longer essay." [7]


  1. Radcliffe Institute Fellows 2007–2008, Radcliffe Institute, accessed November 1, 2007.
  2. Beshara Doumani, Berkeley University, accessed November 1, 2007.
  3. Directors, Palestinian American Research Center, accessed February 5, 2009.
  4. Directors, Middle East Studies Association, accessed March 17, 2009.
  5. Directors, Trans-Arab Research Institute, accessed March 9, 2010.
  6. Board, Middle East Studies Association of North America, accessed February 10, 2011.
  7. Beshara Doumani, "Palestine Versus the Palestinians? The Iron Laws and Ironies of a People Denied", Journal of Palestine Studies, October 30, 2007.