hebaPopular culture, Islamic law, modernity
Fulbright Fellow, FLARE Program (Multimedia and SLA) University of Iowa (2007-08)
BA in English Literature and Linguistics from Mansoura University (2001)

Prior to joining the PhD program at Georgetown, Heba was a Fulbright Fellow at the FLARE program of the University of Iowa. She has also completed graduate coursework in English literature at Mansoura University and in comparative literature and postcolonial studies at Cairo University. Her research interests are very interdisciplinary and range widely from Arabic classic religious texts such as the Qur’an and Prophetic tradition to popular culture and rap music. Her current research focuses on film, media and popular culture at the intersections of Islamic legal traditions and discourses of modernity in twentieth century Egypt.

Her recent publications include: “Stuck with Him: Bassem Youssef and the Egyptian Revolution’s Last Laugh,” co-written with Joel Gordon, Review of Middle East Studies 48 (2014): 34-43, and “Mediating Discourse of Democratic Uprising in Egypt: Militarized Language and the “Battles” of Abbasiyya and Maspero,” co-written with Mervat Youssef and Anup Kumar, International Journal of Communication [Online] 8 (2014).


nabilShīʿa studies (social movements, theology, comparative Islamic law)  
MA (2009), Arabic Language and Literature, Georgetown University
BA (2000), Mathematics and Computer Science, American University of Beirut

Research Fellowship, Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Qatar (2014-15)

Nabil is in the process of completing his PhD in Islamic Studies. His dissertation, “Becoming Rebels: Community, History, and Religious Education in Twentieth-Century Shīʿī Lebanon (1966-1982),” focuses on Shīʿī Islamic Activism in Lebanon, reconsidering the beginnings of religious identification in Shīʿī Lebanon. In addition to social movements, Nabil’s current interests include Sunni-Shīʿī interactions during the twentieth century, comparative Islamic Law, and Shīʿī theology. 

Before joining the Arabic and Islamic Studies department at Georgetown, Nabil studied Mathematics and Computer Science at the American University of Beirut. He then worked for several years in the field of Information Technology as a software engineer and data analyst. Bringing his technical and academic experiences together, he developed interests in digital humanities, particularly in the area of visualizing history.

He has given several talks at different venues, including “The Interplay between Sociopolitical Developments and Transformation of Islamic Discourse in Iraq: A Study on the Shīʿī Political Thought of Muḥammad Bāqir al-Ṣadr,” at The Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University (April 2012). 


SerajComparative history of Israel/Palestine
MA (2008), Arabic and Islamic Studies, Tel Aviv University
BA (2005), Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Jordan

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Non-Service Stipend Award (2015-16)
Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship, Social Science Research Council (2014)
Oxtoby Essay Prize, Georgetown University (2012)

Seraj’s research examines the history and politics of nomadism in Mandate Palestine. By nomadism, he refers to the emergence of a territorialist discourse that views tribal formation as the antithesis of rootedness, belonging, and national identity. Drawing on primary sources in Arabic and Hebrew, he aims to show how local conceptions of nomadism have been reconstructed on new legal taxonomies rooted in modern European theories and praxes. By undertaking a comparative approach, he maintains that the introduction of these taxonomies transformed not only local Palestinian perceptions of nomadism, but perceptions that had characterized Hebrew and Jewish literature.

Seraj has already published in academic journals as well as public media. His publications include “Memory, Myth and the Military Government: Emile Habibi’s Collective Autobiography,” Jerusalem Quarterly 52 (2013). Contributions to several major newspapers include “Ben-Gurion and Me,” Jerusalem Post, April 1, 2014 and “Watching ‘Avatar’ from Palestinian Perspective,” Arab News, February 17, 2010.


ferielIslamic political philosophy, Islamic law, ethics 
BA (2000), English Language and Literature, Institut Superieur des Langues de Tunis, Tunisia
MA (2006), Culture Studies, Faculte des Lettres, Manouba, Tunisia

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Philosophy Department, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg (2015-17)
Civil Society Scholar Award, Open Society Foundation (Fall 2014)

