PHILADELPHIA, August 15, 2012 — The Middle East Forum (MEF) is pleased to announce the launch of its Writing Fellowship Program, made possible by the generous support of Stan and Arlene Ginsburg and of Dr. Bob Shillman.
Expanding on the Forum's work as a source of research and writing on the Middle East, Islamism, and related issues, the program provides timely analysis by specialists on the Middle East's most pressing problems, with an eye toward policy solutions.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Michel Gurfinkiel, Efraim Inbar, Alex Joffe, Ayman Jawad al-Tamimi, and Raymond Stock as Writings Fellows. All of them have worked with the Forum in various capacities, as symbolized by their all having contributed to the journal's flagship publication, the Middle East Quarterly.
Michel Gurfinkiel, a prominent scholar of European Islamism, Turkey, and the Arab-Israeli conflict, is president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a Paris-based think tank he founded in 2003 and a former editor-in-chief of Valeurs Actuelles, France's foremost conservative weekly magazine. A French national, he studied history and semiotics at the Sorbonne and the French National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations. Mr. Gurfinkiel is author of eight books and a frequent contributor to American media, including the Middle East Quarterly, Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Weekly Standard, and PJMedia.
Efraim Inbar, a leading authority on Middle Eastern strategic affairs, is professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and director of its Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA Center). He earned his undergraduate degree in English literature and political science from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his postgraduate and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Chicago. Prof. Inbar has held visiting posts at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown universities, the Woodrow Wilson International Center, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. A contributor to the Middle East Quarterly, his books include Outcast Countries in the World Community (1985), War and Peace in Israeli Politics (1991), Rabin and Israel's National Security (1999), The Israeli-Turkish Entente (2001), and Israel's National Security (2008).
Alex Joffe, a former director of the Forum's Campus Watch project, is a writer on Israel and Jewish affairs. Trained as an archaeologist and historian, he holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern studies from the University of Arizona and has participated and directed archaeological research in Israel, Jordan, Greece, and the United States. He has taught at Pennsylvania State University and the State University of New York, and has published over 150 scholarly articles on archaeology, ancient and modern history, political science, environmental studies, and cultural affairs. Mr. Joffe is a contributing writer with Jewish Ideas Daily, and his work has appeared in leading national and international newspapers including the Middle East Quarterly, Wall Street Journal, Jerusalem Post, Yediot Aharanot, Tablet, and Ha'aretz.
Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, whose ancestry traces back to Baghdad and Mosul, is a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, Mr. Tamimi's articles have been published, among other places, in the Middle East Quarterly, the American Spectator, Daily Star (Beirut), Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, Kurdish Globe (Arbil, Iraqi Kurdistan), and al-Ayyam (Damascus).
Raymond Stock, an expert on Egyptian social and cultural affairs, lived in Cairo for 20 years (1990-2010). He has translated seven books by Egyptian Nobel laureate in literature Naguib Mahfouz, whose biography he is presently writing. He was denied entry and deported by the Mubarak regime in December 2010 due to his Foreign Policy Magazine article criticizing the bid by the explicitly anti-Semitic culture minister Farouk Hosni to head UNESCO. With a Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania, he has taught at Drew University and has published in the Middle East Quarterly, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and PJMedia. His translations from Arabic fiction have appeared in Bookforum, Harper's Magazine, and London Magazine.
"We are very fortunate to have these five analysts as writing fellows," said Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum. "Each brings a body of expertise critical to addressing the contemporary problems confronting the Middle East at this momentous time in the region's history."
The Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, is dedicated to defining American interests in the Middle East and protecting America from Islamist threats. It achieves its goals through intellectual, activist, and philanthropic efforts.
For more information, contact Judy Goodrobb at 215-546-5406, ex. 19 or MEQ@MEForum.org.