Friend of the blog Ebie Dupont has alerted to me to the surprising denial of tenure of Samer Shehata at Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Samer, whom I have known for years, is a leading expert on Egypt and the author of a very well received book on labor politics in Egypt as well as the editor of an volume on contemporary Islamist movements in the region. Samer has my solidarity. Ebie writes:
I wanted to draw your readers' attention to a surprising and upsetting development in the world of Middle East academia. Friend of The Arabist Samer Shehata---the frequently-cited Georgetown scholar---was recently and inexplicably denied tenure by Georgetown University. Samer has been a key faculty member of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies which is part Georgetown's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service for over a decade, and his important work on contemporary Egyptian politics and the Muslim Brotherhood is more relevant now than ever. The politics/rationale behind Georgetown's decision are disheartening, to say the least. Samer's students and friends (mostly former graduates of the Center's Arab Studies Program) have opened a petition in the hopes of getting the university to acknowledge and hopefully reconsider this wrongheaded development. I hope that readers of The Arabist who are graduates of the Center/Georgetown and who appreciate Samer's work will sign the petition.