Feriel is writing her dissertation on the notion of the written and unwritten law based on Ibn Rushd’s Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Rhetoric. This last fall semester, she was a recipient of the Open Society Civil Society Scholar Award, which she used to travel in order to consult some of Ibn Rushd's manuscripts at the Medicea Laurenziana Library in Florence and in the Suleymaniye in Istanbul. Her research interests cover Islamic political philosophy, Islamic law, and ethics. Feriel is also interested in manuscript studies; in 2013 and 2014 she took part in a series of workshops in Beirut, organized under the European Research Council Advanced Grant Project Philosophy in Context: Arabic and Syriac Manuscript Transmission in the Mediterranean World. She has an upcoming publication based on her dissertation research, which will be published in the volume Interpreting Averroes: Critical Essays, edited by Peter Adamson and Matteo Di Giovanni (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2016).


tuveReligious authority in Islam, modern Islamic movements
MA (2006), Near Eastern Studies, University of Arizona
BA (2000), French, University of Michigan

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Non-Service Stipend Award (2014-15)

Tuve began the Islamic Studies program in 2010.  His dissertation research examines the phenomenon of Muslim televangelism, looking at the common themes these duʿa address, as well as how they present and frame their religious authority/legitimacy. 

For his most recent papers see the News section of our website.



Arabic sociolinguistics
MA (2011), Arabic Language and Literature, Islamic Studies and Linguistics, Universität Bayreuth, Germany

Nadine is currently working on her PhD in Arabic Studies. Her dissertation, tentatively entitled “Construction of National Identity in Hizbullah’s Political Discourse,” explores linguistic and discursive strategies, such as indexicality and dialogicality, in Hizbullah’s political documents and speeches of its Secretary General Nasrallah in relation to the construction and negotiation of sectarian and national identity in Lebanon.

In November 2012, she presented a paper at the Middle Eastern Studies Association Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, “From “Let Me Finish” to “Eat Shit”: How a Lebanese Political Talk Show on the Conflict in Syria Went Sour,” and has several publications forthcoming. For her most recent publication, see the News section of our website.


nazirArabic sociolinguistics
MA (2013), Arab Studies, Georgetown University
MPA (2011), Public Affairs, Princeton University
BA (2008), Sociology and International Relations (minor in Philosophy), Seattle University

Nazir is currently a PhD candidate in Arabic Sociolinguistics (all but dissertation). His research interests cover the co-production, conflicting relations, and transmission of semiotic systems; Linguistic/Semiotic Anthropology, Multimodal Interaction, Interperformance, Intertextuality, Discourse Analysis, Rhythmic Organization, Spatial Epistemics, Cybernetics, Identity & Distributed Cognition, Cognitive Blending, Voice Registers; Anthropology of Revolution, the Arab Spring Uprisings; Islamophobia, Islam and Muslims in America/the West.

He recently coauthored an article on  “Post-9/11: Making Islam an American Religion,” with Yvonne Haddad, Religions 5 (2014): 477-501. This article examines the rise of anti-Muslim and anti-Islam sentiment known as “Islamophobia” and argues that it is important to highlight both progressive and conservative developments in American Muslim communities since 9/11.

Nazir has presented several papers at academic venues, among which: “Inclusion & Exclusion in The ‘New Egypt’: Egyptian Identities & Codes Emerging from the 2011 Revolution”, presented at Georgetown University Graduate Workshop on Discourse, Politics & Identity hosted by visiting professor Ruth Wodak of Lancaster University, April 4, 2014. The paper examined three speeches by former Egyptian President Morsi to identify conceptual metaphors using a critical discourse analytical framework. Focused on implications of grounding metaphors that seem to include some constituencies while excluding others.


Pamela Klasova

Arabic literature and adab, intellectual history
 MA (2011), Arabic Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands
 Magistr (5-year degree) (2008), Arabic Philology, History and Culture of Islamic Countries, Charles University, Prague
 Magistr (5-year degree) (2007), Dutch Philology, History and Culture of Islamic Countries, Charles University, Prague

Pamela Klasova is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. Her dissertation examines Islamic imperial ideology-formation through a case study of al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi (d.714), the formidable Umayyad governor of Iraq. While in the study of the early Islamic empire the focus has been on Islamic conquests, she focuses on the ‘soft power’ at play and looks at the role of culture and language in the construction of imperial power. She coordinates a literary approach to later Muslim historical with the study of contemporary material culture and non-Muslim texts. Her research falls into the field of early Islamic history; yet she is approaching it from a broader perspective than usual, hoping to contribute to the attempts at bringing early Islam out of isolation onto the world stage of late antiquity. She holds a Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Leiden University in the Netherlands and a Magister degree in Arabic and Dutch philology from Charles University in Prague. She has also studied Arabic and Persian language and literature at a number of universities across the Middle East and North Africa (Beirut, Damascus, Cairo, Tunis, Amman, Tehran). She is a member of the School of Abbasid Studies and the Holberg Seminar on Islamic History.

