Shimon Shamir, (Ph.D. 1961), professor emeritus of Middle East history at Tel Aviv University, has been awarded the Israel Prize in the field of Middle Eastern Studies for 2022. Shamir, who completed his Ph.D. in Oriental Studies, the precursor of today’s Near Eastern Studies, in 1961 with a dissertation entitled “The ʻAzm Walis of Syria, 1724–1785: The Period of Dynastic Succession in the Government of the Walayahs Damascus, Sidon and Tripoli,” has had a long and distinguished career as a scholar of Middle Eastern studies. Called the dean of Israeli scholars on the modern Middle East, Shamir started out as a lecturer in modern history at Hebrew University in 1960 before moving to Tel Aviv University in 1966. There, Shamir was one of the co-founders of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies and the Department of Middle Eastern and African Studies. In addition to his scholarship and teaching, Shamir has made significant contributions to Arab-Israeli relations. He established the Israeli Academic Center in Cairo in 1982 and was its first director (1982–84), served as Israel’s first ambassador to Jordan and was later the Israeli ambassador to Egypt (1988–1990). He has written or edited numerous works, including The Camp David Summit—What Went Wrong (2005), Communications and Political Attitudes in West Bank Refugee Camps (1974), Egypt from Monarchy to Republic (1995), The Jews of Egypt (1987), Self-views in Historical Perspective in Egypt and Israel (1981), and The U.S.S.R. and the Middle East (1973).
June 22, 2022