The current issue (vol. 48, no. 2) of the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the flagship journal of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, features three articles by authors affiliated with the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Assistant professor Jonathan Gribetz contributed “When the Zionist Idea Came to Beirut: Judaism, Christianity, and the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Translation of Zionism”; Aaron Rock-Singer (Ph.D. 2015) wrote “Prayer and the Islamic Revival: A Timely Challenge”; and Eric Lob (Ph.D. 2013) authored “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Foreign Policy and Construction Jihad’s Developmental Activities in Sub-Saharan Africa.” A fourth contributor with NES ties is History professor Michael Laffan, an associated faculty member of NES, who reviews Seema Alavi’s book, Muslim Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Empire.
Gribetz’s article “is about the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Research Center’s translation into Arabic of Arthur Hertzberg’s 1959 compilation of central Zionist texts, which he accompanied with author biographies.” Rock-Singer “explores how in Egypt, in a context of increasing state repression during the latter portion of the Anwar al-Sadat period, Islamists transformed the ẓuhr (afternoon) prayer into a project of Muslim subject formation that challenged state authority.” Lob’s article “examines Iranian foreign policy between the 1980s and the 2000s through the prism of complex realism . . . [and] departs from the scholarly literature . . . to turn to Iranian development programs in predominantly Sunni or non-Muslim regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.