She is one of the two founders of Georgetown Graduate Association for Islamic Studies.

During the academic year 2016/2017, Pamela is a doctoral fellow at the Orient Institut in Beirut, Lebanon.


miguelClassical and contemporary Arabic poetry
BMus (2008), Studio Music and Jazz, University of Miami

Miguel is a musician and linguist whose research interests include contemporary Arabic poetry and classic poetic forms like the muwashshah. He is also leader of the Sudanese-American music group Otaak Band. 


mustafaLegal theory, comparative law, intellectual history, theology
MSt (2005), Modern History, University of Oxford
LLB (2003), First Class Honors, London School of Economics

Abdul Rahman is currently a PhD candidate in Islamic Studies (all but dissertation). His research interests cover Islamic legal theory, comparative law, intellectual history, theology as well as political theory.

He has published a monograph, On Taqlīd: Ibn al Qayyim’s Critique of Authority in Islamic Law, Oxford University Press, New York, 2013, and several articles, including “From the Hudood Ordinances to the Protection of Women Act: Islamic Critiques of the Hudood Laws of Pakistan,” with Moeen H. Cheema, UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law (2008-09) as well as entries in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law, Oxford University Press, New York (“Proof, Standards of,” “Pakistan,” and “South Asia: An Introduction”).

In 2014, he participated in the Liberal Arts International Conference hosted by Texas A&M University at Qatar on “Antinomialisms in Urban Critique: The Urban Environment of Mecca and Medina.” 


mikeApplied linguistics
BA (2009), Arabic Language & International Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

Mike is interested in topics related to Arabic acquisition, assessment, and proficiency testing. His dissertation examines the nature of written proficiency in Arabic, how this developing proficiency can best be measured in the written production of learners at different levels, and how the writing of Arabic learners differs from that of native speakers.


francescoArabic sociolinguistics
MA (2008), Afro-Asiatic Studies, University of Pavia
BA (2005), Interpreting and Translation (Arabic, Italian, English, German), University of Trieste

Francesco joined the Arabic PhD program in 2011. His current research revolves around new writing practices on Syrian social media. His areas of study are Arabic sociolinguistics, Arabic poetry and applied linguistics. He holds a BA in interpreting and translation (Arabic, Italian, English, German) from the University of Trieste and an MA in Afro-Asiatic studies from the University of Pavia. He recently delivered the paper “Hybridity on Syrian Facebook Pages” at the 2015 Georgetown University Roundtable on Language and Linguistics (GURT) annual conference. In his free time he stays out of trouble swimming and playing the violin.



Intellectual history, political philosophy, classical Islamic literature
MA (2014), First Class Honors, Arabic and Mediaeval History, University of St Andrews

Richard is interested in the intellectual history of the Islamic world, particularly the political and ideological motivation of historical writing. Richard completed his undergraduate dissertation on early Ottoman historical writing and its transformation in the 14th and 15th centuries and intends to pursue similar research topics at Georgetown. Other research interests include: the transmission of knowledge from classical antiquity into the Islamic world, political philosophy and classical Islamic literature and its origins.




Islamic intellectual history, modern Islamic thought, Qur’anic studies
MA (2012), Comparative Religion, University of Washington, Seattle
BA (2009), Near Eastern Studies, University of Washington, Seattle

Amine is a PhD candidate in Islamic Studies (all but dissertation). His research interests include Islamic intellectual history, modern Islamic thought, and Qur'anic studies. He has presented numerous papers, including “The Battle for Western Muslims: Between Activist Projects and ‘Muslim’ Realities,” Pacific Northwest American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature (AAR/SBL), Portland, Oregon, 2012; “Beyond Reform: The Qur’an in the Works of Mohammed Arkoun and Nasr Abu Zayd,” American Academy of Religion, San Francisco, California, 2011; “Muhammad and Muslim Identity: Historical Images and Modern Challenges,” Pacific Northwest AAR/SBL, Spokane, Washington, 2011.

For his most recent papers see the News section of our website.